Brendan Keany

Spirit of Buffalo Hosts 12 Tall Ships From Around the World

Ships will be docked at Erie Basin Marina and Canalside from 4th-7th

July 02, 2019 - 4:31 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - Western New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see something that hasn't happened in more than 100 years this 4th of July weekend, as Buffalo is hosting the arrival of 12 tall ships at Canalside and the Erie Basin Marina.

The ships will be coming from around the world on the 4th of July and will be docked until July 7.

RELATEDTraffic, Parking a Challenge at Canalside on 4th of July

Rich Hilliman serves as the captain and owner of the Spirit of Buffalo, which will be the host ship for the weekend, and he described what exactly this weekend's festivities will entail.

"We're all going to meet out on the lake, and we're all going to come sailing in together one by one," said Hilliman. "We are going to have as much sail as is appropriate for that weather and being so close, so we'll have a lot of sail set. To see that much canvas or that much sail from that many boats is going to be absolutely spectacular...Once the ships come here, they will dock up, and you will be able to get on board and see these vessels as well."

He noted that three of the vessels will actually be taking passengers out for tours over the course of the weekend.

Brendan Keany

Hilliman explained what Buffalo's waterfront resurgence has meant in terms of securing an event such as this.

"Tall ships does a rotation every three years - they'll do the East Coast, the West Coast and the Great Lakes - so, they've been coming to the Great Lakes every three years for the past I'm going to guess 20 years or so, and Buffalo just hasn't been on the map," he began. "With the emergence of what's going on at our waterfront and the pride of Buffalo and what's happening on this waterfront has drawn enough local interest to have Buffalo as one of the stops."

And he added that this will be an amazing event for anybody, whether they're into sailing or not, and Western New Yorkers should take advantage of this opportunity.

"If you don't really know what it's all about, when you come and you see 12 tall ships from around the world, it's guaranteed that you'll have a new appreciation of the age of tall sail. It's quite spectacular, and I feel pretty special that we are now on the map for these tall ships to come to Buffalo," said Hilliman. "For this event that's happening this week, if it even sounds a bit interesting, it's going to turn your view of what you think of sail boats and the history, and the maritime history, of this age of sail, and you should certainly come down and take a look because it could be a once in a lifetime show here in Buffalo."

Listen to the full conversation with Hilliman below:

Comments ()