One of the more efficient things about the 14 or so rigged sailing ships that will berth in the Savannah River May 3-7: They don't need no stinkin' harbor deepening.
The vintage vessels that'll be here for the Tall Ships Challenge are from another era, and while their masts are high, their drafts aren't so deep that they won't be able to sail in and anchor just fine, thank you.
The Savannah Historic Riverfront-sponsored "festival" will turn River Street into a maritime-themed carnival site, with kiddie rides, vendor booths, entertainment and all the usual stuff.
The drawing card, however, will be the ships themselves. You can board and tour them.
The most famous vessel, probably, is the HMS Bounty, built for the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty movie. Lovingly maintained and trimmed out, it's been both a tourist attraction (in Florida) and a true sailing ship (all around the world) ever since.
Lately, you've seen the Bounty at work in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Admission (single day) is $20 adults, $10 ages 5-16, for three days, it's $50 adults, $20 per kid. There are all sorts of other things you can buy, including, for those who can afford them, private sails.
The Tall Ships Challenge is, in fact, a race, a "friendly rivalry from port to port," the organization calls it. The vessels alternate in a three-year cycle between the Great Lakes and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America, and stop for a little R&R (and to raise money) in several ports along the way.
Savannah is the starting line for this year's challenge. The ships will all pull out (the "Parade of Sail") on May 7, and the race ends in July in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
New ships are being added all the time; see savannahtallshipschallenge.com for details and updates.
George y Yanni
This has been booked for months and months, but it was so far away, we didn't think about mentioning it until now. Legendary country singer George Jones has a date in the Johnny Mercer Theatre Aug. 17. Tickets went on sale this week, through etix.com.
And how's this for incongruous? New Age guru Yanni plays the Johnny Mercer May 30. Ticket info here is still TBA.
The dating game
• Savannah Music Festival. March 22-April 2. A whole lotta shows.
• David Mamet's November. March 22-April 1. Muse Arts Warehouse.
• Alison Krauss and Union Station at the Johnny Mercer Theatre. April 4.
• Mose Allison. Jazz Corner (Hilton Head). April 6 and 7.
• Daniel Tosh. Johnny Mercer Theatre. April 10. The last Comedy Central star; tickets are almost gone.
• Neon Trees. Trustees Theater. April 13.
• Josh Turner. Johnny Mercer Theatre. April 15.
• Savannah Urban Arts Festival: April 15-22.
• Charlie Daniels Band/Little Big Town. Forsyth Park. April 20. A free show.
• Savannah Philharmonic: A Night of Great Opera. Lucas Theatre. April 21.
• Brian Regan. Johnny Mercer Theatre. May 3. The semi-annual Savannah show from one of our favorite comics.
• Trace Adkins. Johnny Mercer Theatre. May 4.
• Straight No Chaser. Johnny Mercer Theatre. May 5. All-male a capella harmony group; a big PBS fave.
• Dar Williams. Live Wire Music Hall. May 16.
• Yanni. Johnny Mercer Theatre. May 30.