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    Wednesday, February 21, 2024

    Celebrating ships & sea at the CT Maritime Heritage Festival

    Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival (courtesy Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival)

    The hurricane forecast, as we head into autumn in this year of truly creepy weather, seems ominous. Fortunately, any storms that might head to New England would already have to be on their way if they were going to disrupt the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival taking place Saturday and Sunday on and around the New London waterfront.

    Breathe easy, sailors! There’s plenty of fun awaiting!

    In terms of attending vessels, enjoy free tours of the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle, the USCGA Ida Lewis , the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, T/V Kings Pointer, Leadership 44 and more is terrific.

    A life-size inflatable whale, named Salt, will be at Parade Plaza and visitors can walk THROUGH the beast in considerably less tense conditions than Jonah and Captain Ahab experienced.

    Saturday features a Mermaid and Sea Monster Parade at noon, starting at the top of State Street and, at 7:30 p.m., Flock Theatre’s always entertaining effigy Burning of Benedict Arnold. It starts at Shaw Mansion.

    Other cool things sprinkled throughout the fest include a free fishing clinic, the Dirty Blue Shirts living history reenactments, a maritime skills challenge, and a live search and rescue demonstration by a Coast Guard helicopter (handy just in case there IS a hurricane). There will be food vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment and much more.

    For a complete schedule, go to ctmaritimefest.com.

    Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, New London waterfront and downtown; free; ctmaritimefest.com.

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