New London, Conn. (WTNH) -- Connecticut is already preparing for a shoreline celebration this summer.
We are certainly used to seeing one tall ship in the waters of New London, in less than four months, there will be dozens of tall ships, all here commemorating a very important event, in our nation's history.
The picture will be spectacular: the calm waters of the Long Island Sound, alive with tall ships. OpSail 2012 makes its final stop in Connecticut, which will be the largest event held in the state this year.
"You will see tall ships, twos and threes as they call them," said Kevin Cavanagh, OpSail 2012CT vice-chairman, "and then some Navy ships too."
The purpose of the event was to kickoff what is being called the "OpSail Challenge," for every two dollars that is raised, the state will donate an additional dollar, committing to $500,000.
"We hear the state giving money, where does that money come from," said Governor Dannel Malloy. "That's always...a big question right now with the economy."
This is an economic development opportunity to showcase our state, therefore the money is coming from our economic development efforts, as is the money to support advertising, not only for this event, but for this portion of the state.
"500 thousand, it's an eight to one return on investment," said OpSail 2012CT treasurer Rob Simmons. "We get 500 thousand from the state, matching the million that we raise, we're going to get 10 million back into Connecticut because of OpSail 2012."
OpSail made a stop there in 2000, drawing in about one million people. Similar numbers are expected this year, especially considering the event is tied to the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812, and the writing of The Star Spangled Banner.
OpSail, which will be tied into New London's Sailfest, makes seven stops, with the last stop being in New London July 6th through July 9th.
"That is a huge economic impact," said Mayor Daryl Finizio, "and will be a great thing to our community."
For more information on the event visit the OpSail 2012CT website .
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