Tall Ships Festival Comes Close To Quarter Million Visitor Goal

By KBJR News 1

July 28, 2013 Updated Jul 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
By five o'clock Sunday, the crews of the tall ships in town were prepping sails to set sail on Monday.
That will spell an end to the Disney World atmosphere they brought to Duluth for the last few days.
Foul weather on Saturday, it turns out, didn't scare away too many wanna be sailors.

"We got through the weather hurdles. Our tall ship fans are a hardy bunch." said Terry Mattson of Visit Duluth.

That bunch came from all over the northern hemisphere.

"We sold tickets to people in all fifty states and every Canadian province." said show producer Craig Samborski.

The early hype was that this tall ships fest would pull in 250,000 people; more than double the population of the Twin Ports.

"I'm sure we are over 200,000; over 100,000 paid through the gate." said Mattson.

Duluth tourism experts feel that number of souls put 15 million dollars into the Northland's economy.
This is the third time the Tall Ships America tour has visited the port of Duluth and Superior.
A fourth go round is likely.

"I don't think there's anyway we can not do it. Exactly how we do it next time and when it happens, I'm not sure." said Samborski.

It won't be for a few years.
Tall Ships America makes annual circuits among the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Until then, their Duluth hosts wish them fair skies and following seas.

"In the words of Jack Sparrow, now show me the horizon!" said Mattson.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

From Duluth, the Tall Ships America travels to Chicago for a festival there.