New London - Eight businesses from the region have agreed to help sponsor OpSail2012 Connecticut, the tall ships event scheduled to take place here July 6-9.
OpSail organizers announced Wednesday that the corporate sponsors are: Mohegan Sun; Lawrence & Memorial Hospital; Hall Communications of Norwich; The Day Publishing Co.; Levine Distributing Co. of Norwich; Ocean Marketing of Guilford; the Waterford-based Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Southeastern New England; and Dominion Energy, operators of the Millstone Power Station in Waterford.
Sponsorship amounts were not disclosed.
"Thanks to the support of our many sponsors, we're feeling the momentum building for the arrival of the tall ships this summer," John Johnson, chairman of OpSail2012 Connecticut, said in a statement. "Since the start of the governor's challenge, we've been seeing more and more people and businesses step up to show their support. We're looking forward to a spectacular, fun-filled family event."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, honorary chairman of the event, has pledged $1 in state funds for every $2 raised by event organizers.
Led by the Coast Guard barque Eagle, OpSail2012 Connecticut will feature a parade of domestic and international tall ships, including Brazil's Cisne Branco and the schooners Wolf from Key West, Fla.; Meerwald from Jersey City, N.J.; Appledore V from Bay City, Mich.; Spirit from Essex; and Brilliant and Argia, both from Mystic.
Additional ships will be announced in the near future, event organizers said.
The city's OpSail event is one of several port visits organized nationally to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The war included a number of naval engagements along the Connecticut shoreline, including battles in Stonington and Essex.
The Eagle, a Class A tall ship, is appearing in six U.S. cities hosting OpSail2012 events, the first of which, in New Orleans, concluded Monday.
Nine ships from six nations hosted tours for more than 121,000 visitors during NOLA Navy Week, according to New Orleans tourism officials. More than half of those who toured ships were attracted by the Eagle and the two other Class A tall ships that participated, the Ecuadorian Navy's Guayas and the Indonesian Navy's Dewaruci, officials said.
OpSail2012 Connecticut will take place alongside Sailfest, New London's annual street festival.