It’s time for the Tall Ships! Tips that make OpSail 2012 CT and SailFest a festival of fun.
This is a big week in Mystic Country. The tall ships of OpSail2012CT sail into Niantic, New London and Groton on the tail of our region’s July 4 events. That’s over 40 ships from more than 12 nations sailing into our area for a 4 day party (July 6-9, 2012)! SailFest will also be in gear July 6-8. Arrive and be very entertained.
The next morning (Sat., July 7) the ships head to New London in what is always a spectacular Parade of Sail at 9:30 am.
According to OpSail 2012: good parade viewing spots include the mouth of Niantic Bay, the Waterford shoreline, Harkness Memorial State Park, Ocean Beach Park in New London, the New London shoreline; and the Groton shoreline, particularly Avery Point and Eastern Point.
The parade should round the New London Ledge Light around 10:00 am and then head to New London. Watch for a US Coastguard fly-over at 11:00. The ships will disperse to three different berths: New London State Pier, New London City Pier and Fort Trumbull. There is FREE shuttle service between all three locales.
Saturday’s Opening ceremonies are 12:15 pm at Fort Trumbull after which a full weekend of fun at all three sites rolls out. The party runs through Monday July 9 and includes visiting the ships, historic events, fab foods, music, performances, and sailboat races in the harbor, among other entertainment.
Take special note of the Mashantucket Pequot FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA on Saturday night at 9 pm. The U.S. Coast Guard Band will play a patriotically themed outdoor concert at Fort Trumbull State Park at 7 pm. The fireworks will fly at the close of this FREE performance.
Here is a link to OpSail activities line up at Fort Trumbull. Sailfest in downtown New London offers up a whole other group of activities. Check Sailfest New London detail out here. The last day is Monday July 9. Good vantage points to watch the ships leave are Waterfront Park, Pequot Avenue, Fort Trumbull State Park and Ocean Beach Park in New London and Avery Point and Eastern Point in Groton.
GETTING HERE IS EASY: Both Niantic and New London are within easy access of I 95 South and North. Shoreline East is running loads of special trains and Amtrak will get you here as well. There are shuttle buses from satellite locations like the Connecticut College in New London, Crystal Mall in Waterford and more so no need to sit in traffic. Find all the transit info here.
We’re thrilled to have the ships coming to our harbors for OpSail – it’s a big deal. Come join our party or should I say parties?! And come early if you can and celebrate the 4th of July with us. It’s going to be a great week!