Duluth tall ships tickets go on sale today

The brig USS Niagara at the Duluth Tall Ships Festival on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (PHOTO: Aaron J. Brown)

Fans of tall masted wooden ships will feel an aft wind this summer when the Festival of Sail comes to Duluth, Minnesota, Aug. 11-13. Formerly known as the Tall Ships Festival, tickets for the event go on sale today.

It’s hard to explain the absolute crush of people who come to Canal Park and Bayfront to see these tall ships. It’s one of the biggest, most consistent draws in local tourism, rivaling the Bentleyville Christmas light display.

My family and I attended the last time the festival was in Duluth in 2016. As I wrote at the time, the ships are really cool but the lines just to step on board were prohibitively long. We waited almost two hours and people who arrived after us waited up to four hours. I would imagine addressing this problem is among the festival’s chief tasks.

The real appeal of the event is to your imagination. You see how sailors used to live, how people traveled to and from places like Duluth 150 years ago. You walk into a story, not just a ship.

The 2019 Duluth Festival of Sail will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12 and Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Tickets range from $12 for a single-day pass to $150 for the full sailing experience.

Find out more at the Duluth Festival of Sail website.

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