The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival returns to New London, CT Friday through Sunday, September 9-11, featuring a range of fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages to celebrate the Constitution State’s maritime heritage, history and spirit of innovation. The fourth annual festival is one of the last major events in Connecticut’s Submarine Century, a yearlong commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton. From David Bushnell’s Turtle during the Revolutionary War to the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel, Nautilus, submarines are an important part of Connecticut’s maritime heritage.

“We are especially proud this year to be honoring the 100th anniversary of the Submarine Base, which has played a major role not only in the defense of our nation, but in the vitality it has brought and continues to bring to our region,” said Festival Chairman John S. Johnson.

A production of OpSail Connecticut, the festival begins Friday, September 9 with a parade of sail with schooners and other vessels, a Welcome Ceremony at City Pier, and entertainment from the United States Coast Guard Band and the United States Navy Band Northeast. Highlights include the arrival of Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhode Island’s Tall Ship, which will host students from New London High School and Groton’s Fitch High School for a five-day Teen Voyage from New London to Newport, RI.

Saturday’s activities include dockside tours of schooners, educational programs at Waterplace Park, whaleboat races, displays, demonstrations and vessel visits by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and local police departments, and the New London Chowder Challenge. The Festival concludes on Sunday with a memorial marking the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with a flag retirement ceremony and tributes to first responders, military and law enforcement agencies. Admission to the festival is free.

Sponsors of the 2016 Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival include the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Co-op, F&F Distributors, and Logistec.

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