Boston canceled the final majestic Parade of Sail that usually concludes the Tall Ships event as part of cost-cutting for this month's sailing festival in Boston. But today Halifax, Nova Scotia, is making up for Boston's tight-fisted gesture.
In glorious sunshine, Halifax held the Parade of Sail this afternoon for the 43 Tall Ships that participated in the Nova Scotia portion of the tall ships, with a three-hour circular sail around the shores of the one of the world's best natural deepwater harbors. The event was broadcast live, and was also available for viewing on a live webcast on the Halifax Tall Ships website.
|The United States Coast Guard barque Eagle sails past the waterfront during the Tall Ship festival Parade of Sail in Halifax harbor today. (REUTERS/Paul Darrow)|
The ships arrived in Halifax last Thursday, and I was in the city on vacation with my family on Friday to see and board many of the vessels docked on the vibrant Halifax waterfront. Boston's Tall Ships portion drew about 3.1 million visitors. Halifax hasn't disclosed full attendance figures yet, but it was probably a healthy number as well. Yet the waterfront area on Friday was able to cope with the large crowds comfortably. Warm Canadian hospitality helped soften the subtle but effective security presence.
The fast-developing Halifax waterfront, a mix of restored piers, new office buildings and condo complexes, is home to a number of high-end restaurants and shopping areas. The boardwalk was crowded with families hopping on and off the vessels and sampling fresh seafood (and plenty of junk food). It was a great buzz, and an appropriate tribute to the magnificent ships and their crews.
The local favorites drew plenty of attention: the Bluenose II, built and based in nearby Lunenburg, and the HMS Bounty, the replica built in Lunenburg for the 1962 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty.
After the Parade of Sail, watched by vast crowds on the Halifax shore and across the harbor on the Dartmouth shore, some of the ships will join the final leg of this year's Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge Race, sailing to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other vessels will travel to six smaller Nova Scotian ports, including Lunenburg and Sydney, for short stays before heading to Belfast.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
Is your organization holding an event? Post it on our calendar (use "worldlyboston" for the keyword).