An insider's guide to the Tall Ships Festival

Tall Ships Nova Scotia 2009 can easily overwhelm the eager visitor, soMetro has prepared an insider’s guide to help you get your sea legs.

 

Tall Ships Nova Scotia 2009 can easily overwhelm the eager visitor, so Metro has prepared an insider’s guide to help you get your sea legs.

 

For the full experience, start at the Seaport near Pier 21. The ships open for boarding at 10 a.m. tomorrow, but Corrine MacLellan of Tall Ships 2009 has a special treat for the early birds.

 

“We have these great pancake breakfasts,” she says. “There are two at Historic Properties and there’s also one in Dartmouth. It’s a great way to come down and kick off your day.”

 

Breakfast costs a mere $3 and is served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow and Saturday at Historic Properties. It moves to Alderney Landing in Dartmouth at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, and it’s free. Proceeds from the Halifax breakfasts go to charity.

On Saturday, a Crew Parade starts 10 a.m. at Bishop’s Landing. At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Bishop’s Landing hosts a show-stopping naval display celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Navy Dockyard.

“It’s going to include hundreds of people in period dress,” says MacLellan. The event will also look ahead to next year, when the Canadian Navy turns 100.

You can take a break from the inevitable blazing sun by visiting the entertainment tents at Pogue on the Wharf (Queen’s Landing) or Keith’s Festival Plaza (near Summit Place).

“Those go from 11 a.m. to midnight, and we have a whole bunch of Maritime music lined up,” says MacLellan.

When you’ve recovered, stroll down the waterfront to visit the ships on your list or just take in the sights.

At the end of the waterfront, catch a ride on a small ship — otherwise known as the ferry — over to “Pirate’s Landing,” a.k.a. Dartmouth. It’ll have family friendly theatre shows in the World Peace Pavilion, and while in Pirates Cove, children can enjoy the Captain’s Reading Corner, treasure hunts, temporary tattoos and three pirate inflatables. They can also learn how to make treasure bags, jewelry, and nautical knots.

Wrap up your day at 9:30 p.m. with fireworks (tonight through to Saturday), which will be set off from the harbour.