THUNDER BAY – A really big lake deserves a really big celebration and this year, Lake Superior Day welcomes the Norwegian Tall Ship Sorlandet! Since 2008, EcoSuperior has organized Lake Superior Day, a free, fun, family event that includes displays and activities for the whole family. In the past, the festival area at Marina Park has hosted Lake Superior Day but this year it takes place at Thunder Bay’s Pool 6 Cruise Ship Dock to accommodate the tall ship on Sunday, July 21 from 10 am to 5 pm.
“Hosting a tall ship will help to make this our largest event in Lake Superior Day history!” says EcoSuperior Program Coordinator Ashley Priem. “I was in Duluth, as a part of the Great Lakes Challenge, and asked if any of the tall ships were interested in coming to Thunder Bay”. The students onboard the Soerlandet, were interested in coming the the city, and will arrive soon.
Class Afloat is offering a two-week Youth Leadership Expedition aboard the Sørlandet that will challenge youth ages 14 – 21 in a fun and exciting environment as they participate in leadership and personal development workshops while “learning the ropes”
“If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing a tall ship – this is the perfect summer experience,” says Class Afloat president David Jones, the man responsible for bringing the Sørlandet into the Great Lakes. “Whether it’s Lake Superior’s spectacular scenery, a starry night on Lake Huron, a tall ship race on Lake Ontario or a fleet Parade of Sail into some of North America’s great cities – the memories of this summer are guaranteed to last a lifetime.”
Check out www.classafloat.com for more information on the students.
Tall Ship Sorlandet
The 57-metre (210 ft) Sorlandet is the oldest and largest fully rigged ship in operation today. She was built in 1927 in Norway and served as a training vessel for the Norwegian navy. She was later used for accommodations for German submariners in World War II. The Sorlandet’s first trip across the Atlantic was in 1933 when she was a highlight of the Chicago World Fair and served as the Norwegian pavilion. Currently, the ship hosts Class Afloat, an exclusive floating school offering a unique way to finish a high school diploma while visiting ports around the world. For nine months at a time, students live, study, sail and stand watch aboard the Sorlandet. The vessel travels through the Mediterranean, down the coast of Africa across to Brazil, and up through the Caribbean back to Nova Scotia. This year, the ship is re-enacting that historic voyage with a visit to Chicago and many other Great Lakes ports as part of the Tall Ships Challenge 2013.
Lake Superior Day Tours
During Lake Superior Day the Sorlandet will be available for public on deck tours with admission of $3 a person, free for children under 3 years of age. Public deck tours are also available on Monday, July 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm but no other activities will be available. Public parking is not available at Pool 6. Instead, people are encouraged to park off site and walk in or take the free Lake Superior Day shuttle. Three pick up locations are available; the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, the Waterfront Parkade at Red River Rd and Court St., and the Water Street Terminal, with service provided right to the dock every 15 minutes on Sunday and every 30 minutes on Monday. Please note that the tall ship is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
Lake Superior Day was started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of this great water body to the basin’s environment and economy. The Lake Superior Binational Forum initiated this basin-wide event which is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in July in communities all around the lake. In addition to the Sorlandet, Thunder Bay’s free activities include information displays and free tours of a Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue boat, and a working tugboat. Food vendors will be on site. The Science North Caravan will have a variety of fun hands-on activities for kids and the EcoDivers will be conducting an underwater clean up at the Pool 6 site. During the Lake Superior Day Opening Ceremony, the 10th Annual Lake Superior Binational Forum Environmental Stewardship Award will be presented to 2013 recipients and the Canadian Corps of Voyageurs will be on hand for a gun salute!