The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival returns again to celebrate the sea in New London from September 9 through 11!
This year’s gathering of vessels of all types, including U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy vessels and the historic Top Sail Schooner Amistad, is made possible with the steadfast support of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of Tourism and the generous sponsorship of Dime Bank.
“Everyone at Dime Bank is proud to play a significant role in bringing this important cultural event to the City of New London,” said Nick Caplanson, Dime’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting events like the Maritime Fest symbolizes our founding promise to live in and give back to the communities we serve and helps set us apart from large and out-of-state banks that are removed from the area.”
The weekend will be filled with free activities, including tours of ships and fishing vessels, a fishing clinic with lots of giveaways, music, food trucks, a chance to meet captains and crews, a “Burning of Benedict Arnold in Effigy” production, activities for children, and much more! The Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, a dance troupe hailing from the Hudson Valley, will put on a puppet show Sunday at the Hygienic Art Park.
Bringing Connecticut’s maritime folklore into the festival, new this year is a Mermaids and Sea Monsters Parade. You can register online to be in the parade! It starts Saturday at 2 p.m. on Bank Street and ends at City Pier.
Led by the non-profit organization OpSail Connecticut, Inc. (OpSail CT), the festival’s goal is to educate visitors about Connecticut’s rich maritime history. The theme for this year’s event is “Uniting Our Shores,” and the festival seeks to do that by hosting a family-friendly weekend filled with opportunities to interact with:
- military personnel and the vessels that our U.S. military use to protect our shores and its citizens; and
- other sectors of the maritime industry ranging from vessels that protect the environment to fishing vessels that will show how seafood is locally sourced and brought to your tables.
“We aim to celebrate Connecticut’s maritime heritage by emphasizing the state’s diverse population and showing the varied ways the seas have brought people from all over the world to Connecticut,” said OpSail CT Chairman, Kevin Cavanagh.
There will be live music all weekend, including sea shanties from Marc Bernier to tunes from the local “The Carl Franklin Band,” and high-energy rock from “Derik and the Funbags.”
On Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. there will be a special 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony led by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.
The event begins Friday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. with an interesting opening ceremony and ends Sunday at 5 p.m. For details on everything in between, check out the full schedule at: ctmaritimefest.com.