Ships and crews from around the world will land in Halifax this month for Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta from July 29 to Aug. 1. New free community programming includes a picnic in the Grand Parade, 1790 Argyle St., Halifax, on July 31 from 8 to 10 a.m. It will feature local produce courtesy of the Halifax Convention Centre team and their in-house culinary experts, in support of Feed Nova Scotia. Volunteers from Feed Nova Scotia will collect donations. “We are proud to be a part of this amazing event by doing what we do best – creating memorable experiences,” said Carrie Cussons, president and CEO of Events East. “We’re excited to work with our partner Waterfront Development to give our community and visitors a taste of the authentic Nova Scotia culinary experience from our award-winning team.” A new feature of the Tall Ships gathering is a unique community opportunity to participate in a Dalhousie University led, blue wave, as part of the Parade of Sail on Aug. 1. “The iconic Parade of Sail is the perfect backdrop to highlight Nova Scotia’s connection to the ocean. How it’s shaped our past and present, and how it holds the key for a more sustainable, prosperous future,” said Catherine Bagnell Styles, assistant vice-president of communications and marketing at Dalhousie University. “We’re asking everyone attending the Parade of Sail to wear blue as we wave farewell to the fleet with a celebration of our ocean pride.” “People can enjoy free programming and events along the Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts including culinary presentations, musical and theatrical performances and storytelling, and of course ship access,” said Jennifer Angel, acting CEO of Waterfront Development. “There truly is something for everyone and we are proud of our partners’ work to pull together this incredible Nova Scotia showcase with such creativity and determination.” The program includes: For more program information online visit rdv2017ns.com. A selection of ticketed events on Georges and McNabs Islands are available at, http://rdv2017.tickethalifax.com, including a picnic on McNabs Island, a Taste of Nova Scotia Georges Island Experiences, Parks Canada Explore Georges Island and Joel Plaskett Emergency with Port Cities. Tall ships are visiting Canada to honour the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 2017 as part of a 7,000 nautical mile transatlantic race, led by Sail Training International. Halifax is the final start line for the last leg of the race. Nova Scotia port events will continue until Aug. 16 with celebrations in Sydney, Louisbourg, St. Peter’s, Lunenburg, Shelburne, Digby, and Annapolis Royal. Sail training opportunities for people of all ages are available at sailonboard.com. The province, Halifax Regional Municipality and the Government of Canada/Canadian Heritage and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, have provided financial support to RDV2017 Tall Ships Regatta in Nova Scotia. Select Nova Scotia’s Children Learn to Cook program in Dartmouth Taste of Nova Scotia’s Food Fare by the Sea Parks Canada’s Waterfront Heritage Program and programming at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site a Bluenose II program at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic the CBC Main Stage and kids entertainment lineup the Atlantic Film Festival Outdoor Film Experience Pirate’s Landing at Alderney Landing three nights of fireworks.