Bay City businesses prepare for 'Tall Ships'

The Tall Ship Celebration begins Thursday, but business owners are gearing up now.

After making its rounds to the west coast and the east coast the tall ships celebration is coming back to Bay City and filling the Saginaw River with ships and the streets with potential customers.

"Tall Ships brings a lot of people into town a huge economic impact for everybody involved," said St. Laurent Brothers Vice President Steve Frye.

Thursdayâ??s grand arrival is long anticipated since the fleet left in 2010.

"In their own right they are just plain beautiful vessels its just fun to come see them and experience them," said Tall Ship Co-Fleet Manager Jerry Somalski.

The city is allowing campers in Veteran Memorial Park for the first time this year to accommodate overflowing hotels.

"Thereâ??s people milling around for three days. It's a wonderful thing," said Frye.

And following a busy forth of July weekend small businesses St. Laurent brothers have to make sure they have enough for everybody.

"Everybody gets a little piece and there will be between a hundred thousand to a hundred fifty thousand here," said Frye.

The nearly exact replica's feature ships from the war of 1812 to modern floating classrooms hail from across the world including Sörlandet from Norway.

"To see the ships lined up on the river is just a phenomenal site," said Somalski.

"The care love and maintenance that goes into these boats is tremendous and their just beautiful," said Somalski.

"Once the fleet drops anchor it marks the fifth tall ships celebration in bay city since it first came in 2001.

To reserve a space for your camper in Veteranâ??s Memorial Park, send an email to