When OpSail comes to town, it will herald a full weekend of festivities.
The major reception and street festival in Niantic celebrates the offshore gathering of OpSail vessels on Friday, July 6, and winds up with a Captains’ Ball on Sunday evening at Ocean Beach Park, July 8.
The OpSail Captains’ Ball will recognize and thank the hundreds of crew members, officers, and sailors who participate in the historic three‐day OpSail2012CT.
John S. Johnson, the OpSail chairman, advised those interested in attending the ball to get their tickets early.
“This will be a great evening and a terrific way to end what will have been a colorful and exciting weekend of tall-ship visits, historical and cultural exhibitions, and entertainment at Fort Trumbull,” Johnson said. “This will be an event not to be missed!”
In Niantic, activities begin at with a late-afternoon conference featuring state and local dignitaries, including East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica and OpSail officials. Viewing of the OpSail 2012 ships and stroll-friendly activities throughout Downtown Niantic will follow from 5 through 9 p.m.
The following morning, Saturday, the ships in Niantic Bay will form the parade of sail led by the Coast Guard Barque Eagle. After two days of ship visitations, historic displays at Fort Trumbull, and Downtown New London’s Sailfest, the Captains’ Ball is on Sunday evening. Costumed re-enactors will join the Ball to help cap off the historic weekend.
The event in the Port ‘N’ Starboard Ballroom begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner beginning at 7 p.m. with entertainment by a high‐energy dance band, The Cartells. Attire is “Yacht Club/Dressy Casual/Cocktail semi‐formal.” Also welcomed are styles evoking the Regency period, roughly 1810-1820.
Ball tickets are $75 and may be purchased at www.OpSail2012CT.org and click on Captain Ball Ticket; or through Robin Goldschlager at The Gallery at Firehouse Square, 239 Bank St., New London, 860.443.0344; or OpSail Headquarters at 860.447.2519; or New London Main Street at 860.444.2489.
The Captains’ Ball has been organized by OpSail’s hospitality committee headed by Michael Passero and consisting of Deirdre Cavanagh and Margie Heap. The OpSail history and heritage committee, co-chaired by Jerry Roberts and Edward Baker, is providing the re-enactors.