Tall Ships Festival brings thousands to Pensacola Bay

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Thousands of people from all over the country will make their way through Plaza da Luna this weekend for the Tall Ships Festival. 

Thursday the “Tall Ships” sailed into Pensacola Bay. It was a day of preparation but Friday, the festival started. 

“We’ll literally have thousands of people go on and off these vessels,” Tall Ships Pensacola Committee Chairman Sterling Gilliam said.

There are four ships docked at Plaza da Luna for visitors to tour from 10 am. to 6 p.m. through Sunday.

“It’s been a pretty good experience…let the kids see what marine time navigation is all about,” Bryan O’Neal said.

O’Neal and his family are here from Lancaster, South Carolina. He grew up in Charleston and has seen the ships before but nothing like these.

“I don’t think people understand the details of how things are put together and how the clever hooks are tie wired and tarred together,” O’Neal said. “It’s just amazing.”

Cameras and phones were in the air as everyone tried to get a shot of history. There are also two ships taking people out on 90-minute trips into Pensacola Bay. All roads in the area south of Gimble will be closed to traffic. 

Saturday activities will go on rain or shine but if there’s severe weather they will shut down until it passes over.

Below is a full schedule of what to expect this weekend: 

Friday

  • 9 a.m. — 10 a.m. Educational & Special Tours 
  • 10 a.m. — 10 p.m. Tall Ships® Festival 
  • 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. Onboard Tours 
  • 11 a.m. –  5 p.m. Kids Crew Activities: Presented by Margaritaville Beach Hotel and Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach
    • 11 a.m. – Noon: Pirate Hats & Mermaid Crowns
    • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pictures with the Mermaid
    • Noon – 1pm: Pirate Tattoos
    • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Pictures with the mermaid
    • 1:30 p.m. –  3:30 p.m. Visit with Live Pirate Characters… arrrrr!
    • 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Pensacola ROCKS!
    • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Pirate Eye Patches
  • 5 p.m. — 7 p.m. Dave McCormick at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
  • 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. “Perdido Brass” with members of the Pensacola Symphony on the VIP Stage
  • 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. – Salute to Sunset VIP Viewing Party –  Buy Tickets 
  • 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. PYC & Media Reception “Picton Castle” 
  • 8 p.m. — Jamall Richardson at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden

Saturday

  • 9 a.m. — 10 a.m. Educational & Special Tours 
  • 10 a.m. — 10 p.m. Tall Ships® Festival 
  • 10 a.m.— 6 p.m. Onboard Tours 
  • 11 a.m. –  5 p.m. Kids Crew Activities: Presented by Margaritaville Beach Hotel and Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach
    • 11 a.m. – Noon: Pensacola ROCKS!
    • 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pictures with the Mermaid
    • Noon – Pirate Hats & Mermaid Crowns
    • 1:30 p.m. –  3:30 p.m. Visit with Live Pirate Characters… arrrrr!
    •  3 p.m. – Pirate Tattoos
  • 3 p.m. – Scenic Heights at the VIP Stage
  • 4 p.m.- Billy Brown Band at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
  • 6 p.m. – Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers at the VIP Stage
  • 7 p.m. – John Hart Project at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Ship to Shore VIP Pairing Experience – Buy Tickets

Sunday

  • 9 a.m. — 10 a.m. Educational & Special Tours 
  • 10 a.m. — 7 p.m. Tall Ships® Festival 
  • 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. Onboard Tours 
  • 11 a.m. –  4 p.m. Kids Crew Activities: Presented by Margaritaville Beach Hotel and Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach
    • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pictures with the Mermaid
    • 1:30 p.m. –  3:30 p.m. Visit with Live Pirate Characters… arrrrr!
  • 12 p.m. — Billy Brown Band at the VIP Stage
  • 1 p.m. – Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
  • 3 p.m.- Yeah Probably at the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
  • 7 p.m. Crew Party at O’Riley’s Irish Pub

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