By Larry Claflin Jr.
A parade of elegant yachts will glide into Salem Harbor Aug. 28 and 29 for the 27th annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival at Hawthorne Cove Marina.
The mission of the festival is to preserve maritime heritage and encourage owners of antique and classic boats to maintain and rescue them, and educate the public about their maritime heritage, said Pat Wells, the event's organizer.
"This is important, as their vessels are our maritime heritage. If they don't bother, we lose it," Wells said.
An endless variety of boats participates in the festival, Wells said.
"Where else can one see motor yachts (from the 1920s to '50s), mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th-century gold-leaf canoe?" she said. "Although many of these craft are museum-quality, they are real boats in the water and in use by their owners today."
Russ Vickers, owner of Hawthorne Cove, has hosted the festival since 2002, donating the use of his property "for the cause" of carrying on traditions.
"I respect the people who are maintaining and preserving the wooden boat heritage," said Vickers, who enjoys how the festival seems never to repeat itself.
"It's a lot of fun. Every year, there's always something here that makes it unique and special."
One added benefit for attendees, Vickers said, is a marine-arts area, where photographers and painters sell nautically themed work alongside artisans who create decorative knots, restore boat hooks and brass items, or make clothing and handbags from old sails.
IF YOU GO
What: 27th annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival
Where: Hawthorne Cove Marina, 10 White St., Salem
When: Saturday, Aug. 28, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets: $5, children under 12 admitted free
More information: www.boatfestival.org