With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 happening this year, officials say they believe an armada of historic replica will attract up to 50,000 visitors to the village this Memorial Day Weekend.
Greenport Trustee David Murray approached Board members at Tuesday’s work session with Chief Martin Flatley about the event and a plan to deal with the ensuing traffic it will produce. The village hosted a similar Tall Ship event in 2004 with financial help from an I Love New York grant, which helped offset the costs of the appearance fees of the boats — which range from $20,000 to $40,000 each.
But the village does not have that grant this year, which is why visitors will have to pay an admission fee of $8 to tour the boats this time around.
“This will be a huge event for the village, and support is tremendous,” Murray said. “Yes, it’s costing the village a good amount of money but we’re working on sponsorships and we will charge admission.”
Murray said that the event won’t be a “huge drinking event” like the tends to be in late September every year, but the traffic plan will be about the same. The village has already contracted six boats to sail up from Savanna, Ga., and two others are coming for free, Murray said.
The Tall Ships will stay docked in the village for the three days of the long Memorial Day weekend, and the village is also planning activities for that Friday night.
Online tickets are available. Adults are $7 and children under 12 are free. Seniors are $5. Tickets are meant only to offset appearance fees.
With reporting by Sandy Martocchia.