The largest tall ships festival in almost a decade is coming to Halifax this summer, but organizers need to double their volunteers to make it happen.
Between 40 and 50 tall ships will come this July 16-20, bringing more than 2,000 crew and up to one million visitors.
The bigger size means more volunteers are needed and currently the festival has 400 of its needed 800-1,000 people. Organizers are hoping people will go to tallshipsnovascotia.com to sign up.
“This is the 25th anniversary of Tall Ships actually occurring here. It was 1984 when it first happened,” said Waterfront Development Corporation president Colin MacLean.
“To be in this place and have this connection to the international community is just very, very exciting.”
Ships will be coming from 30 different countries, including France, the United States, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The 2007 festival generated $27.5 million in economic benefits for the province, including $2.5 million in provincial tax. The 2007 event drew between 30 and 35 ships, mostly from North America.
This year’s event will be bigger. Aside from more ships overall, there will also be about 15 of the largest, Class A ships. In 2007, there were less than five.
Atlantic Superstore has donated $100,000 to cover the cost of volunteer meals for the event.
“We had a great turnout (last year) with volunteers. We had over 600 participate,” said festival director Leanne Strathdee.
“(This year) there are more ships, more crew and more to do.”