By Greg Bennett
The Coast Guard
Lots of people are expected to gather on Shelburne’s waterfront this weekend as the port welcomes vessels from the Nova Scotia Tall Ships visit.
The Shelburne event, to be held July 28 and 29, will be one of the largest in the province, second only to Halifax and whether you know your fore sail from your flying jib, organizers say there will be activities and events that should interest all.
Shelburne will be one of only two outports in western Nova Scotia to host the tall ships. The ships were set to leave Halifax this week and head to Lunenburg for a mid-week stay. The vessels will then head to Shelburne, their last Nova Scotia destination.
The Tall Ships will be open for the public at two locations, the Shelburne Marine Terminal and the Dock Street Wharf starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 to welcome visitors and will open again at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Shelburne is expected to bring in an impressive array of ships for the event including the Pride of Baltimore II, The Amistad Freedom Schooner, the Larinda and the Unicorn.
Organizers expect the town and surrounding area will benefit economically from the event through merchandise sales, restaurants and accommodations.
This year’s festival is expected to be bigger than previous visits with organizers hoping for numbers pushing beyond 3,000.
Although the tall ship event is to be held is on the same weekend that the Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song is running, organizers are hopeful the two events will complement each other.
On Saturday, dockside entertainment will be interspersed with activities and presentations by the Shelburne Re-enactment Association and the Shelburne Longboat Society, piping, photo opportunities, ship visits, as well as rides and sail-pasts by the Shelburne Longboat Society.
There will also be entertainment provided by a host of musicians and dancers, including The Fifes and Drums, Killick and the Prince of Wales Dancers.
At 5 p.m. on Saturday, the tall ships will be offered a grand salute by members of the New Jersey Volunteers Reenactment group.
The Shelburne Museum Complex will also be taking part in the Tall Ships Weekend. On Saturday at the Dory Shop Museum and Shelburne County Museum, between 11 a.m. – 12 noon, and 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., there will be fun activities for little sailors. Make a pirate hat or pie plate parrot, match the flag to the pirate, or visit the museum complex, where admission will be free.
During the Tall Ships visit, Capt. Pike will be hosting his South Coast Rendezvous, with more than two dozen of the most scurrilous chaps ever, including the famed and barbarous Pirates of Cape Sable. Pike is apparently furious at the burning of his favourite ship in Shelburne Harbour during Founders’ Days.
Known for boarding ships and taking what – and who - they want, many pirate wenches, led by Black Rose Kate, will also join the fray.
Capt Pike will also be hosting his Great Lost Treasure Adventure, a two-day hunt for real buried treasure worth in excess of $1,000. Each Lost Treasure “team” will be given a map and a series of clues over the weekend and will have to use all of their skills and cunning to find the resting place of Capt Pike’s Lost Treasure.
The Pirate Rendezvous takes place Thursday through Sunday, July 26-29, during the Tall Ships visit. The event also includes Capt Kidd’s Pirate Camp for Kids, the Privateer’s Oasis, Sea Shanty Songfest and Grand Buccaneer’s Ball.
Registration for the Lost Treasure Adventure is at the Pirate Camp on the waterfront on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.