By Sue Ellen Woodcock
A community meeting with the Winthrop Police, Fire and Harbormaster departments was held Tuesday night at the MWRA conference room at Deer Island to discuss plans for June 17 and Sail Boston.
Residents of the Point with proof of residency were able to obtain special windshield stickers to allow them access to their homes. Without a sticker, no one will be allowed in the area. Residents who still need to get stickers can obtain them on the following dates on June, 6-8 from 6-8 PM at the Harbormaster’s Office at the public landing.
The Sail Boston event takes place June 17-22 but the big event, the Parade of Sails, will be June 17 with 49 boats from around the world and a U.S. Navy vessel. The expected viewing times are from 9 AM to 3 PM.There will also be a U.S. Navy flyover. Winthrop’s Yirrell Beach and portions of Deer Island are prime viewing areas. Ships are expected the be in full sail and then drop their sails after Deer Island as they head in to Boston Harbor. There will be no vehicle access to Deer Island, all spectators must walk, which is over a mile, or ride a bicycle. The street will be closed at Tafts Street.
“If you’re going to have a house party get your people in early. It’s a short window to see the ships,” Delehanty said.
Shuttle buses will also run from Veterans Road, the high school and the area of Ingleside Park.
On Friday night, June 16, traffic restrictions will be put in place. Residents of the Point need to get a sticker.
As far as public safety goes, the Sail Boston event is like the Super Bowl said Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty. Security in the viewing areas will be tight, especially on Deer Island where visitors will have to be processed through a security system. There will also be vendors, cooling stations and port-a-potties. There will also be an ambulance stationed on the island
“There will be scanning stations to go through on the way to the viewing area,” said Dave Duest, head of operations at the MWRA’s Deer Island facility. Screening to get on the island begins at 6 AM.
The stop in Boston is the only stop in a North American port, Delehanty said. From the point of Deer Island spectators will be 1,200 feet away from the ships. The ships are also going to stop in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Quebec City.