See one of the world's tallest ships and fireworks at Ships To Shore Festival

Apr 26 2017, 5:29 pm

Ships To Shore King of the Sea Festival is docking into Richmond’s Garry Point Park this week – and it’s bringing with it one of the world’s tallest ships from May 3 to May 8.

After the boat named the Kaiwo Maru sets anchor, onlookers can anticipate a mix of history, fun, and adventure. At 361-feet long and 182-feet high, the four-masted Kaiwo Maru naval training vessel is an epic sight that you don’t want to miss.

The Japanese ship is crossing the Pacific for a rare North American visit as part of Richmond Canada 150, a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150 anniversary of confederation. It’s produced by the City of Richmond and presented by RE/MAX.

The festival will include a limited number of boarding passes that will be available onsite for Friday and Saturday on a first come first serve basis starting 8:45 am at the Ship Information Tent. On Saturday you can participate in the Sail Drill from 1 to 4 pm when nearly 200 crew members climb high into the masts to unfurl nearly 30,000 square feet of sail.

Free guided tours

The event also includes free guided tours aboard the M.V Native paddle wheeler to enjoy the waterside view of the Kaiwo Maru and historic Steveston waterfront. You’ll also be able to check out some pop up demonstrations, hands-on activities, buskers, community art installations, a marketplace, and displays.

Kaiwo Maru/Ships To Shore

Free music and fireworks

But that’s not all – there will also be a free outdoor concert lineup including top Canadian performers like Dear Rouge on May 6 and Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies on May 7. You can also sit back and enjoy a fireworks display in the evening over the Fraser River and along the beautiful Steveston waterfront.


While on land, be sure to take a photo of the majestic tall ship and share on Instagram using the hashtag #ShipstoSky for your chance to win a trip for two to Japan via Japan Airlines, plus a seven-day Japan Rail Pass, two nights stay in Toyko, and more provided by JTB Silkway Travel. This contest is being run under the festival’s own terms and conditions. 

Note: Remember that parking in the festival area is limited. Additional public transportation and shuttle bus services will be available along with bike valet.

Ships to Shore King of the Sea


  • Kaiwo Maru free tours: During scheduled times from Friday, May 5 to Saturday, May 6
  • Fireworks: 9:05 pm on Saturday, May 6
  • Free Festival: Friday, May 5 to Monday, May 8

Where: Garry Point Park, Richmond

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