The Scoop on Kenosha Tall Ships 2019

7/28/2019 - Denise Bernacki

Kenosha Tall Ships

They’re coming.  There’s seven of them.  And they are staying for four days.  No, I’m not talking about houseguests.  (Insert collective sigh of relief.  Whew!)  I’m referring to the Tall Ships and they are docking at a port near you…the Kenosha Harbor, of course!  That’s right, no need to set up the guest room this time.Get ready for the Kenosha Tall Ships Festival!

And if you’ve been putting off your summer vacation, the first weekend in August is the ideal time to Visit Kenosha!  Mark your maritime calendar for August 1-4 as seven Tall Ships are coming to Kenosha and bringing with them wind, water and song, all led by Kenosha’s own Red Witch.  The ships will come sailing in by way of a thrilling Parade of Sail on Thursday, August 1 between 5 and 7pm.  But the excitement doesn’t stop there…the THREE DAY FESTIVAL goes from Friday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm each day, with a special ‘Kenosha Rocks the Dock’ event on Friday between 7 and 9pm where you will be able to board and explore the ships and enjoy Beatles music by “American English” on the Miller Lite Entertainment Stage - will they belt out a rendition of ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’?.  The festival features International and East Coast ship tours which includes boarding the ships and exploring them, day and twilight sails, live entertainment, hands-on kids activities at the Pepsi Kids Zone and food and beverage vendors.  Visit the Wisconsin Coastal Management and NOAA Exploration Station to learn more about the ships and the Great Lakes - you may even discover a new treasure at the Fine Arts Village!

Regular priced admission tickets may be purchased at online ticket prices are $18 for adult admission and $9 for children’s admission.  Discount admission tickets are on sale at area Festival Foods stores. Visit the service desks at Festival Foods stores in Kenosha, Somers and Mount Pleasant to purchase adult admission tickets for $16 plus tax; and children’s admission tickets (ages 6-17) for $7 plus tax.  The ‘Kenosha Rocks the Dock’ special event does require a separate ticket as well as any sail-away tours.

This Tall Ship event wouldn’t be complete without an opportunity to go sailing!  Of course you can board and explore the ships but getting to sail on one is a completely different experience.  Both the Red Witch from Kenosha AND the Appledore IV from Bay City, Michigan will offer sail-away tours so you can see the Kenosha coastline from a whole new perspective!  Read about my Red Witch sailing experience from last year here: Tall Ship Offers Big Fun.

This four day weekend is sure to be an unforgettable experience in itself but ships aren’t the only things that are tall in Kenosha!  Here’s a list of TALL attractions to explore while you are in town:

  1. Navigate on over to the oldest continuously operating car diner in the U.S., Frank’s Diner, to sink your teeth into a TALL Stack - three large, fluffy pancakes!  Yum!
  2. Culver’s of Pleasant Prairie has a whole mess of frozen treats to satisfy your sweet tooth, like their concrete mixer which comes in four sizes: mini, short, regular and TALL!
  3. Mike’s Chicken and Donuts serves up the best mimosas with fresh fruit and candies served in a TALL glass, not a scuttlebutt…although that would be fitting for a Tall Ships weekend!
  4. Avast and heave to Grab’s Burger Bar and hit up their mess deck for their Thursday special, a classic burger, fries and a TALL boy for $9!
  5. Visit the Lone Soldier Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park - a seven-foot TALL lone soldier created in cast bronze as the park’s centerpiece.
  6. Suit up your sea-legs with a new set of trousers from Mike Bjorn’s Clothing!  They offer sizing in short, regular, big and, you guessed it, TALL!
  7. Grab your crew and climb up the 1866 Southport Lighthouse which stands a towering 55 feet TALL above lighthouse grounds.  And lucky you because the lighthouse tower will be open extended hours during the Kenosha Tall Ships festival, August 1-4 from 10am to 7pm.
  8. Cruise over to the 1906 North Pier Lighthouse that stands 50 feet TALL - and it still serves as the active lighthouse for the Kenosha harbor.  A must-see during the Tall Ship weekend!
  9. Got kids?  Bring the swashbucklers to burn off some energy at a Kenosha area playground!  Both Charles Nash Park and Petzke Park - Kenosha Dream Playground feature TALL slides and Brighton Dale Park has lots of TALL trees!  See a list of other playgrounds here: Parks Promenade.
  10. Stroll through the TALL prairie grass at Chiwaukee Prairie and enjoy a wildflower walk.

So Visit Kenosha the first weekend in August…come for all four days if you can!  There’s so much wind, water and song to explore on the Tall Ships and even more to discover in the Kenosha area.  This is the place for all things great and TALL!

Community Blog Team 2018

Denise Bernacki

Community Blogger

Brand new Kenosha resident – just relocated here Fall 2017 from NW Indiana. Touring Kenosha for the first time along with my husband and 3-year-old son.