As this year's parade of ships came into clear view around 1 p.m. Monday, festival volunteers traversed the pier handing out flags and encouraging everyone to give the Coast Guard a warm welcome.
Brandon Birdsall, who attended the arrival with his grandparents, said he had a spectacular time.
“I had a lot of fun watching the boats come in,” he said.
Cyndi Bunna, who moved to the area two years ago after being a summer resident for many years, said Monday's arrival of the cutters was as "fabulous" as always.
“The boats never disappoint," she said. "This is probably close to my 50th time watching the boats come in."
To see more photos from the Parade of Ships, click here.
As the boats worked their way into port, the crowds lining the channel waved their flags and cheered in celebration.
The parade of boats was led by the U.S. Coast Guard's Neah Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug based at Cleveland, Ohio. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter Griffon — sometimes called the “big red boat” — rolled in behind the Neah Bay.
The 225-foot Hollyhock brought up the rear and was met with roars of applause as it made its way into the channel. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter pivoted and turned nearly 180 degrees to demonstrate the finesse it's capable of, docking along the wall at Escanaba Park.
A parade of smaller Coast Guard vessels, along with some civilian boats, also got in on the fun as they followed the big boys into port.
Ship tours are available to the public from 6-8 p.m. today and Wednesday. More tour times will open up Thursday and continue through Saturday: from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. All times are subject to modification by the U.S. Coast Guard. Admission is free.