professional performances for children.
The festival will kick off with a new Children’s Pirate Parade, led by “Captain Papillion.” Pirate attire is encouraged for all ages. Throughout the day, children can explore a host of free activities, including touch tanks and sea critters with Project Oceanology and hands-on discovery activities with dozens of local nonprofit organizations.
As part of the festival’s expansion, local community youth programs will be highlighted on a new stage featuring a variety of dance and karate studios, youth choirs and bands. Professional children’s performers will be featured at the City Pier Stage, including Captain Papillion, Che Cartafalsa and Geoff Kaufman, Steve Elci, and the Comedy on Demand Comedy Troupe.
Children and families can stroll the pier to learn about real working boats, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, the “Mystic Whaler,” tugboats “Patricia Ann” and “John Paul” from Cross Sound Ferry Services and the New London Community Boating’s youth sailing program.
Several of the nationally renowned children’s book authors and illustrators featured at Fish Tales will discuss books about the sea. Candace Stanford’s book tells the history of Capt. Nathaniel Brown Palmer of Stonington, who discovered the continent of Antarctica at the age of 21. The series, “Undersea Encounters,” by Mary Jo Rhodes, explores underwater favorites, such as sea horses, sea turtles and kelp forests. For a complete listing of authors, visit the New London Main Street website.
Fish Tales is free and open to the public. Food, beverages and retail items will be available for purchase along the Waterfront Park. Highlights include Michael’s Dairy Ice Cream, which will present its new ice cream flavor, Buried Treasure.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a new or gently used children’s book to donate to the Whale’s Tales Book Bank, which contributes more than 5,000 books to New London youth each year through this program.
Fish Tales, Tugs and Sails is co-pro- duced by New London Main Street, Public Library of New London, Mitchell College, Michael’s Dairy, New London Youth Affairs and the U.S. Custom House Museum in New London.
For more information, call (860) 4442489 or visit www.newlondonmainstreet.org.