If the Columbus Quincentenary...

CARAVELS A'COMIN':

May 23, 1992

CARAVELS A'COMIN': If the Columbus Quincentenary Commemoration has piqued your interest, circle May 29 -- Friday -- on your calendar. That's the day you can get involved without leaving Baltimore.

About noon that day, the highly publicized replicas of Columbus' Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria are scheduled to sail into the Inner Harbor. These are the Spanish-built caravels that crossed the Atlantic and in recent weeks have been working their way up the East Coast, port by port.

They will be arriving amid a flotilla of other boats that will be assembling at the Key Bridge at 10 a.m.

And all three caravels, coming to Baltimore from Norfolk, Va., will be staying in the city until leaving June 8 for points north.

The caravels are on a U.S. tour under the auspices of the Spain '92 Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting better understanding and closer relations between Spain and the United States.

The caravels are to dock Friday at the Inner Harbor's amphitheater for a public welcoming ceremony. Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Spanish Ambassador Jaime de Ojeda will officially welcome the Spanish captains and crew at 12:30 p.m.

After the ceremony, the caravels will move from the Inner Harbor's west wall to berths at Harrison's Pier 5, across from the National Aquarium.

You won't be able to tour the caravels Friday, but they'll open to the public May 30 to June 7. Tickets are on sale through TicketMaster outlets, including Hecht's and the City Life Ticket kiosk in the Inner Harbor. Call (410) 481-SEAT.

An Inner Harbor box office opens at 11 a.m. Monday at the Pier 6 Concert Pavilion. Tickets will cost $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and military and $3 for children 6 to 18. Children under 6 are free.

The caravels' arrival officially launches the city's "Operation Sail '92," a four-month waterfront Columbus quincentenary commemoration that will see a variety of visiting ships in port, ranging from tall ships to a Canadian submarine. Information: 837-4636 or (800) 282-6632.

PLAN AHEAD: Just a reminder: the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials are being conducted in The Arena June 6 through 13. Tickets are on sale now for this once-in-four-years event, during which American gymnastics competitors for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, will be decided. Information: (800) 800-TRIALS.

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