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A dozen tall ships will sail into Buffalo this summer

Posted at 1:16 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 01:41:41-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Forget the classic Christmas song. Come this summer, you'll be able to sing "I saw 12 ships come sailing in on Independence Day, on Independence Day."

A fleet of a dozen historic call ships from harbors across the United States, Canada, Spain and the South Pacific will arrive in Buffalo this summer as the Queen City plays 'host port' to the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Great Lakes 2019 race fro Toronto to Buffalo. The event takes place July 4th through the 7th.

As part of the festivities, 'Basil Port of Call: Buffalo' will take place at Canalside, featuring live entertainment, historic exhibits and a chance for families to explore the vessels.

The ships will include the world's only replica of a Great Lakes schooner; Toronto-based Empire Sandy, the largest schooner in Canada; and Nao Santa Maria, a Spain-built replica of the flagship of Christopher Columbus' exploration fleet.

Organizers are also looking for 800 volunteers for the event. In exchange for their help, they will receive a T-shirt, a commemorative poster, a passport for boarding the tall ships and free, preferred parking close to the event site. To sign up as a volunteer, click here.

The events at Canalside are free. To tour the tall ships, visitors will need to buy passport vouchers at Wegmans or online at