The New London waterfront will be filled with entertainers for another weekend as returns for its seventh year.
The nautically-themed family event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The tugboats Patricia Anne and John Paul will visit the , while a Project Oceanology research vessel will allow children to check out live touch tanks. The will be present at City Pier and is selling tickets for a one-hour harbour tour at 2 p.m.
“It’s a lot of fun for the kids at no cost,” said Bob Forcier, who co-chairs the event.
While some individual vendors and attractions have a cost, it is free to view the tugs and see the author readings and musical performances. The Destiny Africa Children’s Choir will perform at 11 a.m., Geoff Kaufmann at the New London Lighthouse Kids Sea Chantey Chorus at 12:30 p.m., Island Rhythm at 2:30 p.m., and Steve Elci & Friends at 3:30 p.m.
The authors participating in readings are Tish Rabe, author of The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, at 11:30 a.m.; Mark Shasha, author of Night of the Moonjellies, at 1 p.m.; Robert Casilla, author of Midnight Forest: A Story of Gifford Pinchot and our National Forests, at 2 p.m.; and Sgott MacKenzie, author of The Giant Squid and the Seagull, at 3:10 p.m. In addition, the mermaid Ariel from Simply Enchanted will make an appearance at 1:30 p.m.
New this year is a 24-foot inflatable slide as well as a visit from Sea-Legs Inc., a nonprofit group offering sailing trips to underprivileged youth in eastern Connecticut. The event also offered a contest for the boat on the event’s logo. The online contest attracted about 25 entries and hundreds of votes, with five-year-old Ariana Turner of New London winning with the suggestion “Huggy.”
“The fact that she got that many votes was really cool,” said Forcier.
Forcier said the event is run entirely be volunteers.
The Neighborhood Alliance is also sponsoring a fishing contest for children ages five to 17 at the Fort Trumbull Fishing Pier at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Participants must bring their own fishing pole, and prizes will be awarded for each age category.