Pirate Day in the Bay
Pull out the eye patches and pick up a parrot - it's time to talk like a pirate again. Event co-chairs John Rosetti and Stephen Crawford explain why it's sailing full speed ahead. Full schedule of events included!
photos by Ellis Anderson
On Saturday, June 27, the fun extends from land to sea, with a pirate rendezvous in the Bay for boaters and paddle board races north of the Harbor. Vendors, live music and a children's play area will keep landlubbers happy. The evening features a pirate parade meandering through through Old Town, with a fireworks finale.
The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse plans for this event to become an annual celebration and fundraiser for the volunteer organization. Much of the event and viewing will be free of charge, but to participate in the Pub Crawl or the children's play zone, there is a fee. Full details and the schedule can be found on the website www.PirateDayInTheBay.com.
The citizen group behind Pirate Day in the Bay plans events throughout the year to increase economic development in the downtown area of Bay St. Louis. The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse derived its name from the USS Seahorse and the Battle of the Bay between the United States Navy and British Navy on December 13, 1814.
“The original pirates came to the Bay to relax and unwind,” says John Rosetti, co-chair of the event. “Centuries later we’re doing the same thing. The whole idea is to generate economic development with an event that’s fun for both visitors and locals."
Steven Crawford, owner of Crawford Realty and Rosetti's co-chair agrees. He also points out a difference between a festival and an event.
“Festivals draw audiences, while events invite participation and interaction,” Crawford says. “And everybody loves a pirate. So it’s geared to be fun for all types and ages of people, across the board.”
Pirate Day had its beginnings last year in connection with the 200th reenactment of the Battle of Bay St. Louis, in 1814. The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse derived its name from the USS Seahorse which was defending the coast against the British Navy. The tiny ship put up a noble fight, although vastly outnumbered.
When Crawford and Rosetti volunteered to co-chair the 2015 Pirate Day, they traveled to Fort Walton Beach, where the Billy Bowlegs festival attracts tens of thousands annually. They met with the Chamber of Commerce and other Bowlegs organizers and worked out an arrangement to cross market the two events.
“The Billy Bowlegs team have been wonderful and are incredibly excited about the relationship we’ve formed,” says Crawford.
Armed with allies and fresh ideas, Rosetti and Crawford went to work. One of their goals was to create an event that was sustainable and would become part of the community fabric over a long period of time.
Another goal was to engage the entire spectrum of the coast community.
“We want people to feel engaged and included,” says Crawford. “If people are from Harrison county, or Kiln, or anywhere in the region, we want to welcome them with open arms. It’s not an event that only people in certain circles can enjoy. I think that’s why it’s going to be successful.”
“Events like this keep locals loving our city and visitors coming back,” says Rosetti.
“If you think about the time and the effort that people have put in to rebuild this city," says Crawford, "It’s nothing short of a miracle. That’s what makes Bay St. Louis so special. It’s a wonderful – and irreplaceable – jewel.”
Pirate Day in the Bay 2015 Schedule
6pm - 8pm: Patron's Party
Krewe Central, 111 Main St., Bay St. Louis
“Party with the Pirates” (Advanced Tickets: $20 – members, $25 – non-members) (Day of: $25 – members, $30 – non-members). Purchase advance tickets here.
5:30: Pirates arrive at the Harbor, capture the mayor and the city and pirate colors are raised over the Bay St. Louis.
5:30 - 6:30: Live Music, 111 Main
6pm - 9pm: Pirate’s Pub Crawl to 10 bars in Old Town – Look for the Pirate Krewe Flags! (Advanced Tickets: $20 – members | $25 – non-members) (Day of: $25 – members | $30 – non-members). Purchase advance tickets here.
9pm: 111 Main Street
Captain Long Beard’s Pirate’s Proclamation: "Destroy the City” (Captain Long Beard continues the “Pirate’s Pub Crawl” after his proclamation.) Event closes at 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10am - 10pm
10:30am - 4pm: Off beach rendezvous for boaters
11am - 1pm: DJ at 111 Main Street
4pm: Pirates arrive at harbor
5pm: Captain Long Beard’s meeting with Laffite Brothers and Royalty from the Krewe of Nereids at Bay Town Inn (208 N. Beach, across from Harbor)
5:30pm: Pirates' Parade from DeMontluzin to Buoy's Bar
6pm: “Captain Long Beard is Captured” and jailed by Mayor and townsfolk. Corner of N. Beach and Main St.
6Pm - 9pm: The reenactment continues with live music, culminating with a proclamation from the mayor.
9pm - 10pm: Fireworks show by Mystic Krewe of the Sea Horse and the Silver Slipper Casino