The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival returns to New London on September 10-12! A kick-off event will be held at the Hygienic Art Park on Friday night, September 10 from 7 – 9 p.m. featuring a free concert by the blues-rock band, The Lone Wolf Trio. This year’s festival will feature the staple of the New London waterfront: the USCG Barque Eagle. Free tours will be available all weekend long, starting Saturday, September 11 at 10 a.m.
The 2021 festival will be a celebration of Rivers, Sound and Sea, with booths featuring various maritime activities and industries, and military vessels. The festival will take place at the historic Port of New London waterfront and downtown area. Attending individuals and families will have the opportunity to tour vessels from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, as well as Mystic Seaport Museum’s historic Eastern-Rig Dragger, Roann, and the 176′ Kings Pointer from the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY.
Saturday’s festivities begin with a 9 -11 memorial service at 8:30 a.m. on City Pier led by the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard. The day continues with a helicopter search & rescue demonstration by the United States Coast Guard, Navy diving demonstrations, Project Oceanology touch tank sponsored by Veolia, and children’s activities hosted by New London Youth Affairs and the Niantic Children’s Museum. This year’s festival will also feature a fishing clinic on Saturday by DEEP Fisheries from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. To prepare for the clinic (but not mandatory) DEEP is offering two saltwater fishing ZOOM classes on August 11 and September 8. In addition to hands-on learning opportunities, families can enjoy other maritime science and education booths. The day concludes with live music from the Tom Petty tribute band, I Petty the Fool, from 4 – 7 p.m.
On Sunday, individuals and families can enjoy additional maritime science and education booths and can continue to tour boats. Revolutionary War re-enactors commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Burning of New London with a British vs. Continental Army skirmish at 1:30 p.m. at the waterfront, where Benedict Arnold and his men will arrive by boat. Come sing sea shanties with Marc Bernier at 2 p.m. and dance with S.E. Connecticut’s favorite cover band Melaena at 3 p.m.
Food trucks will be available both days as well as the Thames River Heritage Park Harbor Cruises. This outdoor event will follow Connecticut and New London guidelines for COVID-19.