BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It will be a special Independence Day at the Inner Harbor. For the first time ever, the Pride of Baltimore II will be a part of the city’s July 4th celebration.

Ron Matz reports Baltimore’s Star-Spangled summer is about to get even better.

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She is Baltimore’s goodwill ambassador. The Pride of Baltimore II has sailed all over the world, a quarter of a million nautical miles.  She’s gone to 50 countries, anywhere from China in the west to Ukraine in the east.

“The ship has become the most worldwide renowned American sailing vessel sailing today. There’s no other American vessel that’s as recognized as the Pride. She has a national and international following,” said Jan Miles, captain of the Pride of Baltimore.

But on this holiday weekend, the Pride of Baltimore II will be home for the first time since she was commissioned in 1988.

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“We’re home now for the Fourth of July for the first time ever in this vessel’s life. It’s going to be a busy weekend and we’re enjoying it. We’re showing our public their boat by sailing her around Fort McHenry and around the Inner Harbor. It is a lot of work and a lot of fun,” Miles said.

Clipper ships that were built in Baltimore played a vital role in the War of 1812.

“This vessel harkens all the way back to the War of 1812. It was unique in the United States at the time, a type of vessel for speed and maneuverability and it was an irritant to the British. It caused them to come here in 1814 to destroy the yard. That failure led to the creation of our National Anthem,” Miles said.

The Pride is here as part of Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Summer, and the fun doesn’t end on July 4. There will be deck tours and you can sail on the Pride Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on Friday night’s “Fireworks Sail” and all the activities surrounding the Pride II this weekend, click here.

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