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Parade of Sail kicks off waterfront Labor Day festivities

SAN DIEGO — The annual Parade of Sail is scheduled on San Diego Bay Thursday afternoon to kick off a busy Labor Day weekend of activities on the downtown waterfront.

More than a dozen tall ships will enter the bay beginning around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, led by the replica of the San Salvador, the vessel on which explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to visit San Diego.

According to the museum, the best viewing spots will be the Cabrillo National Monument, Shelter Island, Harbor Island and the North Embarcadero — including the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the organizer of the event.

The ships will head to the museum, where they will be open for tours Friday through Monday in the Festival of Sail. The festivities will include mock cannon battles, pirates, food and shopping from roughly 150 vendors.

Tickets to tour the vessels are $11 for adults, and $9 for children 3- 12, seniors 62 and over, and military with identification.

To ride on a ship in a mock cannon battle, tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. The cannon battles aren’t recommended for children under 5.

Other holiday weekend events along the waterfront include the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge at Broadway Pier, and a three-night wrap-up of the Bayside Summer Nights concert series, with fireworks, at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

With large crowds expected at the events, attendees are encouraged to use public transportation.