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Amistad to dock in D.C.

‘Freedom schooner’ visits March 23-April 7

(Published March 11, 2002)

"Freedom schooner" Amistad – a recreation of the famous 19th century Spanish cargo ship aboard which African slaves revolted and eventually won their freedom – will sail into the District March 23 and dock at the Maine Avenue SW waterfront as part of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival.

A diverse schedule of events is planned aboard the Amistad during its D.C. visit, including school and public tours, a Captain’s Grand Gala, seminars, exhibits, mock trials and receptions.

A welcoming flotilla is planned to begin at 11 a.m. March 23 as part of welcoming ceremonies for Amistad’s arrival. The ship will be open for public tours – $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than 16 – from 3-6 p.m. March 23 and from 2-6 p.m. daily through April 6.

Public dockside receptions are scheduled for 7-11 p.m. March 24, March 28, April 2 and April 4. A $20 donation per person is being suggested by the Amistad Host Committee.

The Amistad will be incorporated into the Southwest Waterfront Jazz Festival on April 6 and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade of Lighted Boats at dusk on April 6.

In conjunction with the Amistad’s visit, the University of the District of Columbia will hold a symposium on "Amistad and Celebrating Diversity" from 6-10 p.m. April 3 in the university’s main auditorium foyer at 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW.

The D.C. Lottery has announced an essay and poster contest for D.C. public school students in grades 4 through 12 in conjunction with the schooner’s visit. The contest, in which students will be asked to visit the Amistad and relate their experience, is being coordinated by DCPS officials.

The Amistad’s visit is part of an effort by the locally based National Marine Heritage Foundation to increase support for the building of Washington’s own tall ship, the "Spirit of Enterprise" and for creation of another floating classroom.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator