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Top Stories 2015: Tall Ships brought visitors from near and far

Tall Ships

When tens of thousands of visitors came from across Long Island and beyond to experience six Tall Ships docked in Greenport’s harbor this past July 4 weekend, the village was transformed into far from just any ordinary place.

It was a place to celebrate the village’s connection to the sea with the flair of a 21st-century festival replete with food and drinks in the streets and — as has been the custom for several years by the water — dancing in the park. The event was viewed as a showcase for Greenport businesses, but the village itself was the biggest star of all.

“Overall, Greenport looked really great,” said Mayor George Hubbard Jr., deferring credit to the many festival volunteers who gave up four full days to help out. “An event like this puts us on a national, even international, stage.”

Greenport Business Improvement District president Peter Clarke said he met people who traveled from as far as Texas and California to attend the festival. And with crews from ships like the Sagres, a Portuguese Navy training ship, and France’s Hermione, the village had an air of international flavor throughout the event.

The Tall Ships event was thought of by many as a major gamble after it was scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend, already one of the village’s busiest times of the year, and was expanded to four days.

Buoyed by $102,000 in sponsorship deals and $225,987 in ticket sales, the village pulled in a nearly $59,000 profit from the event.

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Photo: A view from above the 2015 Greenport Tall Ships Challenge. (Credit: Andrew LePre/LePre Media, file)