25 Year-Old Park to Provide New Backdrop for Norfolk’s 33rd Annual Maritime Tribute July 3-5 Featuring 700 Watercrafts, Live Music and Entertainment

Norfolk, VA (May 27, 2009) - After an 8-month, multi-million dollar renovation, Norfolk’s Town Point Park will unveil itself with a bang during a three-day jam packed Harborfest® weekend of events July 3 – 5, 2009 sure to electrify the crowds and celebrate the nation’s birthday in style. Following renovations, the landmark park will feature an enhanced layout and pathway system for access to Norfolk’s beautiful waterfront; new stage locations, lighting and sound equipment; and interactive water fountains and a lush landscape to create an urban oasis within Downtown Norfolk. 

“The Park’s Grand Opening Celebration will not only introduce a new look in Downtown Norfolk, but it also serves to launch the city into the official summer season with the annual Harborfest®,” said Anthony DiFilippo, president of the Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The event, which always draws a crowd, will be bigger and better than ever this year with 700 ships, live entertainment and fireworks – it is definitely the place to be over July 4th Weekend.”

Throughout the weekend, native watercrafts from several different countries are expected along the shores of Norfolk’s Elizabeth River, including The Cisne Branco hailing out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Captain Miranda, the official Naval Sail Training tall ship of Uruguay. This patriotic collaboration of countries and cultures from around the world will also feature a host of activities including historical re-enactments, sailing demonstrations, art shows, theatre performances and musical events. Back at the harbor, the docked ships will welcome the public for a hands-on learning experience aboard its traditional decks. With more than 700 ships from around the world, visitors will have the chance to explore several different types of ships including a brigantine, a full-rigged ship and a barquentine, a sailing vessel with more than three masts. 

Continuing on throughout the weekend, Norfolk will host several activities and events celebrating the Grand Opening and July 4th Weekend. Visitors will have the opportunity to climb aboard and tour authentic tall ships, peruse the wares of local artists and crafters and listen to live musical acts. National musical acts, showcasing more than 130 hours of live entertainment on multiple outdoor stages, include: The Late Show’s Gospel Choir, Lewis McGehee & Mike Lille, Right On, The Spinners, Dave Barnes, multi-platinum recording artists, Collective Soul and much more! Visitors will also have the opportunity to sample local cuisine available at the festival’s numerous food vendors; sample award-winning wine from Chatham Vineyards, Rebec Vineyards and Rockbridge Vineyard at the Made in Virginia Wine Tasting; and browse the Dockside Art Gallery, featuring original nautical art from The Chesapeake Bay Art Association. The exciting three-day festival culminates with an elaborate fireworks display at Norfolk’s new Town Point Park. 

All events included in the celebration of the 33nd Annual Norfolk Harborfest ]]>