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Tours and cruises on tall ships continue into weekend

Thomas O'Neil-White

The Tall Ships Challenge continued Friday at Canalside and the Outer Harbor. Despite the heat, thousands of people are expected to participate in the Basil Port of Call: Buffalo festival.

John Green was standing in line to be one of the first to get a tour of one of the ships.

“I’d like to see the Santa Maria,” Green said.

The Buffalo ex-pat is back in town visiting family and friends and seeing the sites along the downtown waterfront. The sites, in particular, are the 12 Tall Ships that arrived on the 4th of July from Toronto, as part of the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes.

Around 40,000 people were in attendance for the 4th of July fireworks show at Canalside. Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says no arrests were made related to the fireworks.

Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

As Friday’s temperature reached into the mid-80s, Rinaldo cautioned people enjoying the Port of Call festival to dress appropriately for the weather, wear sunscreen and remember to properly hydrate. He said first responders are on site to deal with any safety related issues.

As throngs of people made their way around Canalside and into lines awaiting entry to tour the tall ships, the growth of the downtown waterfront was on the mind of Kim Hopkins.

“[It's] a lot different than when we were kids,” Hopkins said of area around the inner harbor. “It’s absolutely beautiful, though.”

Hopkins was at Canalside enjoying a Friday with her sister and brother-in-law, doing her best to stay out of the sun.

“We’re from Tonawanda, so we just decided to come down here on the hottest day of the year.” Hopkins said.

The tall ships will stay in the harbor until Sunday when they leave for Cleveland to continue the Great Lakes Challenge.

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