Tall Ships Sail Off As Star-Spangled Spectacular Ends

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A once in a lifetime commemoration has come to an end. The Star-Spangled bicentennial closed out its celebration Tuesday.

Tracey Leong was there as the ships sailed off.

On the final day of the Star-Spangled Spectacular, WJZ boarded the Gazela, which was the first ship to arrive and the last to leave. We caught up with visitors who said they are still excited seeing them in the harbor.

One by one, these magnificent vessels set sail for their home ports.

“It was amazing, first time I’ve ever seen anything like it,” said Nancy Gries, spectator.

More than 30 ships from around the world traveled to Baltimore for the celebration of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Each day thousands of visitors came to the Inner Harbor to check out ships like the Gazela, which is one of the oldest and largest wooden ships still actively sailing.

“Long hours showing people around and talking about the ship but it’s what we do, and we are glad to do it,” said Scott Cointot, Gazela captain.

From tall ships to naval vessels, it was the waterfront attraction that people far and near came to see.

“She’s beautiful and it represents the United States and our coast guard and all of us, so it was really beautiful, a little teary,” said Elizabeth Dewees, spectator.

Planning for this maritime bash was a huge undertaking. Laura Stevenson with Sail Baltimore says they started several years ago collaborating with embassies around the world.

“We bring them up and show them around the city and tell them about the plans and see where their ships would be and it’s really a big recruiting effort,” Stevenson said.

A success celebration far exceeding expectations.

“The whole weekend was just amazing very patriotic, reminded me of how privileged we are to live in the United States,” Gries said.

Well with the ships leaving it is bittersweet for crews as well as Sail Baltimore. They are all sad to see them go.

The Star-Spangled 200 is working on an economic impact report for this week long celebration.

It should be available by the end of fall.

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