Pirate Day in the Bay
photos by Ellis Anderson
Organizers of Pirate Day in the Bay are putting out a coast-wide call for buccaneers and swashbuckler wannabes to rendezvous in the historic seaside town of Bay St. Louis on the weekend of June 26th and 27th.
Organized by the non-profit Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse, the weekend is packed with music, historical re-enactments, kids activities and more. Krewe members will be in full pirate costume, and all visitors are encouraged to wear their own buccaneering best swashbuckling on both days of the event.
The public event kicks off Friday evening at 5:00 pm, with a Pub Crawl and Scavenger Hunt throughout Old Town's eateries.
Talk of the Town
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 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.
“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