If you look just over the horizon, you might spy Capt. Billy Bowlegs LIX and his pirate crew, charting their course for Fort Walton Beach, where they’re likely to invade the city for the 59th time sometime during the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival from June 5 through 7.
The locals will welcome the pirates with a huge parade on Thursday evening, June 5. At 7pm the parade floats will wend their way from First Street up Eglin Parkway, with crowds screaming for beads and throws from the festive floats, sponsored by local businesses and organizations, all themed with a nautical spirit. The pirates and their visiting Mardi Gras krewe cohorts always inspire the loudest cheers and applause – and this is the first look that many will get of Capt. Billy and his Queen.
Following the parade, there will be an opportunity to “Party with the Pirates” at the Fort Walton Beach Landing. The Krewe of Bowlegs will entertain their guests at the Landing, and festival goers will have the chance to party with Capt. Billy and his Krewe. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the vendors in the Pirate Village, and there will be music and revelry supplied by Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers.
The Festival grounds at the Landing will open at 3pm on Friday, June 6, and Capt. Davy will offer sea shanties and stories for children and adults alike. He’ll also have a mermaid tent (for photos with Angelica, a whimsical mermaid), magic shows, balloon animals, and there will be two pirate wenches for face painting.
At 5pm, “Latitudes” will take the Apex stage at with their repertoire stretching from Santana to George Strait. Capt. Billy and his Krewe will dock at the Landing around 7 pm for his reconnaissance mission and a skirmish with the Mayor and Reed’s Raiders. That will be followed by great music from “Heritage”, who will entertain the crowd until the fireworks, sponsored by CenturyLink, starting at 9pm.
On Saturday, the Festival grounds will open 10am. The day will be filled with pirate revelry and music, followed by the Pirates’ Landing at about 4pm.
Throughout the Festival, there will be entertainment on the main stage, sponsored by Apex Broadcasting, and there will be a large kids’ Pirate Play Zone sponsored by PMIPEO. Kids’ bracelets, allowing unlimited access to all the children’s attractions, will be $15 per day or $20 for Friday and Saturday. Attractions will include the rock wall, Euro-Bungee, the Dream Players Theater Group with pirate skits and storytelling, and Space Walk of Fort Walton and Crestview interactive attractions.
Visit the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce at www.fwbchamber.org for more information.
For news of top events in this region of Florida take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual festivals and events in North Florida.