Shiver me timbers! More than 37,000 people stepped back in time this weekend to be a part of the Ships to Shore Steveston 2011 festival at Garry Point Park.
With hot and sunny weather, the weekend kicked off Friday evening with the arrival of the tall ships and the outdoor movie Peter Pan. From the YVR Community Stage, Mayor Malcolm Brodie officially welcomed the community to the event and walked the plank for a ribbon-cutting to open the new pier at Garry Point where the ships were docked. The mock gun battle between the brig Lady Washington and the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain wowed the crowds as smoke burst from the gun ports while these magnificent ships fired cannons and battled the tidal flow of the Fraser River. Both were proudly flying Canucks flags to the delight of all hockey fans looking on.
Many took advantage of the opportunity to dress up as pirates (adults and children alike) and to board the ships for a tour, while others enjoyed the live music and dance performances on the YVR Community Stage. Amongst the crowds, the occasional (scripted) sword battle broke out between scally wags and gentlemen o’ fortune with photo opportunities at every turn. The Lady Washington was a clear favorite with the kids, recognized from her acting role in the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
With the farmers and artisans market in Steveston Village on both days, the Canucks ‘fan’ademonium on the big outdoor screen on Saturday, followed by the The Goonies movie and a repeat of festivities on Sunday all under a clear blue sky, the weekend was an overwhelming success.
Thanks to host City of Richmond and all our co-sponsors for making this event possible. If you missed it, the ships are in Vancouver for the next few days - visit http://www.ladywashington.org/ for details or set your sails for 2014 when these and more nautical wonders plan to return for another swashbucklin’ time.