Every couple of years an organization coordinates the tour of ‘Tall Ships’, historically correct sailing ships that sail across the Great Lakes. With the Republican convention in Cleveland this year, they move the event to Fairport Harbor, a small town northeast of Cleveland in Lake County.
Fairport Harbor is a town of 3,000 people that had approximately 30,000 people per day show up for this event. While we were there early, and they had sold tickets ahead of time (we hadn’t pre-purchased tickets), the line to get in extended for blocks, primarily because of the security clearance requirements.
After 45 minutes, we were in! The grounds was a gravel lot with the ships lined up along the edge of the Grand River. Despite our lengthy entry wait, we were still ahead of the vast majority of the people so we were able to go through the first couple of ships without much of an additional wait.
Eventually we were able to tour four of the ships before we finally decided we had enough of the crowds, and dust. After leaving we crossed the Grand River and went into Mentor Headlands State Beach, where we worked out way out onto the jetty for the Grand River. From here we had an excellent view of the ships in port, heading in and out of the harbor, and out on the choppy lake. The view from Mentor Headlands was far better than the actual event site.
The Tall Ships are beautiful but this event was poorly planned and executed.