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Star-Spangled Sailabration Pumps Money Into Baltimore

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Star-Spangled Sailabration is here. Ships will be docked at the Inner Harbor through Tuesday and that means big crowds downtown.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the excitement and what this means for Baltimore.

More than 40 ships arrived in the Inner Harbor Wednesday. Now people from all over are rushing to Baltimore for a chance to see them.

Ships from all over the world dropped anchor in the Inner Harbor.

“It’s cool because they come from all different places and they’re really big,” said Erin Gilligan.

It’s a great way to show off the city.

“It gives you a real sense of pride in Baltimore,” said Richard Imbach.

With tourists coming from all over to see the tall ships, businesses are banking on Sailabration.

“Our hotels are doing well. I expect our restaurants to do really, really well,” said Tom Noonan, Visit Baltimore.

“It’s a great thing for us. It’s a great thing for surrounding restaurants and it’s just a great thing for the city of Baltimore,” said Jonathan Vitaletti, Pratt Street Ale House.

And with events scattered around the harbor, a lot of restaurants could see more business.

But even if visitors don’t spend the night in hotels, all those day trippers will have to pay to park in garages, and on the street.  There are no holidays for parking meters.  Taxis will also keep busy.

How much money it will all generate is anyone’s guess.

“Last year the Grand Prix had an economic impact of $47 million. This is going to be a lot more people than that,” said Noonan.

But the action expands beyond the Inner Harbor. The Sailabration is not just by sea—it’s also by air!

At Patterson Park, hundreds gathered to watch the Navy Leap Frogs parachute from high above.

“The fact that the Navy Seals are here to put on a little show for us is wonderful,” said Phil Goodwin.

One of the other big aerial events on tap: the Blue Angels perform for the first time ever in Baltimore this weekend.

Click here for a photo gallery of the festivities.

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