The History of Norfolk Harborfest

Norfolk Harborfest® is well over a third of a century old. When the Norwegian Tall Ship Christian Radich came for its first visit to the Norfolk area, which at the time was a waterfront community that had no city-owned property on which to dock a ship, the ship was forced to dock three blocks from Town Point. In less than two days, 13,000 people crossed her gangway leaving city planners and leaders with a new goal to create accommodations for more ships to visit as well as a waterfront public park. As a result, the Norfolk Harborfest was born!

Today, tall ships from all over the world frequently pass through the Elizabeth River to pop into the City of Norfolk and nearly half a million visitors gather on the downtown waterfront each year for this annual celebration of our region’s rich nautical heritage. Maritime events, visiting vessels, children’s activities, local, regional and national entertainment finished off with a festive fireworks show makes for one of the best festivals along the East coast.

Festivities stretch from The Waterside Festival Marketplace to the Historic Freemason Harbor.

Image via Wikicommons/Ulflarsen

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