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‘Santa Maria’ First Ship Named for Tall Ships Festival

The Santa María, sponsored by HobbyTown, is the first ship to be announced for Nicolet Bank Tall Ships. A replica of the Spanish ships that traveled across the Atlantic Ocean in the 15th and 16th centuries, the 200-ton, three-mast ship was built in Spain in 2017 by the Nao Victoria Foundation using iroko (an African hardwood) and pine wood, and it was named after the Nao Santa María that Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492. The Santa María traveled to several ports in France and Spain last year and began a voyage across the Atlantic in November 2018. A crew of 17 men and women use traditional techniques and navigation to sail from port to port. The Santa María is also used as an educational vessel, teaching participants about the history of Spanish ships and the skills needed to sail them. PMI Entertainment Group and Nicolet National Bank are again collaborating to produce the Tall Ships festival in Wisconsin. The event will start with the Parade of Sail and festival in Green Bay July 26-28, followed by a sail through Sturgeon Bay on July 29 and a sail past Algoma on July 30. The Green Bay event will feature nine historic vessels and the world’s largest rubber duck, presented by Miron Construction. The 2016 festival created an estimated economic impact of $4.4 million in Brown County. Tickets for general festival admission, all events and excursions will go on sale March 15 at tallshipswisconsin.com.