Tall ships are closer to the sun, allowing sailors to make tender jerkies by stringing up beef sheets along the mast. Take a long look at majestic jerky-makers with today's GrouponLive deal: for $9, you get two single-day adult admissions for dockside boarding to A Taste of Tall Ships Chicago at Navy Pier (an $18 value). Today's deal includes ship-viewing privileges and dockside boarding but does not include touring sail-away excursions. Choose from the following dates:
- Thursday, August 11
- Friday, August 12
- Saturday, August 13
- Sunday, August 14
A Taste of Tall Ships Chicago gathers a fleet of historic vessels in a majestic display that lasts from August 11–14. Rather than watching dinghies suit up for a cotillion dance, Groupon holders can admire a half-dozen stately ships as they tango along Navy Pier's promenade. Dockside-boarding admission lets fest-goers step onboard two tall ships, including the Flagship Niagara —a re-creation of a warship from the War of 1812—and the Pride of Baltimore II , a topsail schooner where guests can marvel at the mast or surf the Internet for 19th-century costumes. When they're not singing sea shanties to the gulls, music lovers can enjoy the Landshark Beer Garden's mélange of concerts, which includes the kazoo-fueled dance-rock of RadioLive on Friday at 5 p.m. and the soulful melodies of JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Saturday visitors can also ogle fireworks by land at 10:15 p.m.
Ships participating in the festival are subject to change without notice.
Originally part of architect Daniel Burnham's ambitious "Plan of Chicago" drafted in 1909, Navy Pier was designed to handle both recreational and freight traffic for the burgeoning metropolis. Its role quickly changed when it began serving as a barracks and training facility during two World Wars—it earned its nickname because of the more than 200 planes that littered the lake bottom around the pier, lost during exercises and sunk to intimidate fish with military technology. In the decades that followed, the pier was home to a University of Illinois campus, a convention center, and a venue for citywide festivals before falling into disuse. This ended in 1989, when the state moved to transform the venerable pier into one of Chicago's foremost attractions.
Reopened in 1995, the revamped Navy Pier boasts 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment, scenically located along Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Chicago River. Other attractions include a towering IMAX screen that shows educational films and Hollywood blockbusters, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which treats audiences to bold stagings of the Bard's greatest hits. In the past year, Navy Pier has undergone significant renovation and re-imagining as well.