Oswego, N.Y. - The shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego, New York will be emblazoned with tall ships this summer at the Oswego Festival of Sail, set for June 25, 26 & 27 in the Oswego Harbor, according to Festival of Sail Committee Member and H. Lee White Marine Museum Executive Director Mercedes Niess. The three-day festival will include tours of the tall ships Pride of Baltimore II, Lynx, and Unicorn, as well as vendors, children's events, music, and sail aways on the Lynx. The event is being sponsored by North Shore Oil Company, Dunkin Donuts, Best Western Captain's Quarters, Step One Creative, Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism, City of Oswego, The Palladium Times, Pathfinder Bank, NRG, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Port of Oswego Authority, National Grid, Entergy, and Greater Oswego/Fulton Chamber of Commerce. "We're very excited to announce this new tall ship event," said Jonathan Daniels, Festival of Sail Committee Member and Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority. "Our Festival of Sail Committee, consisting of community leaders, has worked diligently over the past 10 months to bring these spectacular ships to Oswego. We are planning unique family activities throughout the three-day festival. As the oldest fresh water port on the Great Lakes and situated along our beautiful waterfront, this is a perfect celebration of our maritime history." The event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the Oswego West Pier and H. Lee White Marine Museum in Oswego, will cost $10 per single adult, $5 for youth ages 5 to 16, free for children under 5, and/or a flat fee of $25 for families of six persons. If you wish to participate on a sail away there will be a separate fee. "The Festival of Sail will be a great tourist event this upcoming summer," said Dave Turner, Festival of Sail Committee Member and Oswego County Director of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. "The interest that comes with tall ships like the Pride of Baltimore II, Lynx and Unicorn is enormous, and we're confident that this new event will draw thousands to the region." North Shore Oil Company CEO and Co-owner Harry Pratt wanted to become involved as an event sponsor because of the opportunities it would provide the Oswego County community. "We see our participation in the Festival of Sail as twofold: First, Oswego County is the home of North Shore Oil Company, and second, this event gives us an excellent opportunity to support our County, while helping to provide an educational venue for our youth and others throughout CNY to come to Oswego, see our beautiful harbor, and learn more about these wonderful, historic tall ships," said Pratt. According to Festival of Sail Committee Member and Port of Oswego Authority Executive Director Jonathan Daniels the weekend will include a variety of events attractive for everyone. "The event is really going to have something for everyone," noted Niess. "In addition to sail aways, music vendors and usual offerings, Oswego's Festival of Sail will also allow visitors opportunities to learn more about Great Lakes maritime history through scheduled presentations and activities such as the Sailor Sam Treasure Hunt, where the whole family can participate in exploring the nautical world through interactive adventure. Costumed characters will mingle with guests and the public is invited to dress in their favorite historic costumes or pirate garb." a broad range of weekend activities." The weekend schedule will be as follows: Friday, June 25 - Community welcome. Dedicated to families and our Active Duty, Reserve and Retired Military men and women. All military will be offered a 50% discount on their admission on Friday by showing their military ID. Water related youth activities will highlight the day and pirate or historic costumes are encouraged. Along with tall ship tours, sail aways on the Lynx, tours of H. Lee White Marine Museum, and historical presentations will take place throughout the day. Saturday, June 26th - "Dunkin' Donuts Day" at the Oswego Festival of Sail. Tall ship and museum tours, sail aways on the Lynx and youth activities. The Oswego Festival of Sail Stage will feature local musicians playing throughout the day. Sunday, June 27th - Tall ship and museum tours, sail aways on the Lynx and youth activities. The Oswego Festival of Sail Stage will feature local musicians playing throughout the day. "Oswego has such a tremendous maritime history and this event will complement that greatly over the three days," said Shane Broadwell, Festival of Sail Committee Member, and partner with Broadwell Properties. "We look forward to having the Upstate New York community come and enjoy the beauty and splendor of these tall ships." Pride of Baltimore II is a reproduction of an 1812-era Baltimore Clipper privateer. The ship is Maryland's working symbol of the great natural resources and spectacular beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region, and a reminder of America's rich maritime heritage. As the world's most traveled historic tall ship, thePride of Baltimore was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor, the original Pride of Baltimore, which was tragically sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986. The Pride of Baltimore helped America win the War of 1812 and finally secure its freedom. Lynx is an interpretation of an actual privateer named Lynx built by Thomas Kemp in 1812 in Fell's Point, Maryland. It was among the first ships to defend American freedom by evading the British naval fleet then blockading American ports and serving in the important privateering efforts. The Lynx was launched on July 28, 2001 in Rockport, Maine. The Unicorn was originally built in 1947 under the name Deo Volente I with the fleet number of TX 11, and Unicorn's hull was crafted from recycled metals of captured German U-boats salvaged after World War II. The ship was built in the Netherlands as a motor fishing vessel, but by 1979 it had been converted into a sailing ship and renamed Eenhoorn or "one horn", Dutch for Unicorn and sailed the Mediterranean. After a re-fitting of the hull, rig and power, the ship was christened with a new name in 1997, True North or Toronto. True North provided hundreds of trainees of all ages the opportunity to sail the Great Lakes, the East Coast of North America and the Caribbean. It was also at this time that the vessel became a member of the American Sail Training Association and began appearing with the ASTA fleet at port festivals throughout the Great Lakes. In the fall of 1999, True North was acquired by its current owners, Dawn and Jonathan (Jay) Santamaria, and along with their four daughters, they continue to promote the preservation of traditional maritime life through sail training, tall ship festivals and community involvement. In December of 2003, the schooner completed a bow to stern refit that took the ship down to its steel ribs, and was rechristened with her original schooner name, Unicorn. In the summer of 2005, Unicorn was granted a Jones Act Waiver to become a United States registered vessel and she proudly flies the American flag off her stern. This same year, co-owner Dawn Santamaria founded Sisters Under Sail, a not-for-profit on-board leadership program for teenage girls and women. Sisters Under Sail and her all-female professional crew charter Unicorn each summer sailing New England, Canadian Maritimes and the Great Lakes. Today, with her well-defined mission, the 63 year old Unicorn sails with a new passion and mission. Available for tours throughout the weekend will be the National Historic Landmark WWII Tugboat, "LT-5", which served during the Normandy Invasion and the 1925 NYS Canal Boat No. 8. The museum also owns the Eleanor D, the last remaining U.S. commercial fishing boat that worked Lake Ontario. The Museum's main building hosts a collection of maritime exhibits highlight over 400 years of history and the Treasure Chest Gift Shop. Additionally, the Oswego Station of the US Coast Guard will have their 47-foot Motor Life Boat available for tours throughout the weekend, and there will be an Air Rescue demonstration with a US Coast Guard HH65 Helicopter on Saturday, June 26th at 1 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the H. Lee White Marine Museum. To book a ride/seat for a sail away on the Lynx please call 1-(866) 446-5969 or go to www.privateerlynx.org. For more information on the Oswego Festival of Sail event or for sponsorship opportunities please call (315) 402-8802 or visitwww.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com or search Oswego Festival of Sail 2010 on Facebook.
###Contact: Jeff Wallace, Festival of Sail Committee Member (315) 402-8802 Caption: Pride of Baltimore II