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Published: Thursday, 7/10/2003

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It's hard to find a summer weekend in Toledo where there is not a festival, concert, sporting event, or some other entertaining activity. Nearly a week's worth of festivities will occur in mid-July when the Huntington Tall Ships dock in Toledo. From July 16th-20th 17 tall ships, will be docked in the heart of downtown, in the Maumee River one of the premier events celebrating the state's bicentennial.

The extravaganza will kick off with the much anticipated Parade of Sails into International Park on July 16 from 1-3:30p.m. as the magnificent sailing vessels come cruising into port. Visitors are encouraged to gather in Promenade Park, located on the west bank of the Maumee River in downtown Toledo, for the best viewing opportunities of the historical ships from the U.S., Canada, and India.

The Queen of the fleet is Caledonia, at 245 feet sparred. State Flagship, Red Witch, carrying the Ohio Bicentennial Sails, will lead the fleet. She will be followed by Bounty, Pride of Baltimore, Highlander Sea, Tarangini, and many more impressive ships. From July 17-20, the festivities continue with tours of the vessels available from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Tours will be available on both sides of the Maumee, but the majority of ships will be docked at International Park on the east bank of the river. For the more adventurous types, 90 minute to three-hour sailing opportunities will be scheduled on a limited number of ships. Day sails are available on a first

come, first served basis, so those interested should make reservations soon. Dockside viewing will be accessible for wheelchair patrons at most ship berths.

Music lovers will be in for a treat with a variety of musical acts lined up for the weekend in International Park. Promenade Park is the place to be on Saturday, featuring the annual Toledo Blues Festival, from 2 p.m-10 p.m. The Blues Festival features the best in local and national acts, and is free and open to the public. Other daily entertainment at International Park includes cannon battles and reenactments, strolling musicians, street performers, children's activities, vendors, exhibitors, educational programs, and various ship collectibles.

Shuttle buses will be available to transport people to both sides of the Maumee River. In addition, water taxis will be available, so bring a camera and hop aboard for a close up shot!

Tickets for Huntington Tall Ships Toledo are $12 in advance, or $15 at the gate and can be purchased at Ticket Master outlets, on-line at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at (419) 474-1333. For a listing of scheduled activities, check out www.tallshipstoledo.com. Don't miss out on this rare summer activity. For more information about other exciting summer activities, contact the Greater Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau at 419.321.6404 or log onto www.doToledo.org.

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