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Florida Discoveries #14: Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Florida Discoveries #14: Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival

This past weekend was the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival at Fort Walton Beach Landing...about 20 miles east of where we live.  Dave suggested we hang out at the festival on Friday night, so after the boys got off the school bus, we went to the base to pick up Dave and headed eastward.

The boys put on their favorite (read: their only fitting) pirate t-shirts and brought their toy swords.
At 5pm on a Friday, the parking was surprisingly easy -- we parked only a block or so from the festival.  Timmy wanted his face painted right away, after that we had some dinner and enjoyed the evening out.

Go ahead, say it..."What is that thing on Timmy's forehead????"

Jacob was good with his eye patch and hat.  The hat is actually from Colonial Williamsburg, when he was 5 years old.

Most of the boats on the water had pirate flags flying on them!

Part of bringing 3 pirates with me to the festival: lots of mayhem!  We got those popper things that you throw onto the ground. My kids were annoying everyone....

Dave was no exception!

We had about 15-20 minutes of thunderstorm right when Billy Bowleg's ship was supposed to come into Fort Walton Landing.  This giant mast thing blew down near us.  Our family hunkered down in one of the vendor's tents and were fine.

Right after the weather cleared up, the Krewe of Bowlegs pulled up and all their crazy pirates disembarked.

Yeah -- part of me wonders if this is just an excuse to celebrate Mardi Gras in June...

They perform this every year -- Billy Bowlegs (right) comes ashore and attempts to make a deal with the Mayor of Fort Walton Beach (walking on the left).

The ladies throw out beads to the spectators.  Those are my three boys' hands all asking for beads!

Ask and you shall receive....

Who else noticed that Timmy's makeup is now gone?  After all, we got a real bandana for him :-)

My boys enjoyed the ladies who were handing out the beads....I wonder if the young lady on the left is Miss Billy Bowlegs or something like that....

Jacob's dessert -- a New Orleans Sno-Ball with a do-it-yourself syrup tap.  Really!

Dave was having the BEST time!

A band called "The Bilge Pumps" performed sea chanties and pirate songs.  They were a lot of fun.  Download their songs on iTunes.

We waited for the fireworks, but there were a couple of problems with the launch control system and then there was a disabled boat too close to the fireworks barge and the show ended up canceled.

Jacob got really really sick of waiting...



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