The following information is from the 2016 festival and will be updated as more information becomes available for the 2019 festival. Stay tuned!
In addition to the International Maritime Music that brings the festival to life, The following activities are located within the festival grounds and are available during regular festival hours Friday—Sunday, July 19—21, 10:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.
Art in the Park (Veterans Memorial Park)
Presented by Studio 23/The Art Center
Shop for one-of-a-kind original creations at this juried fine art show.
Crew Games (Veterans Memorial Park)
Join us at the ballfields in Veterans Memorial Park for a kickball tournament featuring crew and trainees from visiting tall ships (south of bridge).
Ring of Steel Action Theatre
(Veterans Memorial Park/Pirate Cove)
Learn how to dress, talk and fight like a pirate at Pirate Cove. Play pirate games like balloon fencing and Jacob’s Ladder and practice your hand at archery and knife throwing. Enjoy action-packed, life action shows from two stages through the festival.
Small Boat Building Workshop
(Veterans Memorial Park)
Presented by Balcer Boat Works
Sponsored by Fisher Companies
Lend a hand to our professional boat builders and you may get to take a custom built boat home with you at the end of the weekend.
Storyteller’s Corner (Wenonah Park)
Presented by the Bay County Library System and Sponsored by Friends of the Bay County Libraries
Some of Michigan’s best professional storytellers spin yarns of ships and life on the high seas in a cool, shady spot.
Kid’s Krafts: (Wenonah Park)
“Color Our World” Giant Mosaic Mural:
Presented by Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum and Sponsored by Valvoline Instant Oil Change
Grab a paint brush and add your own artistic expression to “tiles” that will form a giant mosaic mural.
Make and Take—Tall Ship Kit
Sponsored by Saginaw Valley State University
Build your own tall ship from kits designed and produced locally.
Presented by the Child Abuse and Neglect Council and Sponsored by Two Men and a Truck
Fanciful face painting for our whimsical guests.
Sailor’s Village (Veterans Memorial Park)
Visit this collection of activities and displays for maritime-related crafts, photo ops and fun!
Boating Skills Virtual Trainer
Presented by US Power Squadron
Experience the industry’s best interactive simulation-based boating safety program allowing students to virtually maneuver a “Boston Whaler” on a 3.5 x 4 mile lake.
Presented by BaySail
Learn how to tie knots and make a souvenir.
Make and Take—A Nautical Masterpiece Presented by Studio 23/The Arts Center
Sponsored by Covenant Healthcare
Artists from Studio 23/The Art Center will teach you how to paint your own nautical masterpiece that you can take home as a souvenir of your Tall Ship Celebration experience.
Make and Take—Lighthouse Kit
Presented by Saginaw River Marine Historical Society
Sponsored by Valley Roofing
Build your own lighthouse and learn about our own Saginaw River Rear Range Light.
Make and Take—Scrimshaw Art
Presented by Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Gallery
Learn how to replicate the fine art of scrimshaw on special Yupo paper.
Presented by Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association
Lend a hand and help raise the sails.
Tall Ships America STEM Scavenger Hunt
Presented by US Sailing
Stop by to enter a Scavenger Hunt for 6 simple machines. Tall ship captain and crew will help along the way. Prizes awarded to those who successfully complete the task.
Presented by Saginaw River Marine Historical Society
See one of the last of her kind! The Amycita is a wooden boat built from a “knock-down frame” kit purchased from Defoe Boat and Motor Works in 1915.
Special Events: These special events occur outside normal festival hours and may require an additional ticket.
Bay Concert Band
Join the Bay Concert Band for a free concert in Wenonah Park on Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. (Free)
Pancakes with Pirates: Presented by Do-All, Inc.
Watch out for pranks and shenanigans when pirates join you for breakfast in The Quarterdeck (Veterans Memorial Park) on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21, from 9:00—11:00 a.m. (Tickets available at the door: $7 adults; 5 & under $4)
Rock the Dock: Sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance
You are invited to ROCK THE DOCK on Saturday, July 16 from 7:00—9:00 p.m. at Tall Ship Celebration. New to the festival in 2016, ROCK THE DOCK will be an energetic evening of music, food and drink riverside in Wenonah Park in the shadow of visiting tall ships. A cash bar will be available and complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided by local restaurants. Tickets are $50.00 per person and only 200 will be sold. Get your ticket now! Proceeds from ROCK THE DOCK will be shared with five area non-profits selected by participating restaurants.
First @ Friendship
You are cordially invited to attend First @ Friendship, a non-sectarian and informal worship service presented by First Presbyterian Church in Wenonah Park on Sunday, July 17 from 8:15—9:00 a.m. The service will feature a special blessing of the tall ship fleet. (Free)
Sail-Away on a Tall Ship Adventure
Have your own tall ship adventure! Regular departures from Veterans Memorial Park are available aboard Bay City’s own Appledore IV an Appledore V throughout the festival. Click here for schedule and pricing.
These events and activities occur outside of the festival and are produced by businesses and organizations in the Bay City area in support of Tall Ship Celebration.
Bay County Maritime History Exhibits (321 Washington Ave)
The Historical Museum of Bay County is a treasure trove of all things nautical. Don’t miss the “Bay City: Seaport to the World” exhibit and maritime gifts in the gift shop. Open Thursday—Friday, July 18 & 19, 10 am—5 pm and Saturday—Sunday, 11 am—4 pm (Free)
Luncheon River Cruise aboard the Princess Wenonah
(1201 Evergreen Drive )
View tall ships and enjoy a buffet luncheon during a 1.5 hour long river cruise aboard the PRINCESS WENONAH. Departures at 10 am, 12:30 and 3 pm. Advance reservations are recommended.
Call (989) 891-2828 or visit www.baycityboatlines.com.
Maritime Art Exhibit (901 N Water St)
Visit Studio 23/The Art Center for a special exhibit of maritime and tall ships themed art featuring artists of all mediums from Michigan. Thursday, July 14—Saturday, July 16, from 11:00 a.m.—7:00 p.m. Opening reception on Friday, July 15 from 5:00—7:00 p.m. (Free)
Narrated Boat Tours
A narrator will entertain guests with facts about the visiting tall ships as you view from the water. Tours depart on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes. Departures from Wenonah Park behind the band shell. (Tickets: $ Click here to purchase tickets. Separate festival admission required.)
Planetarium Shows (100 Center Ave)
Sit back, relax and be awestruck by the heavens in a 360° circle vision experience. (Shows TBA). Shows at the Delta College Planetarium & Learning Center will start hourly on Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, from 1:00—6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, July 17, from 1:00—4:00 p.m. Call 989-667-2260 for more information. (Tickets: $)
Starbridge Street Party on Third: Welcome Tall Ships! (Third Street)
You are invited to a street party to celebrate the return of the tall ships fleet to Bay City! Join residents and visiting crew on Third Street in Downtown Bay City and visit a traveling exhibit from the Northern Illinois University School of Arts “Tattoo: An American Evolution.” 8:00—11:00 p.m.
Storm: A Visual Concert Experience (913 Washington Ave)
Presented by the State Theatre
Mid-Michigan's contribution to maritime history is impressive. Hundreds of ships were created here and lost in terrible storms or collisions all around the world. From Coast Guard cutters to the ship that found the Titanic, explore the history of our maritime past with a live concert event featuring musician Dan Hall and historian Ric Mixter. With rare interviews, underwater video and exclusive archival footage, STORM is a musical history lesson you will not soon forget. State Theatre, Friday, July 15 at 7pm. ($12 Adults; $7 Students)
"Tattoo: An American Evolution" (113 Third St)
Visit a traveling exhibit from the Northern Illinois University School of Arts “Tattoo: An American Evolution." Explore the symbolic and aesthetic origins of tattoos, how their meaning and acceptance has evolved with American culture and what the future might hold for tattooing. Located at Golden Gallery and Custom Framing. (Free)
Tours of the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse (Vets Park)
The Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse is rarely open to the public. Members of the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society are offering tours Friday— Sunday, running continuously starting at 10 a.m. Tours will take approximately 1 ½ hours and include stops at the USS Edson and the Antique toy and Firehouse Museum; the last tour will leave at 5 p.m. (Adults $7; Children $3 upon boarding)
Tours of Trinity Episcopal Church (815 N Grant St @ Center Ave)
Dating to 1887, the imposing Gothic structure hosts an impressive collection of stained glass windows from a variety of artists.
Friday—Sunday, July 15—17, from 12—4 pm (Free)
USS Edson Tours (1680 Martin St)
Recently featured on “Ghost Asylum,” the USS Edson is a Forrest Sherman class destroyer built in Bath, Maine, for the US Navy in 1958. A valuable member of the South Pacific Fleet, she was in service during the Vietnam War and was decommissioned in 1988. The USS Edson arrived at her new home in Bay City in 2012. Available daily from 9 am—6 pm (Adults $10; Children $8)