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Tall ships moving to Two Harbors for 2022 event

Festival of Sail will return to Duluth once construction on the seawall is complete.

File: Tall Ships
Festival of Sail will take place in Two Harbors in 2022 due to contraction on Duluth's waterfront behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. File / Ellen Schmidt / Duluth News Tribune

Festival of Sail, or Tall Ships, is moving to Two Harbors for next year's event due to construction planned on Duluth's seawall behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

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  • Walz visits Duluth seawall to highlight state bonding projects

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Rather than postponing the 2022 festivities, event organizers approached Two Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson, who offered to host the festival along their shorefront with zero hesitation. The town of less than 4,000 people is planning to expect approximately 100,000 visitors over the three-day period scheduled for Aug. 4-7.
"In the grand scheme of things, this will be the largest event on the North Shore and we're not taking that lightly," Swanson said. "We're really all hands on deck."

Asked how the small town plans to handle all the traffic, Swanson said a group of passionate community members who want to see the town do well economically have already formed to discuss logistics such as traffic control. Regular meetings and messaging with businesses will pick up early in 2022.

Swanson already knows they'll need to utilize parking space north of town, up Lake County Highway 2, where shuttles will pick up festival-goers and transport them down to the waterfront. VIP parking will be available by the water.

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"We're going to make sure we do everything we can to make it fun for the people who visit as well as go easy on the community," he said. "I just want to encourage the general public it's well thought out. It's not going to be perfect. Nothing ever is. But there's a lot of contingencies in place and I think it's going to be a great outcome based on the help that steps forward to make this a success."

A record number of 12 ships will appear in the upcoming festival in Two Harbors, Festival of Sail producer Craig Samborski said in a news release. They include U.S. Brig Niagara, Pride of Baltimore II, Inland Seas, Schooner Utopia, St. Lawrence II of Ontario, Nao Trinidad of Spain, Gerhard Folgero, Sundew, Abbey Road, Schooner Charley, Edna G. and the 2021 winner of the Chicago Yacht Club’s Chicago to Mackinaw Race, Schooner Perception.

"Two Harbors has that wonderful small-town charm, yet boasts a stunning, expansive waterfront," Samborski said. "Two Harbors’ Agate Bay has extensive dock space for more ships and the event site on land is nearly three times as large as previous years. Not to mention the impressive volume of Great Lakes commercial ship traffic to ogle."

The Festival of Sail will return to Duluth once construction on the waterfront is complete.

New features of this year's festival include craft whiskey and beer tasting on the ships, limited tickets for exclusive access to the ships without lines, advanced parking passes, passes to skip lines, family ticket bundles as well as access to a private VIP tent with seating, catered lunch, snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks, while enjoying a pass to skip lines.

Tickets are on sale at showclix.com/tickets/festival-of-sail-lake-superior . Volunteers are needed to help with the event. Visit lakesuperior.festofsail.com/ to get involved.

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