KENOSHA - The Tall Ships are coming back.
That's good news for everyone who enjoyed last year's U.S. Cellular Kenosha Days of Discovery. Last year's inaugural visit by the Tall Ships was enjoyed by more than 60,000 visitors.
"Last year was a tremendous success and we think we'll equal or surpass that this year," said Mike Marquardt, chairman of the festival Maritime Committee and emcee at Wednesday's press conference announcing the 2004 Days of Discovery.
The visit by five sailing vessels, scheduled from Aug. 4-8, will take up considerably more dock space than last year's group.
"We have an impressive lineup," said Patti Lock, port organizer. "The ships are three times bigger than those we hosted last year. These ships will not be in this area for at least a couple of years and it's a rare occasion to have them in one place at the same time."
The ships include the 198-foot U.S. Brig Niagara, the largest wooden sailing ship on the Great Lakes, which is making a rare appearance on Lake Michigan.
The other Tall Ships are the HMS Bounty, Milwaukee's S/V Denis Sullivan and Highlander Sea. The four historic ships will be joined by the 71-foot Neeskay, the primary environmental research vessel from the Great Lakes Water Institute of
The HMS Bounty was built in 1960 in Nova Scotia for the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando. The 180-foot vessel has a crew of 18 and 10,000 square feet of sail area.
The S/V Denis Sullivan is a 137-foot replica of an 18th century Great Lakes schooner and the Highlander Sea is a 154-footer that was built in 1924.
The economic impact was estimated at $1.2 million last year, said Mary Galligan, president of the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For information on tickets and events, go to the Web site: www.kenoshadaysofdiscovery.