Harborfest begins with a Parade of Sail

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The energy is building in downtown Norfolk as the 39th Annual Harborfest kicks off.

The festivities started Friday at noon with the Parade of Sail on the Elizabeth River. Ships of all shapes and sizes are taking part.

Photos: Norfolk Harborfest 2015

10 On Your Side stopped by Town Point Park Thursday as workers were putting up all the tents, games and activities. It’s a huge job. Hundreds of Festevents employees and volunteers braved the rain to make sure it all runs smoothly.

While you’re there, visit our WAVY-TV 10 personalities. We’ll be set up between the Otter Berth and Waterside.

And don’t forget about the big fireworks show Saturday night.

10 On Your Side caught up with the guy who’s running the whole weekend-long event.

“Harborfest, over the three days, usually gets about 250,000 people. It’s a big crowd throughout the weekend, but we include and extend outside of our perimeter here, even on to the river. We have boaters, lots of people in Portsmouth that are part of the event,” said Ted Baroody, president of Festevents.

If you’re worried about transportation and parking, here’s the deal. Harborfest is so big, police will be closing down Waterside Drive. So, if you’re coming from I-264, you’ll have to turn right onto St. Paul’s Boulevard.

The folks at Festevents tell us there are more than 15,000 parking spaces within walking distance of Harborfest. But you can also take the light rail or the ferry from Portsmouth. The Tide and the ferries will be running extra routes. Just don’t expect a free ride — HRT said there will be people checking for tickets.

You’ll find a complete Harborfest guide, with all the information about food, music, the tall ships, transportation, parking and much more on hrScene.com/harborfest — just click this link to check it out.

While WAVY.com was in Town Point Park, we stumbled across the World’s Largest Potato! It was sitting on a huge truck on Waterside Drive. The potato on wheels is on a cross-country tour helping local charities raise money. The truck says it’s real, but we had our doubts. So we called and found out, it’s not a real potato.

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