Tall ships Erie begins on Thursday afternoon as a record number of the tall-masted vessels line up for the Parade of Sail led by the Brig Niagara.

There will be twelve ships in port, moored from Holland to Sassafras Streets and three of the visitors Picton Castle, Bluenose II and Spanish ship the Santa Maria are expected to attract lots of attention.

Captain Billy Sabatini, Executive Director of the Flagship Niagara League and Fleet Captain said this is the biggest festival to come to Erie and it has been in the planning for 18 months. He called it a "walking festival," and said people should be ready to leave their cars in ramps and walk from vessel to vessel across the grounds for on-board tours.

In order to handle big crowds of visitors, organizers have created a new parking plan.  There are designated lots where you can pre-pay for a $10 dollar all day pass and then ride free shuttles to the festival grounds.  You can also used metered parking in downtown Erie.

There will be no onsite parking at the Bayfront Convention Center for the general public, only handicapped or VIP parking there.

You can check out all the details on parking and visiting Tall Ships Erie 2019 by clicking here.