2018 Festival Info

Join us this September 5 – 9 for the

Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival

The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival is a five day annual celebration promoting the State of Connecticut’s maritime heritage and spirit of innovation in conjunction with Connecticut Maritime Heritage Week. This annual event will draw 60,000 visitors in 2018 to the historic Port of New London waterfront including individuals and families who experience unique tours aboard a fleet of boats including U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships, merchant marine vessels, and historic schooners. Festival events include a U.S. Coast Guard search & rescue demonstration, a “Celebrate America” main stage concert, a “Swingin’ on the Pier” dance party, a “Meet the Crew” party, a parade of ships, The Morgan Cup Yacht Race, a Maritime Career Opportunity Expo, a burning of Benedict Arnold by costumed reenactors, a children’s fishing tournament, and the 6th annual “Chowder Challenge.”

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2018 EVENT SCHEDULE

Wednesday, September 5th

Submarine Force Museum
One Crystal Lake Road, Groton

10 a.m. “Maritime Career Opportunities Expo”
An opportunity to introduce area high school students to marine trade jobs and careers.


Thursday, September 6th

Fort Trumbull, New London, CT

11 a.m. Official Welcoming Ceremony

“Thames River Connections: By Boat or Bridge”
Dockside social begins at 5:00 pm, boat departs at 5:30 pm
New London, Fort Trumbull State Park Water Taxi Launch
Our guest speakers will be Jim Streeter, Town of Groton lifelong resident, former mayor, and town historian, and Steve Jones,  UConn Avery Point professor, editor, and “literate boatman,” will share the history of crossing the Thames River between New London and Groton.  This tour coincides with the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival, celebrating the state’s maritime heritage and spirit of innovation with activities along the Port of New London waterfront (ctmaritimefest.com)

6 p.m. – 9 p.m. “Swingin’ on the Pier” on Custom House Pier.  Enjoy swing dancing lessons for one hour courtesy of Roger Orshal, Dance Instructor.

6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Swing dance lesson

7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Swing and dance with The Cartells


Friday, September 7th

New London Waterfront

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ship visitation begins on the Thames River.

11 a.m. Parade of Ships Begins along New London Waterfront.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Morgan Cup Race viewing at Ocean Beach

4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Captains and crews welcome party
Meet the captains & crews of our visiting ships & historic schooners at Hygienic Arts. Open to the public. $10 per person, cash bar.

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. USCG Dixieland Band Concert on City Pier

8 p.m. – 10 p.m. CITY PIER — The Can Kickers (Band) – The Can Kickers play high energy, punk influenced “old timey riot music for dancing” on fiddle, banjo, and drums. Since 2000, the Can Kickers have been making people dance, playing over 750 shows in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe. They take old time American fiddle tunes and rev them up.

8:30 p.m.  Flock Theater presents “The Burning of Benedict Arnold” on City Pier.


Saturday, September 8th

Downtown New London, CT

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Public ship visitation

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Great New London Chowder Challenge”
Restaurants from New London, New Haven and Bridgeport compete for the chowder bowl.

1 p.m. – U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration.  Witness what a search and rescue
involving divers and a helicopter looks like up close.

2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Americana Music Festival featuring Grammy Award Winning Performers.

6 p.m. Navy ship private reception


Sunday, September 9th

Custom House Pier

12 noon – 4 p.m. Ship visitation on New London waterfront.

For an updated listing of participating vessels for this year’s festival, click here.