‘Impressed with the size of them:’ Tall Ships Kenosha attracts countless historic vessels

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KENOSHA -- Thousands of people headed to the Kenosha Harbor to get a glimpse into history as the Tall Ships Challenge made a stop at the shore. The vessels caught the eye of many.

More than 30,000 people from all over the state ventured to the Kenosha Harbor to catch a look at the historic vessels over the weekend.

Tall Ships Kenosha

Kim Kunzman

"I'm actually really impressed with the size of them," said Kim Kunzman from Twin Lakes.

It was all part of the Tall Ships Challenge. Kenosha was one of 11 host ports in the Great Lakes. The harbor hasn't been the host of a Tall Ship Festival for more than 10 years.

"I just thought that they really completed the harbor," said Kris Kochman, from Kenosha. "Now,  the harbor is going to feel so empty when the tall ships sail away."

Tall Ships Kenosha

Kris Kochman

Visitors took advantage of the historic, massive ships returning to town.

"It's really nice to see people enjoying themselves," said Dennis Duchene with the Kenosha Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"We've had a lot of people come down," said Captain Chris Usson. "They're very welcoming, and they've enjoyed learning about the ships."

But for one captain who's been aboard the U.S. Brig Niagra for 11 years, Kenosha was one of the only ports he had never sailed to.

Tall Ships Kenosha

Capt. Chris Usson

"For me, it was kind of special, because I got to explore a new place," said Usson.

Not only did the Tall Ships Festival bring ships' crews to the land, it also had a positive impact on tourism in the area.

"We're pretty excited to showcase the city to all the travelers," said Duchene.

"It's just nostalgic," said Kunzman. "I think it's awesome."

Tall Ships Kenosha

The Tall Ships Challenge was in Kenosha Aug. 1-4, and was set to stop in Erie, Pennsylvania Aug. 22-26 for the completion of the visits to U.S. ports. Four more stops were also scheduled in August and September at Canadian ports.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Tall Ships Challenge.

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