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By Lillian Boyd

After offering a virtual version of the Maritime Fest in 2020, Ocean Institute is hosting the 37th annual festival in-person from September 10-12. Organizers say that the Maritime Fest, formerly known as the Tall Ships Festival, is weekend full of events that will offer unique experiences for all ages.

The event will feature six visiting Tall Ships that will participate in cannon battle sails. Visitors will actively explore maritime history while experiencing the thrill of mock cannon battles at sea. At the dock, ships will showcase life as a sailor during the Ship and A Sailor’s Life Tours.

On land, the Ocean Institute campus will feature interactive, hands-on activities that spark curiosity in Marine Science and Maritime History. Attendees can enjoy educational experiences ranging from scrimshaw to Morse code, gold panning to Sea Monsters Scavenger Hunts, touching sharks to spotting mermaids.

“We are looking forward to celebrating all things maritime with our community,” says Dr. Wendy Marshall, President of Ocean Institute. “To be able to offer this kind of experience and enrichment again is incredibly exciting, and our team stands ready to make this a phenomenal weekend for all.”

Special events include Sails n’ Ales on Friday, September 9. Attendees can enjoy craft beer tasting from eight different local brewers, as well as music by American Idol contestant Casey Abrams, mermaid encounters, food vendors, and a prime viewing location of the visiting tall ships. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, dive into the Mermaid Breakfast. After dining with mermaids, guests will experience a dazzling swim show and story time. Festival General Admission is included with Mermaid Breakfast tickets.

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit:

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