Set the Sails, an exhibit celebrating the 40th anniversary of the launch of Elizabeth II on Nov. 22, 1983, is now open in the ticket sales exhibit space at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
This free exhibit is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 31, and features the photography of Bill Broadhurst, a member of the Elizabeth II volunteer crew.
These photos documenting the voyage were taken by Broadhurst from the Remora, the support boat for Elizabeth II, during a seven-day outreach sail to Edenton that took place last year.
The exhibit includes artwork and Happy Birthday cards for Elizabeth II from the fourth grade class at First Flight Elementary School, first graders at Manteo Elementary School, and Manteo Assembly pre-K students.
The 1983 documentary, Our Ship By Hands, is included in the exhibit. It features interviews with the Elizabeth II building crew and footage of the initial launch of the ship. This exhibit was developed by Roanoke Island Festival Park staff.
The Elizabeth II is a 69-foot, square-rigged sailing ship representative of the Elizabethan vessels used to carry the first English colonists to the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored three voyages to Roanoke Island between 1584 and 1587, and the Elizabeth II is named for one of the seven vessels that sailed in Raleigh’s second expedition in 1585.
The ship was hand-built on the banks of Shallowbag Bay at what is now George Washington Creef Park in downtown Manteo as part of America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary, which, between 1984 and 1987, commemorated the anniversary of the Roanoke Voyages.
For more information about Roanoke Island Festival Park, visit RoanokeIsland.com.