Ahoy, Matey: San Diego's Festival of Sail Returns

The tall ship festival runs Friday through Labor Day at San Diego's North Embarcadero area

The waters of San Diego Bay will be filled with tall ships this holiday weekend as the annual Festival of Sail cruises into the North Embarcadero area.

The largest tall ship fest on the West Coast – hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego – sets sail beginning Friday at 9 a.m. and runs through Labor Day.

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The nautical action begins with a tall ship parade Thursday that includes cannon fire salutes as the ships dock. Throughout the weekend, the agenda includes visits aboard the ships, a petting zoo, activities for kids, hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, a beer garden, food vendors and photo opportunities with pirates.

More than 20 tall ships are participating in this year’s event. This includes the 139-foot “America” vessel, the 145-foot “Californian” and, of course, San Diego’s iconic, 278-foot Star of India, which holds the distinctive title of the oldest active ship in the world.

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Tickets to the Festival of Sail cost $7 per person and can be purchased online. Additional boating activity tickets, including tickets to the midday sail or cannon battle, are available at the boating booth just north of the Berkeley Ferry Boat on the Embarcadero.

Also important to note: road closures for the event include Harbor Drive and one southbound lane between Grape and Ash streets, which will be used as a pedestrian path to accommodate visitors, so plan your trek to the fest accordingly.

For more details, visit the event website.

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