Sailfest is underway in New London this weekend, opening without one of the mainstays of the annual event, the replica slave ship Amistad.
“I brought my son down here just so he could see it for the first time," explained Melinda Williams of Manchester, expressing her disappointment about the ship's absence. "It's our history; it's important.”
Williams and her family sat along City Pier right where the Amistad would dock if it weren’t still moored in New Haven.
Gov. Dannel Malloy is threatening to cut state funding to the Amistad if the ship doesn't make it to New London.
Authorities are auditing some $8 million in state government money granted to Amistad America Inc. since the ship was launched in 2000.
Although the Amistad still hasn't shown up, another schooner, the Virginia, is docked at the pier.
Sailfest also features amusement park rides, more than 200 vendors and fireworks Saturday night, to be launched from Amistad Pier in New London, even if the Amistad doesn’t come up the Thames.