Dublin’s Docklands area is the culminating point for the Tall Ships Race for 2012 and will be celebrating with four days of family fun this weekend. The last time the Race made a stop in Dublin was fourteen years ago in 1998.
The Irish Times reports that one million people are expected to come out to take part in the tall ships festival. 1,400 volunteers have been recruited to help run the festival which will feature tours of the ships as well as food, theatre, shopping and music.
Nearly 50 vessels will be sailing the Liffey River, ending a race that began on July 5th in St Malo, France. The ships docked at other European ports including Lisbon and Cadiz during their travels. Prior to landing in Dublin Port this week, the ships left from A Coruña in northern Spain last Thursday.
The Tall Ships Race is an annual event which first began in 1956 and is organized by Sail Training International, a “which educates young people through sail training regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.”
Although Belfast and Waterford have played host to the Tall Ships Race in more recent years, Dublin has not welcomed it since 1998. The weekend promises lots of fun for young and old in Ireland’s capital city as the ships line either side of the river on the east side of the Sean O’Casey bridge.
Of particular note is the Parade of Sail which will happen on Sunday, August 26th at 11am. All of the ships will launch their sails to offer a stunning display as they leave Dublin.
Project manager Mary Weir said “It’s unique in that we all can remember seeing paintings of Tall Ships down as far as Capel Street Bridge in Dublin, but now we don’t see them as much anymore, so I think that actually draws people. It’s a very family-orientated event.”
Here's the RTE news report on the launch of the festival: