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Pride of Baltimore II heads for Chicago, nearly halfway through four-month expedition

The Baltimore Sun

The Pride of Baltimore II departed for Chicago on Monday morning after spending the weekend in Boyne City, Michigan, about halfway through a four-month, 8,000-mile journey.

The ship left the Inner Harbor in June and is expected to arrive in Chicago for a five-day tall ships festival at the Navy Pier. Known as the city's "Star-Spangled Ambassador," the Pride II is nearly two months into its first journey outside the Chesapeake Bay since 2013.

July has been a busy month for the topsail schooner, with stops in Toronto, Ohio and Michigan attracting nearly 20,000 visitors to come aboard the Pride II, according to ship officials.

The Pride II also competed in several races with other tall ships. The Baltimore ship took first place on July 3, going through Lake Ontario toward the Welland Canal in the first of five races planned. In the second race on Lake Erie on July 11, the Pride II took third place.

The third race took place on Lake Huron on July 18. Pride II officials said the ship was the first to cross the finish line, though formal winners will be announced Sunday night in Chicago.

After leaving Chicago, the ship will compete in another contest across Lake Michigan toward Algoma, Wisc.

Pride of Baltimore Inc., the nonprofit that owns the ship, signed a three-year, $1.5 million partnership with the state in January to promote the economic interests of Baltimore and the state.

After Chicago, the vessel plans to make stops in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ontario before returning to Baltimore in late-September.

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