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Take Your Fam & Your Squad To The Tall Ships Festival In Dana Point Harbor


This weekend if you visit the Dana Point Harbor you may think you have gone back in a time machine. There will be parades, pirates and even a mermaid! No, you’re not hallucinating…these are all part of the Annual Tall Ships Festival put on by the Ocean Institute.

This remarkable annual event takes place the second weekend in September. Chronicles of pirate history come alive, as the crews from each ship interact with the public in cannon battles, pirate escapades, mermaid encounters and more. There are also scheduled ship tours.


Sails ‘n Ales (6:00 pm -9:00 pm): Craft beer tasting from five (5) different California breweries, live music, mermaids and prime viewing for Parade of Sail!
Parade of Sail (4:00 pm-7:30 pm): Join the armada as you cast off for adventure aboard a historic tall ship during the annual tall ships parade at sunset. Work with the crew hauling up sail or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular demonstration of skill, knowledge and survival!

Saturday & Sunday:
Mermaid Breakfast (9:00 am-10:30 am): Join our mermaid friends for brunch, story time, and under the sea crafts!
Festival (10:00 am-4:00 pm): Tall Ships tours, pirate adventures, mermaid encounters, unique vendors, Sierra Nevada Beer Garden, and more await for you at the 32nd Annual Festival.

Cannon Battles (4:30 pm-7:30 pm): Enjoy blasting cannons, towering rigging, bustling decks, and the magnificence of a canvas full of wind during a Cannon Battle! Work with the crew hauling up sail or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular demonstration of skill, knowledge, and survival!

For a full list of activities, please visit the official website –

The Ocean Institute is celebrating the rich maritime history of California. And of course, the city of Dana Point was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years before the Mast, which includes a description of the area. Dana described the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as “the only romantic spot on the coast”.[9]

Although Dana described the anchorage as poor, it is now a developed harbor and contains a replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, which is located at the harbor. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.[8]
(Exerted from Wikipedia.)

See ya ’round the OC!

Patricia Braun is the Owner and Publisher of My Local OC. She has been in Marketing for over 20-years and considers it a privilege to work in an industry that is not only her area of expertise but her passion as well.

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