OpSail Begins This Weekend

Head to Groton, New London and Niantic for the weekend events.


With the forecast looking good for this weekend, OpSail is the place to be to learn about history and have a good time while you’re doing it.

The event celebrates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, part of which was fought in battles right along the shoreline.

Beautiful sailing ships begin to come in on Friday and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy through Monday afternoon.

The opening ceremony begins at 4 p.m. Friday at McCook Point Park in East Lyme.  At 6:30 p.m., head to Niantic for the East Lyme OpSail Food Stroll.

The parade of ships starts around 9 a.m. on Saturday. The boats leave Niantic around 9:30 a.m. and head toward New London. The official parade up the Thames River begins at 10 a.m., followed by a Coast Guard flyover.

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, you can visit the ships at Fort Trumbull and State Pier. The Eagle tour ends at 4 p.m.  on Saturday.

The Coast Guard band will perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Fort Trumbull State Park. 

The Manshantucket Pequot Fireworks extravaganza will be at 9 p.m. on Saturday on the New London waterfront.

On Sunday night, the Captains’ Ball will take place at Ocean Beach Park in New London. If you plan to go, call  860-447-2519 for ticket information.

The festivities end on Monday, when the ships sail away between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Photos of the ships can be found on the OpSail Web site.

In addition to the ships, you can also tour the U.S. Coast Guard Museum at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

This weekend, it is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday and from 8 a.m. to  4 p.m. on Monday.

Free parking in available at New London High School, Waterford High School and Crystal Mall and a shuttle service will take you to the pier.

If you go, we want to see your photos. Send them to photos@nbcconnecticut.com

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