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Ships to Shore fest draws thousands to Steveston

The weather couldn't have been more perfect Friday morning, as the waterside was warm, not too hot, for the City of Richmond's Ships to Shore festival in Steveston.

And though there was rain on Saturday, Sunday's overcast skies didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm to display their patriotic colours for the annual morning parade and an afternoon of family-friendly festivities.

The Hawaiian Chieftain arrived in Steveston just before noon Friday, rounding Garry Point just as the festival kicked off.

With overcast skies that seemingly threatened rain on Friday, by early afternoon the clouds parted to blue skies, making for the perfect mix of pleasantly warm weather for visitors on the docks along the boardwalk just east of Bayview Street and No. 1 Road.

There were no lineups Friday morning and early afternoon at most of the tall ships and other vessels.

The Hawaiian Chieftain, which has become somewhat of a summertime fixture in Steveston, still drew strong demand, with a modest line-up only two dozen people long at one point Friday.

Sailors and nautical fans are encouraged to visit the fishing village through Sunday, July 1 for Ships to Shore Steveston.

Seven notable and historic ships, including the Hawaiian Chieftain and HMCS Oriole, will be offering free viewing and boarding, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pirate Pass pre-registration is available for those who want to guarantee their boarding time.

Tickets are also available for purchase for a limited number of day sails and children’s day camps on board a select number of the ships.

But be warned: day sail tickets sold out early last year. To register, visit www.richmond.ca/register or call 604-276-4300.

Steveston village was once a major port-of-call for fleets of sailing ships from around the globe.

This year's tall ships event will also feature the Mallory Todd, Grail Dancer, the historic SS Master steam tug, the gillnetter Silver Ann, and the replica Spanish longboat, Juanita.

The tall ships will be moored in the heart of Steveston Village, docked at the Imperial Landing, just east of No. 1 Road, on the boardwalk.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 29 and 30, and from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 1.

Ships to Shore Steveston 2012

•Tall ships festival at Imperial Landing, Bayview Street and No. 1 Road in Steveston Village

•Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 29 and 30, and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on July 1

•Ship boarding is free, but space is limited and scheduled activities vary

•Visitors are encouraged to visit richmond.ca/shipstoshore in advance for boarding details and an up-to-date schedule of events

•Select ships will also be offering day sails and youth day camps; visit richmond.ca/register or call 604-276-4300 to register

•Vessels have limited accessibility, and high heels, scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, skateboards, bicycles and animals are not permitted on the floating dock; a designated viewing area is available on the pier above the dock for anyone in a wheelchair or scooter; stroller parking is available on the pier

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