Tall Ships Security Will Be Intense

Sail Boston 2017 will have a greater police presence than the marathon.

It’s hard to overstate how big a deal Tall Ships is going to be this weekend. Already, we’ve been warned that as many as 3 million people are expected to descend on the city when Sail Boston kicks 2017 off Saturday. And you can bet that security will be intense.

Officials now say that the event will have a greater security presence, and a higher alert level, than even the Boston Marathon. It’s been labeled among the highest threats in the country for the year, and comparisons have been made to the readiness level of a Super Bowl or an inauguration.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Police Commissioner William Evans, and others will give a press briefing with more detail at 1:30 p.m. Christopher Coakley, the spokesman for Boston’s office of emergency management, has told the Globe“It’s sort of an all-hands-on-deck situation.”

Authorities are particularly on guard after a congressman and others were shot at a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning. Security was beefed up at the Massachusetts State House after the attack.

More than 50 ships are headed here as we speak. A parade is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., and then they’ll be here for five days. Guidance on road closures for the big day has been released. Much of the Seaport will be closed to traffic, as will parts of Charlestown, the North End, Long Wharf, and East Boston.

Having trouble wrapping your head around how many people 3 million people is? About 1 million lined the entire length of the marathon last year, about half a million attend the 4th of July Spectacular on good years, and an estimated 175,000 turned out for the Women’s March that flooded Boston Common in January.

Here is the list of prohibited items for the event, per Sail Boston’s website:

  • Backpacks or large bags
  • Coolers on wheels
  • Firearms, weapons, sharp objects or fireworks
  • Pop up tents or canopies
  • Cans, glass containers, pre-mixed beverages or alcoholic beverages
  • Wagons or pull carts
  • Drones
  • Pets (excluding certified service animals)
  • Grills, propane tanks, or open flames
  • Bicycles (bicycle parking will be available outside most screening areas – view street impact maps)

Here is what’s allowed:

  • Small clutch purses/bags (that are easily searchable)
  • Shoulder strap or single handle coolers
  • Folding/beach chairs
  • Umbrellas
  • Baby strollers
  • Diaper bags (that are easily searchable)
  • Glass baby bottles
  • Blankets or tarps (max size 10′ x 10′)