In August, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay saw an invasion of sorts – a mini-armada of tall ships from around the world, back in the area for their third visit.
The Windy (pictured) is one of eight tall ships featured during the third Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival, which drew more than 54,000 people to Leicht Memorial Park in downtown Green Bay from Aug. 16 to 18, creating an estimated economic impact of almost $4 million, according to Baylake Bank.
The festival “preview” event also drew between 5,000 and 6,000 people watching the ships arrive in Sturgeon Bay.
The Windy, whose home port is Navy Pier in Chicago, is 148 feet long and has a beam of 25 feet, and its mast height is 85 feet. It has a sail area of more than 4,800 square feet, the equivalent of an NBA-sized basketball court. When it’s not in Green Bay, the ship is used for tours in the Chicago area, including the architecture tour, according to the festival website.
As tall as Windy is, it wasn’t the tallest of the tall ships. That designation goes to Peacemaker, a one-of-a-kind ironwood and mahogany vessel with a mast of 123 feet. Another festival visitor, the Sorlandet, is a floating private school out of Nova Scotia. The Niagara is a survivor of the War of 1812.
It’s no wonder these ships made waves. Baylake Bank hopes to bring back the ships again, possibly in 2016.