Booty, planks, eye patches, and parrots…all the makings of pirate culture! If you just can’t seem to get enough of everything pirate related, you will be happy to know that there is an outlet to get your fix! Every year across the United States, pirate festivals are in full swing, celebrating pirates in costume, entertainment, and environment. So, here are a few of the noteworthy pirate festivals that are within reach.
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One of the pirate-themed festivals occurs annually in Portland, Oregon, called Plunderathon. It is presented by a group known as “the informal order of Pirates, Buccaneers, Scallywags, Privateers, and Grocery Store Clerks”. The festival takes place in several locations around town and consists of a parade, bar crawl, and art display. Participants dress up as pirates, with costumes ranging from cheap party store garb to high quality authentic and theatrical attire. They create ships from shopping carts and walk around various areas of the city for as long as 10 hours. The organizers of this event take it very seriously and set very strict rules, including no children allowed. It is made clear that this festival is not “cute” or “fun”, but for true pirates. Plunderathon always receives a great deal of local attention and has also caught the national eye over the years.
Another pirate festival can be found at the beginning of every year in Tampa, Florida and is known as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. It is held in honor of the apocryphal legend of Jose Gaspar, a mythical Spanish pirate captain who is believed to have lived in southwestern Florida. Events of the festival include a Gasparilla parade, children’s parade, film festival, music festival, arts festival, and road race. And of course, people do come in pirate gear and get in the spirit for the festivities. This series of events is a huge deal for the whole city and many people get involved. The average crowd for the main Gasparilla parade is around 300,000 people. The first festival was held in 1904, though many changes have transpired between then and now.
Pirate Complete Costume:
To top it off, the NorCal Pirate Festival, held in the San Francisco Bay area of California is the largest pirate gathering in the United States and features a cast of 500 actors, actresses, and musicians. This event is comprised equally of Mardi Gras, living history, a state fair, and Pegged-leg eye-wearing-patch fan fest. Guests will find four stages of continual entertainment, gourmet food, micro-brewed beers, awesome art, and ship to shore cannon battles. There are also bound to be mermaids, British naval officers, famous pirate captains, and other characters roaming about this family friendly event. Basically, think Renaissance faire for pirates meaning costumes and accessories are definitely allowed and encouraged.
With so much pirate love these days, pirate festivals extend far beyond the ones mentioned here. They are indeed a popular spectacle and they will not be going away any time soon. To get your hands on your own pirate gear, whether for festival or mere play, take a look at our collection of pirate clothing and accessories at: http://www.historicalclothingrealm.com/