Greenport Village will once again host the Tall Ships America at Mitchell Park this July 4 through July 7.
The last time tall ships were welcomed to Greenport Harbor was in 2012 when the H.M.S. Bounty—now lost off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, due to Superstorm Sandy—visited its homeport. Roads were blocked to allow the street fair to expand through the village, and tents filled Mitchell Park. The atmosphere of the 2012 event was one of excitement as crowds gathered to see the tall ships towering above the docks and experienced the diverse foods and browsed merchandise from Greenport’s local restaurants and merchants.
This summer, for the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2015, there will be a special appearance by the replica of Lafayette’s Hermione. This recreated frigate, which took 16 years to construct, was designed from the detailed plans of the original and the exact line drawings from Hermione’s sister ship La Concorde. The idea to build a replica was conceived in 1993, and construction was finished in 2014. Around 3 million people made monetary contributions to support the project.
Hermione set sail in April for the U.S. in a symbolic manner—looking back to the Marquis de Lafayette’s journey in 1780 to aid the American’s fight for independence in the American Revolution. The 2015 voyage has Yorktown, Virginia, arranged for its first North American port visit. Hermione, and its accompanying fleet, will then make consecutive stops up the East Coast to Washington, Annapolis, Maryland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Greenport, Boston, and then, finally, Halifax, Nova Scotia, before continuing its journey back to Europe.
Other participating vessels in this year’s challenge that will dock in Greenport Harbor for Fourth of July weekend, along with Hermione, are the Sagres, Lynx, A.J. Meerwald, Kalmar Nyckel and Picton Castle.
The ships will greet visitors with historical backgrounds, tours, educational sessions and sail aways. Tickets are required to tour the ships and can be purchased by visiting greenporttallships.com. Special events, activities, live music, restaurants, merchants, street performances and the annual return of Greenport’s Fourth of July fireworks will all take a part in the weekend’s festivities.