Kaiwo Maru

ONE very big boat. Free live music by top Canadian performers. Saturday night fireworks. Carnival rides, food trucks and the Kids Cove. Plus, a chance to win a trip for two to Japan. It’s all part of the free family fun at Ships to Shore King of the Sea this Friday through Sunday at Richmond’s beautiful Garry Point Park.

Spring has finally arrived on the West Coast and so has Japan’s “King of the Sea”, one of the world’s largest tall ships. The majestic four-masted, 361z-foot Kaiwo Maru, is the focal point for Ships to Shore King of the Sea.

Festival goers can take a photo of the Kaiwo Maru Friday to Sunday at Ships to Shore King of the Sea and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #ShipstoSky. One lucky contestant will win two roundtrip tickets to Tokyo provided by Japan Airlines; plus a seven-day Japan Rail Pass for two, two-night accommodations in Tokyo and a Sunrise Dynamic One Day Tour for two, provided by JTB/Silkway Travel.

Free public boarding of the Kaiwo Maru will be offered during the Ships to Shore King of the Sea Festival on Friday and Saturday. Advance boarding passes were snapped up quickly. A limited number of boarding passes will be available on site for Friday and Saturday on a first come first serve basis starting at 8:45 a.m. from the Ship Information Tent. Boarding passes will be limited to six per household. A standby line will also be available. Dockside viewing will also be available throughout the festival for those who don’t have a boarding pass.

Other festival entertainment will include the Sail Drill from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday when nearly 200 crew members climb high into the 180-foot high masts to unfurl nearly 30,000 square feet of sail.  Festival highlights also include free headline concerts by Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies and Dear Rouge, plus a free Saturday night fireworks spectacular over the Fraser River.

Site-wide entertainment includes daily live entertainment on three stages, a Ferris wheel and other carnival rides, buskers, pop up demonstrations and hands-on activities, food trucks, a maritime-themed Kids Cove, community art installations, a marketplace and displays.

Ships to Shore King of the Sea runs Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. For a full event schedule and additional event details visit www.shipstoshore.ca.

Parking in the festival area is limited. Visit the Getting to Ships to Shore section of the website to find the sustainable ways to commute to the event. Additional public transportation and shuttle bus service will be available. Bike valet will also be available in a securely guarded area near the festival gates.