Published November 08. 2012 4:00AM
Mystic - Mystic Seaport will celebrate the 71st anniversary of the arrival of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan at the museum by offering free admission to all visitors on Saturday.
The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the grounds will remain open to the public afterward in preparation for a 7 p.m. fireworks show over the Mystic River. Nighttime visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight.
During the day, there will be a variety of Morgan-related presentations and demonstrations, including talks by the shipwrights working on the restoration, live music from the museum's chanteymen, and activities for kids and families. The Galley Restaurant and Latitude 41° Restaurant & Tavern will be open for dinner.
The free admission and fireworks are sponsored by Mohegan Sun.
The Morgan is the world's last surviving wooden whaling ship and is the country's oldest commercial vessel still afloat. The ship is currently being restored and is set to sail again in 2014.
The museum estimates more than 20 million people have visited the ship since it arrived here in 1941.
Saturday's celebration is being accompanied by several downtown events organized by Sail the Morgan 2014, a local committee dedicated to raising $1.5 million to support the 2014 voyage to ports around New England.
There will be an arts presentation at 7:30 tonight, at the Mystic Arts Center about the Dalvero Academy's artistic interpretation of the restoration of the ship. It is free and open to the public.
On Saturday, there will be live music and activities at the Mystic River Park in downtown Mystic beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through the day. The events are organized in association with Mystic Restaurant Week, which ends Saturday.