Tall ships vis­it­ing Sar­nia

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LOCAL NEWS - PAUL MORDEN - Sar­nia Ob­server

Tick­ets for next Au­gust’s Sar­nia Tall Ships Cel­e­bra­tion went on sale this week and are al­ready sail­ing out the door.

Vicky Praill, with Tourism Sar­nia-Lambton, said it an­nounced Mon­day tick­ets for the Aug. 10 and 11 Sar­nia visit by the tall ships were avail­able on­line, and more than 200 were al­ready gone by Tues­day.

Praill said they be­gan sell­ing tick­ets on­line last Fri­day to test the sys­tem prior to Mon­day’s an­nounce­ment, but some buy­ers didn’t wait.

“Peo­ple were buying tick­ets like crazy,” she said.

The on­line sales al­low or­ga­niz­ers to see where buy­ers are from and, so far, tick­ets have gone to com­mu­ni­ties around the re­gion, in­clud­ing Chatham, Lon­don and Wal­lace­burg, as well as lo­cal res­i­dents, she said.

The tick­ets, avail­able on­line at www.sar­ni­atall­ships.com, range from $9 to $14, be­fore taxes. Week­end passes are also avail­able.

Sar­nia is among nearly a dozen Great Lake ports host­ing stops by tall ships set to tour the re­gion in 2019.

Sar­nia’s event will be held on the wa­ter­front at Cen­ten­nial Park and is ex­pected to in­clude the ships Bluenose II, Pic­ton Cas­tle, Em­pire Sandy, Fair Jeanne and Ap­ple­dore IV.

Sar­nia was part of pre­vi­ous Tall Ships events in the Great Lakes in 2003 and 2000.

Or­ga­niz­ers have set a goal of at­tract­ing 30,000 to 40,000 peo­ple to next sum­mer’s Sar­nia visit.

They’ve es­ti­mated that will lead to an eco­nomic im­pact of $4 mil­lion to $5 mil­lion for the com­mu­nity, Praill said.

She added the of­fi­cial goal is a con­ser­va­tive one, con­sid­er­ing no host port in­volved in the 2016 Tall Ships tour at­tracted fewer than 65,000 peo­ple, and most saw 125,000 visitors or more.

“We def­i­nitely would like to hit that 100,000 mark,” Praill said.

The Sar­nia event, or­ga­nized by Tourism Sar­nia-Lambton and the City of Sar­nia, has also teamed up with Artzs­cape, an an­nual art sale in the park, and Blue­wa­ter Border­fest, a sum­mer mu­sic fes­ti­val, to of­fer a full week­end of at­trac­tions.

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