Tall ships visiting Sarnia
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.