Wisconsin June 08, 2019
Sail Back In Time At This Glorious Tall Ship Festival In Wisconsin
The Great Lakes have a long and varied Naval history and some of the coolest, most unique parts of that history will be on display in Kenosha this summer during the Kenosha Tall Ships Festival. Anyone who lives along the shores of the Great Lakes are familiar with these large sailing vessels that are often recreations of important and fascinating ships of the past. This summer, seven of those ships will dock in the Kenosha harbor for one of the most amazing experiences you can imagine.
The Kenosha harbor is the absolutely perfect location for this collection of ships.
Nowhere else in the state would you be able to explore so many ships up close and in one spot. This harbor provides an inlet where the ships can moor one right after the other, creating a truly fantastic sight.
The highlight of the weekend is the parade of ships and again, Kenosha, with its miles of undeveloped lakefront, is the perfect spot to view them.
The tall ships will go out with sails unfurled and show off on a path out in the water. Of course this is all wind and weather dependent, but the plan is for them to gather out in the water at the equivalent of 45th Street, head north towards 35th Street, turn and do a loop down towards the Anderson Art Center and end up back in harbor at the Festival Grounds.
These ships are truly a sight to be seen and are coming from all around the world to be here.
This is the Bluenose II out of Nova Scotia. It was built from the same plans and at the same yard as its namesake and it's the ship that graces the Canadian dime. This fishing schooner also was an undefeated racer.
Kenosha's own Red Witch will be on display. This gorgeous schooner is typical of Great Lakes schooners of years ago and she's available for rides all summer, not just during the festival.
These ships are engineering marvels and many are built and manned by volunteers with a small, regular crew. These homages to a different time are truly jaw-dropping and getting to go on board to explore is an awesome experience.
One of the coolest ships visiting during this festival is the Flagship Niagara out of Erie; it is said to be one of the most historically authentic tall ships in the United States.
It's a reproduction of the ship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry from the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Considered a major turning point in that war, this ship is chock full of history and is used by the US Coast Guard as a sailing school vessel.
Milwaukee's S/V Denis Sullivan,
which we've told you about in the past, will also head south for the festival. This awesome ship is the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner and it's an awesome learning experience we're lucky to have here in Wisconsin.
There will options to take a sail on the ships out into the waters of Lake Michigan both during the day and for special sunset/twilight sails.
All the boats will be available to tour while moored in the harbor plus there will be food and live music, demonstrations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and more. Your family will have a blast spending all day here and the festival runs August 1-4, 2019.
Admission is $18 for adults, $9 for children or $45 for a family of two adults and their children for one day of the festival. But with 13 miles of lakefront, you can also go watch the parade of sails for free from a number of locations along the water.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as you never know when this collection of ships may return.
With so much fascinating history and hands-on learning possible, it's something you and your family aren't going to want to miss. It's a gorgeous location and an awesome experience your kids will talk about for years to come.
Relive the romance and recklessness of life on the high seas right here in Wisconsin during this very cool festival right in Kenosha.
Address: 5501 Ring Road, Kenosha, WI, 53140.
Find out more about the Kenosha Tall Ships Festival by visiting
their website or checking out their Facebook page.
Admission information, a schedule and more detailed info on each of the ships is also available on the website.
No talk about life on the Great Lakes would be complete without learning about the shipwrecks that have happened there.
Learn about the sinking of the Lady Elgin here.