Celebration to honor historic whale ship

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Mystic Seaport and local residents have partnered to throw a weeklong celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the 1841 whale ship Charles W. Morgan.

The festivities begin with a free fireworks display over the Mystic River at 9 p.m. Oct. 28 and conclude with a day of special Morgan-related activities, demonstrations, and ceremony on Nov. 5. Mystic Seaport will have free admission that day.

During the course of the week, local residents and businesses will host free concerts and performances, historical talks, an antique vehicle show, a lantern lighting along the river, downtown, and special menus and pricing at participating restaurants during Mystic Restaurant Week. These events are sponsored in part by Mohegan Sun.

The anniversary is an opportunity to recognize the importance the Charles W. Morgan has had in the development of the Museum and the community since she was towed up the river on Nov. 8, 1941. The Morgan is the last wooden whale ship from the age of sail and is the oldest American commercial vessel still afloat. After an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan was at risk of being broken up when she was offered to the burgeoning Marine Historical Association (now Mystic Seaport).

The acquisition of the ship raised the stature of the museum significantly and helped put Mystic on the map of tourist destinations. The museum estimates more than 20 million people have come to Mystic and walked her decks since 1941.

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