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The US Brig Niagara sails in the Duluth, Minn., harbor during the city's tall ships festival in July 2010. It is set to return to Duluth this week, along with nine other tall ships. (Clint Austin/Duluth News Tribune)

Festival draws thousands, generates millions in tourism dollars

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DULUTH -- About halfway through Duluth’s 2008 tall ships festival that brought three sailing vessels to the city, Visit Duluth President Terry Mattson said “I need more ships.”

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Two years later he got them — nine ships in total — and an estimated 250,000 spectators. Mattson expects at least as many visitors for this year’s festival, which starts Thursday when 10 ships enter Duluth in a Grand Parade of Sail.

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