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First ship contest launches for 2020 shipping season

Updated: February 27, 2020 06:49 PM

First Ship Contest | Visit Duluth, Photo by: Charles Howard Smith First Ship Contest | Visit Duluth, Photo by: Charles Howard Smith

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DULUTH, Minn. – Another sign that spring is just around the corner. People can once again guess when they think the season’s first ocean-going vessel – or “saltie” – will pass under Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge this spring.

The grand prize winner of the contest will receive a Duluth getaway prize, that includes lodging, gift cards for dining and shopping, and passes to local attractions.

The Maria G was the first saltie of 2019 | Charles Howard Smith The Maria G was the first saltie of 2019 | Charles Howard Smith

The First Ship contest has been held since 1984, the 25th anniversary of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Entries must be placed before midnight on March 24, by going visiting visitduluth.com/firstship.  Include the exact date and time of when you think the first saltie will pass under the Aerial Lift Bridge.

“So it was a way to get people excited about the upcoming shipping season… and we’ve continued to do it since then,” said Maarja Anderson Hewitt, spokesperson for Visit Duluth. “And people love those ships.  Obviously the port here in Duluth is so important for our regional economy and industry. It also is great really for tourism because seeing that port in action is really neat to see, whether you’re two or 82.”

The Maria G arrived on April 15, 2019 | Matt Rohlader The Maria G arrived on April 15, 2019 | Matt Rohlader

First Ship Contest Statistics

  • Last year:  Maria G, the first ship to enter Duluth’s port, arrived at 6:48 a.m. on April 15, 2019.
  • Earliest arrival: March 30, 2013 – Federal Hunter
  • Latest arrival: May 7, 2014 -- Diana

So what is your best guess?

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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