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.

Wenonah Park (East Side)

Make and Take—
Tall Ship Kit

Sponsored by Saginaw Valley State University

Build your own tall ship from kits designed and produced locally.

“Color Our World”
Mosaic Mural

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Presented by Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum
Sponsored by McDonald’s of Michigan

Grab a paint brush and add your own artistic expression to “tiles” that will form a giant mosaic mural.

Face Painting

Presented by CAN Council
Sponsored by Two Men and a Truck

Fanciful face painting for our whimsical guests.

Veterans Memorial Park (West Side)

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Art in the Park

Presented by The Great Lakes Market

Shop for one-of-a-kind original works of beauty, style, and pricelessness.

Storyteller’s Corner

Presented by the Bay County Library System 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.

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Small Boat Building Workshop

Presented by Balcer Boat Works
Sponsored by Frankenmuth Insurance

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.


Presented by BaySail

Learn how to tie knots and make a souvenir.

Make and Take—Lighthouse Kit

Presented by S.R.M.H.S
Sponsored by Bay City Town Center

Build your own lighthouse and learn about our own Saginaw River Rear Range Light.


Make and Take—
Scrimshaw Art

Presented by Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum
Sponsored by WCMU Public Media

Learn how to replicate the fine art of scrimshaw on special Yupo paper.

Ring of Steel Action Theatre


Sponsored by MBS International Airport

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.

Boating Skills Virtual Trainer

Presented by America’s Boating Club

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. 

Make and Take—
Nautical Masterpiece


Presented by Studio 23/The Arts Center
Sponsored by Mid-Michigan Health

Artists from Studio 23 will teach you how to paint your own nautical masterpiece that you can take home as a souvenir of your Tall Ship Celebration experience.


Presented by SBCSA

Lend a hand and help raise the sails.

The Amycita

Presented by S.R.M.H.S

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. 

The Super Pumper

Presented by Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum

Visit the “T-Rex” of fire pumpers, the Super Pumper which was built in 1963 for the New York City Fire Department. At low pressures, the truck can pump up to 10,000 gallons of water per minute and is still considered the world’s largest pumper. It uses technology developed by the marine industry and was originally used to fight fires on the wharf.

Special Events

These special events occur outside of normal festival hours, at other locations around town, and may charge an additional fee. See each description for more details.

At the Festival

Pancakes with Pirates

In Veterans Memorial Park at The Quarterdeck

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. ($10 adults, 10 & under $7)

Sail-Away Adventures

Sail-Aways depart from Veterans Memorial Park

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. Advance reservation is recommended. Click here for schedule and pricing.

Tours of the Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse

Tours depart from Veterans Memorial 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—Saturday, 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)

Princess Wenonah/Islander Cruises

Departing from Veterans Memorial Park

The M/V Princess Wenonah and Islander will offer several trips with great photo opportunities daily, including 30 minute guided tours and 2 hour lunch cruises. Events range from $20 to $45. 

Call (989) 891-2628 or visit

Plein Air Art Exhibit

Wenonah Park & Studio 23

Artists will be spread throughout the festival painting new works inspired by the visiting ships. Join artists at Studio 23 for a reception celebration their finished work on Saturday, July 20 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. (FREE)

First @ Fellowship

DoubleTree Hotel - Outdoor space

First Presbyterian Church of Bay City welcomes everyone to a non-denominational worship service at the DoubleTree’s outdoor gathering area on Sunday, July 21, at 8:15 a.m. (FREE)

Around Town

Star Bridge Street Party

Third Street, between N Water & Saginaw

You’re invited to a community street party to celebrate the return of the tall ship fleet to Bay City! Join residents and visiting crew on Third Street under the Start Bridge in Downtown Bay City. Thursday, July 18, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. (FREE)

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, July 20, 12 pm—4 pm (FREE)

Storm: A Visual Concert Experience

State Theatre - 913 Washington Ave

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. Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m. ($10 General Admission)

Planetarium Shows

100 Center Ave

Shows at the Delta College Planetarium will start hourly on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, from 1:00—6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, July 21, from 1:00—4:00 p.m.

A special presentation of “First on the Moon,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, will play on Saturday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m.  Call 989-667-2260 or visit for more details. (Adults $7; Children 3-18, Seniors 60+, Delta students, and military personnel $5)

Historic Church Tours

Historic architecture, stained glass, woodcarvings and more. Friday—Sunday, July 19—21, from 12 p.m.—4 p.m. (FREE)

Trinity Episcopal Church
Center Avenue and N Grant Street

First Presbyterian Church
Center Avenue and Jackson Street

USS Edson Tours

1680 Martin St

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 a.m.—7 p.m. (Adults $10; Children $8)

An Evening with Great Lakes Divers

State Theatre - 913 Washington Ave

Four Great Lakes divers present stories of their underwater adventures. Saturday, July 20, 7 p.m. ($7 General Admission)

Gold Star Families Memorial Monument

Battery Park - Center Ave, next to City Market

The Michigan Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to the families and friends of those servicemen and women whose lives were sacrificed while on active duty, is located in the recently renovated Battery Park next to City Market on Center Avenue, three blocks east of Wenonah Park. (FREE)

Historic Masonic Temple Tours

700 N Madison Ave

Join the Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple for a peek into this beautiful Bay City landmark built in 1893 by the Free and Accepted Masons of Lodge 129. You will notice the names of some of Bay City’s founding business owners on the stained glass windows as you wander through the building’s  color-themed rooms. Open to the public on Saturday, July 20th, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Later in the evening, come back for a special Tall Ships Midnight Monster Movie screening of the fun-filled throwback film, The Goonies! Showtimes are 6:00p.m., 9:00p.m.  and midnight. (Admission $2, Crew Members admitted FREE with credentials)