“We are really excited,” said Mayor Bill MacDonald. “The town is charged right up. There will be music all day,
Seven tall ships are confirmed to be taking part in the sail past, including Bluenose II, Bowdoin, Lord Nelson, Picton Castle, St. Lawrence II, When and If and Wylde Swan. There is some speculation an eighth ship may also take part but that has not been confirmed.
MacDonald said the plan is for the tall ships to depart from Digby mid-afternoon, with their sails set for Saint John, N.B.
“They should begin arriving around 5 p.m.,” he said, entering the Annapolis Basin between Goat Island and the Habitation, making their way to the town’s waterfront. Two tug boats will be on hand to help them manoeuvre into the harbour, said MacDonald, noting there are some weather based conditions to the visit.
“We are hoping and anticipating flat waters and clear skies. It should be something to see coming into the Annapolis waterfront,” he said.
On land, a full day of activities
The music moves to the waterfront at 5:30 p.m., with the Annapolis Royal Community Band playing during the sail past.
The Festival of Dance opening performance at King’s Theatre (2 p.m.) is another event the town is “really excited about,” said Amber Conrad, the town’s Canada 150 events
Also on tap for 2 p.m. is the Annapolis Royal Historical Association’s Canada 150/National Historic District Tour, leaving from the town lighthouse. The Pirates of Halifax will also be in town, pillaging and plundering their way along the boardwalk for most of the day.
In the evening at Fort Anne, the HMCS Acadia Sea Cadets will conduct Sunset Ceremonies beginning at 8:30 p.m., followed by a Candlelight Graveyard Tour scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m. The fireworks will also begin at 9:15 p.m. at the wharf, Conrad said, and there are lots of places along the waterfront for viewing both the tall ships and the fireworks.
With a history that dates to 1605, Annapolis Royal “has a very storied past” when it comes to tall ships and ship building, said MacDonald, with ships sailing to Europe and Jamaica for hundreds of years from what is Canada’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement of European immigrants. It’s been about 10 years since a tall ship has visited the town, he added.