Tall ships festival kicks off on Thursday - WNEM TV 5

Tall ships festival kicks off on Thursday

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

The tall ship celebration is nearly here and that means a mad rush to make sure all of the details are perfect and in place.

A few years back, Michael Martin served at the Saginaw River Coast Guard Station, giving him a chance to see the majestic vessels.

"I love the tall ships and I got to meet a lot of the great people of Bay City and I started helping them out and I really like doing this," Martin said.

Shirley Roberts, coordinator of the festival, is scrambling to get everything ready for the four day celebration.

"Nothing beats the moment when the bridge goes up and the first fleet of ships arrive in the Saginaw River downtown," she said.

Advance teams from at least one of the ships have already arrived.

"It's fantastic. I think it looks like a very nice event site. All the tents are up so it looks like it's going to be a nice area, nice festival," said Emanuel Persson, expedition manager for the Draken.

The Draken made the trip all the way from Norway. Persson is making sure everything is ready for her arrival on Thursday. He said fans will have a chance to get souvenirs.

The Draken is the largest viking ship built in modern times.

"Of course T-shirts. We have caps, posters, postcards. We've got a very nice book," Persson said.

Meanwhile, Martin said this is his sixth time assisting the tall ship celebration. He said he looks forward to many more.

"This whole event is mostly run by volunteers. So many and it's done every three years so sometime we have a hard time remembering how to do everything, but we make it happen," Martin said.

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