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Navy tall ship featured at Ships to Shore

A band of pirates at last year’s Ships to Shore event, which returns to the Steveston waterfront June 29 to July 1.  - Jennifer Strang
A band of pirates at last year’s Ships to Shore event, which returns to the Steveston waterfront June 29 to July 1.
— image credit: Jennifer Strang

The Royal Canadian Navy will lead a flotilla of classic and working ships sailing and steaming their way to Richmond for Ships to Shore Steveston 2014 on the Canada Day weekend.

The colourful HMCS Oriole tall ship, the longest-serving commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy, will be joined by two of the navy’s eight Orca-class patrol ships. Along for the ride will be the popular Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, which will do a number of special performances on the Steveston waterfront.

The navy vessels, along with a dozen other ships, will be available for free viewing and boarding from June 29 to July 1 at Imperial Landing and Britannia Shipyards. The festival will be capped off with a special Canada Day fireworks show along the Steveston waterfront.

The HMCS Oriole is a 31-metre (102-foot) ketch first launched in 1921, and used by the navy as a sail training vessel. Contrasting that will be the modern, Orca-class patrollers, barely a decade-old and measuring in at 33 metres (108-feet), which provide search and rescue and security along our coastline.

Also returning to the Ships to Shore fleet this year is the century-old 41-metre (133-foot) schooner Adventuress, always a popular festival attraction. The Adventuress’ original 1913 bell will be available for public viewing in Richmond for first time in 99 years

Livening up the event will be the Jolly Tars ensemble, a jazz quartet, which will perform sets June 29 and June 30 at noon and 2 p.m. A band of pirates will also be roving the festival site, entertaining crowds with their roguish antics.

Ships to Shore Steveston 2014 runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 29 and 30, and from noon to 6 p.m. on July 1. Ship boarding is free. The fireworks presentation will take place at 10:15 p.m. on Canada Day and will be viewable from anywhere along the Steveston Channel waterfront.

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