“Klaipėda ship parade” is an event during which the guests not only may celebrate by sailing ships but also by getting acquainted with Lithuanian Navy ships, maritime history and old crafts of Klaipėda. The nightly parade of ships illuminated by shining garlands and musical fireworks in Smiltynė will mark the culmination of the festival.
In 2010, a new maritime tradition was born in Klaipėda – the “Klaipėda ship parade” festival was held to mark the beginning of maritime season on the 22nd of May. 80 different ships, yachts, cutters, and boats of various sizes have participated in the first festival. The main highlight of the event is the parade of the participating ships taking place in the Curonian Lagoon, during which the ships and boats adorned with electric garlands are showcased.
The goal of the event is to organise a new European festival that would reflect the image of a marine city and mark the beginning of the summer maritime season. At the same time, the event presents the marine business and entertainment to the general public using non-traditional means.
The first ship festival has received a lot of success. Thousands of people have attended the event. As the city’s marine community and event planners collaborated, a new and appealing tradition that familiarizes the community with the sea has been established in Lithuania’s port city.
“Klaipėda ship parade” is a festival during which the guests celebrate not only by sailing ships but also by getting acquainted with Lithuanian Navy ships that are open to the public during that day, interact with sailors, and learn about the marine history of Klaipėda in an engaging way. Additionally, the nightly parade of ships illuminated by shining garlands mark the culmination of the festival.
The goal of the “Klaipėda ship parade” organisers is to invite all Lithuanian citizens to bring their ships and boats to the sea and to announce the symbolic beginning of the recreational navigation season every year. Ships of all types and constructions are invited to attend the festival. Kurenkahns, kayaks, canoes, sculls, dugouts, waterbikes, and rafts may sail along Danė river, while yachts, cutters and other bigger ships – in the Curonian Lagoon.
In 2010, a play of an incident that occurred on the 30th of October, 1808, was performed for the public. In 1808, a ship called “Le General Rapp” belonging to the fleet of the free city of Gdańsk unexpectedly sailed to Klaipėda’s port and attacked a ship called “Rebecca” that belonged to the Americans. This incident had a significant diplomatic reaction: the minister of Prussia sent a letter of protest to the French government in which he accused the French of violating the law of neutral and free navigation; however, in reality, the American sailors were not as innocent... At the time, they were known as the primary smugglers along the Baltic coast who covered their activities by hiding behind a neutrality veil. Nevertheless, the conflict did not lead to a bigger confrontation. The French attack against the smugglers was not idealized or considered as “politically correct” because the residents of Old Memel did not condemn the members of this business; on the contrary, they willingly bought the smuggled goods.
The performance of the armed conflict between “Le General Rapp” and “Rebecca” ships at the Danė river mouth was staged by the club of the historic military of Klaipėda. The ship roles were taken by “Lady Sophie” and “Vagant” – both of the sailing boats were equipped with cannons and crews.
|Monday||9:00 – 18:00|
|Tuesday||9:00 – 18:00|
|Wednesday||9:00 – 18:00|
|Thursday||9:00 – 18:00|
|Friday||9:00 – 18:00|