John Lincourt - DSC_4610.jpg
John Lincourt - DSC_4610.jpg

About Tall Ship Celebration

Tall Ship Celebration returns July 18-21, 2019!


About Tall Ship Celebration

Tall Ship Celebration returns July 18-21, 2019!



Tall Ships Challenge®


Tall Ships Challenge®

Tall Ships America® is the hub for tall ships activity, information, and expertise in North America, and is commended by the United States Congress as the national sail training organization representing the United States.  As a national membership organization, Tall Ships America supports the people, ships and programs of sail training and tall ships through professional development grants, sail training scholarships, conferences, education, publications, regulatory and licensing information, public events and advocacy. 

Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® annual series of tall ship races and maritime port festivals to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions and to inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail®.

Founded in 1973, Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America, and is commended by Congress as the Sail Training organization representing the United States in the international forum.

The sailing ship logo, Tall Ships®, Tall Ships America®,Tall Ships Are Coming!®, Adventure and Education Under Sail® and TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®, are registered trademarks of Tall Ships America.


Background & Sponsors

Background &  Sponsors



Background & Sponsors

Background &  Sponsors




Bay City is a host port for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®, a series of races and rallies organized by TALL SHIPS AMERICA. In 2019, Bay City celebrates eighteen years of award-winning maritime festivals having hosted the fleet every time it has visited the Great Lakes in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Bay City has been awarded the coveted “Port of the Year” four times by TALL SHIPS AMERICA - more than any other host port in all of North America.

Welcome to Tall Ship Celebration: Bay City, the best tall ship festival in North America!


Sponsors for Tall Ship Celebration 2019 are being recruited now! If you're interested in learning more about becoming a Major Ship Sponsor or a sponsor at any level (starting at $750), please contact us at or (989) 895-5193.


Since its founding, more than a century ago, when six independent sugarbeet companies merged, Michigan Sugar Company has perfected the process of turning one of the region’s largest cash crops – sugarbeets – into pure, all-natural sugar.

Headquartered in Bay City, Michigan Sugar Company is a grower-owned cooperative with sugarbeet processing facilities in Bay City, Caro, Croswell and Sebewaing. The company’s nearly 1,000 farm families plant and harvest about 160,000 acres of sugarbeets each year in 21 Michigan counties, as well as Ontario, Canada. Each year, those beets are sliced and turned into about 1.2 billion pounds of sugar that is sold under the Pioneer and Big Chief brands.

Today, Michigan Sugar Company is the third largest beet sugar processor in the United States and has 850 year-round employees and an additional 1,300 seasonal and campaign workers. The company is the No. 1 employer in Huron County, No. 2 in Bay and Sanilac counties and No. 3 in Tuscola County. The company has an annual payroll of about $65 million and an annual local economic impact of about $520 million.

Michigan Sugar Company is a first-time presenting sponsor of Tall Ship Celebration in 2019.


Consumers Energy is one of the nation’s largest combination utilities, providing electric and natural gas service to more than 6 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents, with the help of more than 7,500 employees - 1,000 of them located right here in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, an international corporation that is a leader in energy infrastructure businesses. Each day, Consumers Energy employees work to safely deliver affordable, reliable energy to customers throughout Michigan. The company is committed to operating sustainably and caring for the communities they serve. Consumers Energy has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.


Founded in 1983, Dave Hausbeck Trucking started with one truck moving freight around the country. Since that time, DHT has grown to several related companies including Tanker, Gravel Train, Flatbed, Van, Excavating, and also Landscape Supply yard. DHT also operates a 24-hour full service repair facility.

DHT has several locations to better serve you. Our home base is in Resse, Michigan, but we also have locations in Port Huron, Sault St. Marie, and Detroit, Michigan. DHT is licensed in 48 states, and traveling into Canada is just a stroll across the bridge. D.H.T. is a first-time sponsor of Tall Ship Celebration in 2019.



Wildfire Credit Union offers a fresh approach to banking as usual and provides a full range of financial solutions in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Delivered with passion and enthusiasm, every member encounter goes beyond the expected. A Wildfire Credit Union experience is a difference you’ll notice immediately. Wildfire Credit Union has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.


Chemical Financial Corporation is the largest banking company headquartered and operating branch offices in Michigan. The Corporation operates through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, with 212 banking offices located primarily in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana.

Since 1917, Chemical Bank's home town approach to banking has been focused on community banking, highlighted by local leadership and decision making, a devotion to community and personalized service. Chemical Bank has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2016 and partnered with Amerilodge Group in 2019.


Amerilodge Group is a privately-owned company which manages, operates and owns hotels in the Midwest. The company’s experienced management, combined with our long-term strategy of investing and our industry wide affiliations, has made us one of the fastest growing hospitality companies in the industry. 

Above all else, we believe in putting our clients and our associates first. People helping people. That’s what life is about and we show that through our ethical business practices. Fairness and compassion is what runs our company. It’s at the core of all of our other business values.

Amerilodge Group is a first-time Major Ship Sponsor in 2019 in partnership with Chemical Bank.


Ascension St. Mary’s has long been known for clinical excellence and its comprehensive and coordinated medical care. As a regional referral center, Ascension St. Mary’s provides advanced care in neurosciences, cardiology, cancer care, orthopedics, emergency and trauma care. We are a verified Level II Trauma Center and certified Primary Stroke Center. We offer excellence in cancer treatment through our Seton Cancer Institute and offer high quality care at more than 20 specialty care centers throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

As part of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, we can provide more options for health and wellness needs, more access to a connected integrated group of medical professionals, and enhanced patient experiences. In Michigan, Ascension operates 15 hospitals and hundreds of related healthcare facilities. Ascension St. Mary’s has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019. 


Huntington is a full-service banking provider primarily operating across an eight-state banking franchise of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Our “Welcome” philosophy centers around deep relationship-building capabilities to best meet each customer’s specific needs. Following the conversion of FirstMerit locations to Huntington, service will be available through a banking network of nearly 1,000 traditional and supermarket branches, and through digital, telephone and ATM banking, including over 1,800 ATM locations. Huntington is a first-time sponsor of Tall Ship Celebration in 2019.


McLaren Bay Region is a 404-bed acute care hospital in Bay City, MI, providing specialty, primary and preventive services including cardiovascular, neuroscience, oncology, orthopedics, Family BirthPlace/women’s health, surgery, outpatient services, rehabilitation, home health and hospice care, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Emergency Department. McLaren Bay Region’s Main Campus is located at 1900 Columbus Ave. Our West Campus is located at 3250 E. Midland Rd., Bay City, which is also home to Karmanos Cancer Institute and McLaren Bay Special Care hospital. McLaren Bay Region is the only accredited Chest Pain Center in the Great Lakes Bay Region, is a Primary Stroke Center, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, and has earned a Patient Safety Excellence award from Healthgrades. McLaren Bay Region has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2003, 2016, and 2019.


With more than 60 locations across Michigan’s lower peninsula, Independent Bank Corporation (Nasdaq Symbol: IBCP) is a Michigan-based bank holding company with total assets of approximately $2.5 billion. With a full range of financial services including commercial banking, mortgage lending, investments, and title services, we’re committed to providing exceptional service and value to our customers, our stockholders, and our communities. Independent Bank has been a Major Ship Sponsor in 2003, 2006, 2013, 2016, and 2019.

Additional Activity Sponsors


What is a Tall Ship?

What is a Tall Ship?

What is a Tall Ship?

What is a Tall Ship?


The term “Tall Ship” has been used occasionally since Shakespearian times. Most agree, though, that the term was first used regularly following the organization of the first Tall Ship races. Today, the term is used frequently as a generic description of traditional sailing vessels of all rigs.

There are many different types of sailing ships, but they all have certain basic things in common. Every sailing ship has a hull, rigging, and at least one mast to hold up the sails that use the wind to power the ship. Ballast weighs down the bottom of the ship so the wind does not push it over. At one time the convention was that only a vessel with three or more masts was called a “ship”. A single or two-masted vessel was called a “boat”. Little notice is now taken of this supposed rule.

In 1955 a London solicitor, Bernard Morgan, had the idea of organizing a race to bring together the last of the world’s great square-rigged ships. He obtained the support of Earl Mountbatten and together with influential people in the sailing world an organizing committee was formed and went to work. The result was a spectacular race from Torbay to Lisbon in 1956 which caught the imagination not only of the public but also of the media who coined the phrase “Tall Ships’ Race.” It was judged to be such a success that the Committee drew up articles of association and formed the Sail Training Association (STA) in order that the Races could be put on a permanent footing.


2019 Bay City Tall Ship Fleet

Explore the
2019 Tall Ships

You won’t want to miss this lineup!

2019 Bay City Tall Ship Fleet

Explore the
2019 Tall Ships

You won’t want to miss this lineup!


Vessel Type: Gaff Schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Bay City, MI
Sparred Length: 85’
Draft: 9’ 9”
Beam: 18’ 5”
Rig height: 76’
Sail Area: 3,560 square feet
Power: 135 HP Diesel
Hull: Steel

The schooner Appledore IV is owned and operated by BaySail, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Bay City, Michigan. Tall ship adventures aboard Appledore IV further BaySail’s mission to “foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide personal development opportunities for learners of all ages through shipboard and land-based educational experiences.” Since its founding in 1998, more than 48,000 young people have experienced a BaySail education program.



Vessel Type: Gaff Schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Bay City, MI
Sparred length: 65’
Draft: 8’
Beam: 14’
Rig Height: 63’ 6”
Sail Area: 1,444 square feet
Power: 90 HP Diesel
Hull: Steel


The schooner Appledore V is owned and operated by BaySail, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Bay City, Michigan. Appledore V was the fifth in a series of Appledore schooners commissioned by Herb and Doris Smith and launched in 1992. Traverse Tall Ship Company purchased Appledore V from the Smiths and sailed her under the name Westwind. BaySail acquired the ship in 2002 and changed her name back to Appledore V. She joins sister ship Appledore IV as an education and sail training vessel operating around the Great Lakes.


Bluenose II

Vessel Type: Gaff Schooner
Flag: Canada
Homeport: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Sparred Length: 143’
Draft: 16’ 3”
Beam: 27’
Rig Height: 125’
Sail Area: 11,000 square feet
Power: 2 x 330 HP
Hull: Wood

BLUENOSE II is an international sailing ambassador and is home ported in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The vessel’s main purpose is to promote tourism for Nova Scotia and make the ship available for short day cruises when in Nova Scotia. The mission is to promote the history and legacy of BLUENOSE & BLUENOSE II. To teach and promote seamanship and life skills in young Canadians.

BLUENOSE II is a replica of the original BLUENOSE, which was built in 1921 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Under Captain Angus Walters, she became famous as winner of the International Fishermen’s Series of schooner races from that date until the last race in 1938. BLUENOSE was featured on a Canadian postage stamp in 1928 and on the Canadian dime in 1937, where it can still be seen. The original BLUENOSE was lost in 1946 on a reef near Haiti.

BLUENOSE II, built in 1963, is owned by the Province of Nova Scotia. BLUENOSE II is operated and maintained by the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society, which also operates the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.


Vessel Type: 3-masted Schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Milwaukee, WI
Sparred Length: 137’
Draft: 8’ 9”
Beam: 24’
Rig Height: 95’
Sail Area: 5,916 square feet
Power: 2 x 180 HP Diesels
Hull: Wood

Over 900 volunteers completed Discovery World's tall ship, the Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan. This replica of a Great Lakes schooner, and Flagship of Wisconsin, operates as a floating classroom and goodwill ambassador for the State of Wisconsin. From her homeport in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan, the S/V Denis Sullivan offers educational day sails and private charters for people of all ages from May though September and is committed to re-establishing the historical, cultural and environmental bonds between the community and one of its most valuable resources.

She winters in Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean. Three hour LakeWater Expeditions and Dockside Discovery educational programs are offered for 5th through 12th graders. High school and college students can partake in five to 14-day Science Under Sail programs in the Great Lakes, Bahamas and Caribbean.


Vessel Type: Gaff Topsail Schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Traverse City, MI
Sparred Length: 92’
Draft: 7’ 7”
Beam: 16’ 2”
Rig Height: 71’
Sail Area: 2,270 square feet
Power: Detroit Diesel 471 100 HP
Hull: Wood

The MHA's schooner Madeline is a reconstruction of a mid-19th century Great Lakes schooner and one of the State of Michigan's official tall ships. She was built between 1985 and 1990 in Traverse City, Michigan by volunteer members of the non-profit group, the Maritime Heritage Alliance.

Her mission is to serve as a floating center for the interpretation of Great Lakes maritime history. She is open to visitors in her home port of Traverse City and travels to other Great Lakes ports under local sponsorship. Madeline's financial support comes entirely from people who are interested in preserving Great Lakes history. This includes MHA members and others around the Great Lakes who believe in what we are doing.


Vessel Type: Brig
Flag: USA
Homeport: Erie, PA
Sparred Length: 198’
Draft: 11’
Beam: 32’ 6”
Rig Height: 120’
Sail Area: 11,600 square feet
Power: 2x200 HP Diesels
Hull: Wood

The U.S. Brig Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel. In 1813, she had a crew of 155 men and boys who manned her sails, 18 carronades and two long guns. The crew was organized into two watch sections (port and starboard) for routine duties while underway. More experienced sailors were stationed aloft, while others under the direction of petty officers manned the rigging which controlled the sails from deck. In battle, men also manned the guns and carronades. Boys carried the black power charges from the magazine to the guns. Marines and soldiers were assigned to the fighting tops on the masts where they could fire their muskets on the enemy ships. Officers directed setting sails, firing cannon, and maneuvering the brig in response to orders from the captain.

The current Niagara, the third reconstruction of the original vessel, was launched in Erie in 1988, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Niagara sails the Great Lakes, preserving and interpreting the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and acting as an ambassador in her capacity as the flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.



Vessel Type: Schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Traverse City, MI
Sparred Length: 68’
Draft: 6’ 3”
Beam: 13’ 3”
Rig Height: 70’
Sail Area: 1,620 square feet
Power: Perkins Inboard Straight 6 Diesel
Hull: Steel

The schooner Perception, operated by Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training, is a 68-foot steel-hulled schooner built in New Zealand in 1985 from plans designed by the famous naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff in 1924. She is gaff-rigged, and her Sitka spruce masts stand 70 feet tall. She is fitted with teak woodwork throughout. The previous owner, a prominent east coast architect, sailed her from New Zealand to AustraliaBrazil, the Galapagos, the Caribbean, and Portugal.

 In 2017 Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training purchased her to fulfill our mission of teaching traditional sailing methods to Gold Star Teens (children of fallen military heroes), children of deployed, wounded, or ill veterans, grieving youth, and veterans and their families. We intend to provide a memorable and life-changing experience to our clients absolutely tuition-free, with no financial burden upon their families. Those of us on the board know from experience that learning a new skill, being in the company of friends who understand and have had similar experiences, and being with nature on a quiet sailboat on a breezy summer day can have a tremendous effect on one’s state of mind and outlook on life. Youth who have experienced the death of a loved one at an early age live daily with a constant reminder of the tragedy that has affected their family and their world. An experience such as the one we offer gives them the opportunity to get away from that environment for a while. Being on a classic tall ship can transcend time and widen their world of experience. It is easier to see one’s part in the universe, rather than the narrow world of grief.

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Picton Castle

Vessel Type: Barque
Flag: Cook Islands
Homeport: Port of Avatiu, Cook Islands
Sparred Length: 179’
Draft: 14’ 6”
Beam: 24’
Rig Height: 97’
Sail Area: 12,450 square feet
Power: 690 HP Diesel
Hull: Steel

The 284-ton Barque Picton Castle is a traditionally rigged and operated sail training ship based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, but best known for her voyages around the world. Over the past 15 years, the ship has made five voyages around the world, one around the Atlantic Ocean, two trips to the Great Lakes and countless other jaunts up and down the coasts of the U.S. and Canada. Along the way we’ve introduced more than 1,000 people to the rewards of square-rigged sailing.

In 2006, Tall Ships America (then ASTA) named us Sail Training Program of the Year. In 2011, our skipper, Capt. Daniel Moreland, was named Sail Trainer of the Year by Sail Training International. In October 2012, the Picton Castle cast off on an all-new adventure, an 8-month exploration of the Pacific Ocean. Ports of call will include Grenada and Portobelo, Panama on the Atlantic Ocean, then after a transit of the famous Panama Canal it will be on to the Galapagos, Pitcairn Island, Mangareva, Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga - to name just some of our stops! As a training ship all on board work, stand watch, and learn the ways of a square-rigged sailing ship. Workshops are conducted in wire and rope rigging, sail making, boat handling, navigation, and practical seamanship. The ship also delivers much-needed educational materials and other supplies to the remote islands she visits. She is outfitted to the highest standard with safety gear and equipment.


Vessel Type: Topsail schooner
Flag: USA
Homeport: Baltimore, MD
Sparred Length: 157’
Draft: 12’ 6”
Beam: 26’ 4”
Rig Height: 107’
Sail Area: 9,018 square feet
Power: 2 x 165 HP Caterpillar Diesels
Hull: Wood

Baltimore Clippers, sleek, fast and maneuverable vessels, gained fame as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships provoked the Royal Navy to attack Baltimore in 1814. Francis Scott Key, seeing the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after the 25-hour British bombardment, was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

One of the most successful privateers was Chasseur, launched from Fells Point. In a daring voyage to Great Britain, her captain declared a solo blockade of the British Isles. This caused the British Admiralty to call vessels back to the British Isles to protect their merchant ships. Chasseur captures or sank 17 vessels before returning home in 1815. Upon her arrival in Fells Point, she was greeted by cheering crowds and dubbed the “Pride of Baltimore.”

Pride of Baltimore II is a reconstruction of this early 19th-century Baltimore Clipper, as was her predecessor, Pride of Baltimore. For nearly four decades, these modern-day “prides” of Baltimore have promoted historical maritime education, fostered economic development and tourism, and represented the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world. Since her commissioning in 1988, Pride II has sailed 250,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries.

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NAO Santa Maria

Vessel Type: Square Rig
Flag: Spain
Homeport: Huelva, Spain
Sparred Length: 95’
Draft: 9’
Beam: 25’
Rig Height: 80’
Sail Area: 2,691 square feet
Power: 2 x 234 HP John Deere Diesels
Hull: Fiberglass covered by Iroko wood

The Nao Santa Maria is a replica of a 15th century square sail ship, built to celebrate Huelva’s 525th anniversary. This project embodies the goal of retracing history in an effort to promote the combination of heritage, tourism, and regional culture utilizing a vessel that was once the vehicle of these encounters between worlds centuries ago. The Nao Santa Maria serves as a traveling ambassador for the province of Huelva to all the Spanish, European, and American ports the ship visits.


St. Lawrence II

Vessel Type: Brigantine
Flag: Canada
Homeport: Kingston, Ontario
Sparred Length: 72’
Draft: 8’ 6”
Beam: 14’
Rig Height: 57’
Sail Area: 2,50 square feet
Power: 125 HP Caterpillar 3056
Hull: Steel

Brigantine Incorporated is a registered charity dedicated to empowering, connecting, and inspiring youth through the challenges of sailing a traditionally rigged ship. Through experiential learning and skills development we build confidence, strength, and leadership in our ship's crew. The unique shipboard environment we provide forges friendships, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility to the community. Our sail training programs broaden horizons and inspire our youth to be a positive force in the world.

Brigantine Incorporated is also committed to preserving rare maritime skills and heritage, promoting respect for our natural environment, and providing the training and experience required to become an outstanding professional mariner.

The S.T.V. St. Lawrence II is a custom built sailing ship that serves as a platform for immersive outdoor adventure programs. The ship was built by Kingston shipyards in 1953 to a design by Francis MacLachlan and Mike Eames. The ship was designed with a level of complexity built in which requires a high degree of teamwork.


Sail Identification

Know your Sails

Sail Identification

Know your Sails

1. Fore mast
2. Main mast
3. Mizzen mast 
4. Flying jib   
5. Outer jib
6. Inner jib
7. Fore topmast staysail
8. Fore course
9. Fore lower topsail
10. Fore upper topsail
11. Fore lower topgallant sail
12. Fore upper topgallant sail   


13. Fore royal
14. Main royal staysail
15. Main topgallant staysail
16. Main topmast staysail
17. Main course
18. Main lower topsail
19. Main upper topsail
20. Main lowr topgallant sail
21. Main upper topgallant sail
22. Main royal   
23. Mizzen royal staysail
24. Mizzen topgallant staysail

25. Mizzen topmast staysail
26. Main spencer
27. Crossjack, mizzen course
28. Mizzen lower topsail
29. Mizzen upper topsail
30. Mizzen lower topgallant sail
31. Mizzen upper topgallant
32. Mizzen royal
33. Spanker

Note that “Mizzen” is a more modern spelling of “Mizen” and that “sail” is frequently abbreviated to “s’l” as in “tops’l” and “stays’l”


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I see the ships come in and/or under sail?

The ships will arrive in downtown Bay City on Thursday, July 18 from 1:30-4:00 p.m. (approximately). Guests can purchase a Daily Admission Ticket to enter the parks at noon and watch the ships parade in. The parks will close to the public at 5:00 p.m.

As they arrive downtown, the ships will not be under sail. Unfortunately, there is not a place to see the ships under sail from shore.

What do I need to purchase to access the festival?
Guests are required to pay a daily admission fee to enter the parks for each day you wish to attend. This provides access to all standard festival activities and services. Required for each day you wish to attend the festival.

To board and tour the visiting tall ships, guests must also purchase a Souvenir Passport. Passports are issued to each guest and are not transferable. They are good for the entire 4 days of the festival and allow the bearer to board and tour each visiting tall ship one time. Souvenir Passports are not valid for admission to the festival. Guests much also purchase a daily admission ticket for each day they wish to attend.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the festival?
All festival attendees are required to purchase a daily admission ticket for each day you wish to attend the festival. Children 36” and under are admitted free of charge and must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Each sail-away passenger is required to have a daily admission ticket to enter Tall Ship Celebration. A free admission ticket will be issued to each sail-away passenger - via email - prior to Tall Ship Celebration. 

There is no age limit to enter the festival or sail aboard Appledore IV or V. However, children 6 years old and under are required by Michigan law to wear a lifejacket at all times while aboard the vessel. We strongly advise that you bring your own lifejacket. BaySail and Tall Ship Celebration will not be responsible for providing them to sail-away passengers.


What are my transportation/parking options getting to the event?
FREE PARKING is available for festival attendees at TBD. This is the best location for our handicap guests to park. A FREE shuttle service is provided to/from the TBD parking area to the main festival gate at Wenonah Park on Water Street. 

There will be an additional shuttle route taking guests from Wenonah Park (East side) to Veterans Memorial Park (West side) and vice versa. 

Shuttle service is provided by Bay Metro. Schedule TBD and will be posted soon. 

If you are participating in a sail-away excursion, please remember to allow yourself plenty of time to park and navigate the festival grounds. We recommend arriving 45 mins - 1 hour prior to your scheduled departure time. Ships depart on-time and tickets are not refundable.

What can/can't I bring to the event?
We strongly recommend dressing for the weather. The festival grounds are exposed to the elements and have limited areas of shade/cover from the sun. Sunscreen is essential and should be applied multiple times during your time in the sun. In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately and give your location within the festival.

Absolutely no weapons, coolers, alcohol or illegal substances are allowed within the festival grounds. The no weapons policy extends to guests with a CPL license. All backpacks, purses and bags will be searched by festival security at admission gates. No pets of any kind are allowed inside the festival grounds, with the exception of service animals as permitted by law.

Can I camp at the festival?

Yes! A limited number of trailer/motorhome spaces is available in Veterans Memorial Park south of the bridge. These “dry camping” spots do not include water or electricity and are not available for tents. There are 22 riverfront sites at $40 per night and 40 additional sites for $30 per night. Proceeds support programs of the Association for Youth Outdoor Adventures. For information or make a reservation, please email:

What are my other lodging options during my time in Bay City?

Three hotels are located within walking distance of the festival: DoubleTree by Hilton, Comfort Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott. More information about local lodging options can be found at or by calling the Great Lakes Bay Region Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800.444.9979. 

What is your refund policy?
All sales are final. Daily admission tickets and souvenir passports are not refundable.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
For information about Tall Ship Celebration, contact us at (989) 895-5193 or