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P.O.R.T.S. bringing Tall Ships to Port Clinton Featured

TS Playfair, one of the tall ships that will be in Port Clinton, was christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She is a brigantine, a two-masted square-rigged sailing vessel that was favored by pirates in the Mediterranean. Both Playfair and her sister ship Pathfinder are based out of Toronto. TS Playfair, one of the tall ships that will be in Port Clinton, was christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She is a brigantine, a two-masted square-rigged sailing vessel that was favored by pirates in the Mediterranean. Both Playfair and her sister ship Pathfinder are based out of Toronto.

People Organizing the Return of the Tall Ships Committee (P.O.R.T.S.) is excited to announce the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial events in Port Clinton.  The entire community will be celebrating the 200 years of freedom gained by Commander Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory some twelve miles from the mouth of the Portage River.

With a half dozen local communities participating in this regional celebration, the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration is guaranteed to be one of the largest events ever held in the Western Basin of Lake Erie, with Port Clinton in the middle of all the action. 

Two Tall Ships, the Pathfinder and Playfair, will call Port Clinton home Aug. 30-Sept 1. Dockside tours of these vessels will be offered during the three day event.  In addition, visitors to the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration will experience period re-enactors, story tellers, cannon demonstrations, an assortment of vendors, the Ohio State University Marching Band and other attractions in and around the Water Works Park area.  This celebration will operate in conjunction with the Knight of Columbus Annual Peach, Perch, Polka and Periogi Festival held at their banquet facility located at 109 East Perry Street in Port Clinton.

Co-chairs Bill Van Der Gessien and Debbie Hymore-Tester are working closely with the City of Port Clinton, Lake Erie Heritage Foundation and a committee of volunteers including Kathy and Dave Mehl, Bill Yuhaz, John Schaffner, Larry Fletcher, Jim Hansen, Mike Snider and Kate Bauer on the final touches for this event. 

According to Van Der Gessien organizers of similar events are telling him to expect a huge crowd.  “Organizers of similar events around the Great Lakes are telling us we could expect as many as 250,000 in the area for the event Labor Day Weekend.  There are many challenges with bringing that many people, two tall ships and all the other components together.  However, the positive impact to this community will be huge!”

Volunteers are the key to this event and Hymore-Tester is encouraging anyone interested to step up and help.  “The P.O.R.T.S. group is a very dedicated but very small group of people.  We need many helping hands to make this a successful event.  I would ask that any groups or individuals interested in volunteer opportunities August 30-September 1, please contact Mike Snider at 419-734-0515 or Debbie Hymore-Tester at 419-341-0378.”

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