Brockville prepares for 2019 Tall Ships Festival

Nine months from now, towering wooden ships will sail up the St. Lawrence River and anchor in Brockville for the Tall Ships Festival, which takes place every three years.

The event will kick off on Aug. 30, 2019 and run until Sept. 1.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime,” said festival chair Brian Burns.

Burns says the festival will showcase the kind of iconic tall ships that were once used to cross oceans. The Blue Nose II, which is Canada’s most famous tall ship, will make an appearance, as will the Picton Castle ship and Canada’s largest tall ship, the Empire Sandy.

Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, said the festival will be paid for through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Fund.

“Our government made a big commitment to supporting this festival with a combined $520,000,” said Clark.

Outgoing Brockville Mayor Dave Henderson says the first Tall Ships Festival nine years ago instantly became an economic juggernaut for the community.

“Just about every restaurant in the downtown area ran out of food. That’s a large number of restaurants, and even the restaurants in the north end were running out of food,” said Henderson.

The organizers said they expect up to 50,000 people to attend the festival and that there will be plenty of concession stands along the waterfront this year.

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