Pirate Day in the Bay
Ahoy, mateys! On June 24th, pirates take over Old Town for one of the most popular family events of the year. Swashbuckle your way through the weekend with our event rundown!
- story by Ana Balka, photos by Ellis Anderson
Last year’s first official Pirate Day in the Bay brought out somewhere around 1500 people, Rafferty said, and this year is likely to attract more.
The whole thing revolves around Captain Longbeard, who storms yearly into Bay St. Louis on a mighty ship with his crew — this year, on Friday, June 24 — intent on “recruiting new conscripts, and ... entertaining the young ladies of the city” (from Longbeard’s publicity page on Pirate Day’s website; a pirate has to have a good social media presence these days).
According to organizer John Rosetti, Longbeard will meet with Mayor Les Fillingame and “discuss taxation of his commodities.
“We anticipate a heated dispute in which the mayor will more than likely be placed in jail and the pirates will control the town,” Rosetti reported.
Those who wish to actually be an “arriving pirate” (by boat, that is) on Friday should sign up for the “Pirate Recon River Run & Pirate Arrival,” and be at the BSL Harbor Event Deck at noon. From there, participants will cruise to Hollywood Casino, where they are free to plunder for treasure, and return with the boat at 5:30 for the Pirate Arrival. Get tickets here.
The pirates’ arrival and showdown with the Mayor officially happens at 5:30, and will immediately be followed by the Pirate’s Pub Crawl and Scavenger Hunt (for which you may purchase tickets here). At least 11 bars are Pub Crawl and Scavenger Hunt Stops; find hidden treasures and compete for over $1000 in prizes and gifts.
Pirates may also take part in Saturday’s 3 p.m. “Pirate Cruise and Invasion,” which will take buccaneers on a cruise of the Bay of St. Louis, returning to the Harbor event deck by 5 p.m. for the Pirate Invasion. Tickets here.
But wait! There is so much more to Pirate Day in the Bay! Whether you take part in one of the cruises or not, you (and your kids, and your dogs, and your parrots, yarrrr) must dress in your finest privateering pantaloons and buccaneering blouses and enter in the costume contest. Judges Rory Rafferty (President, Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse) and Jaimee Dorris (entrepreneur, advocate of all that is fabulously feminine, blogger, and Mrs. Congeniality of the 2016 Mrs. Mississippi pageant) will judge the 2 p.m. Saturday proceedings.
There will be music throughout the weekend, with the Bay’s own Brandon Tingstrom rocking the stage 7-10 Friday night, and upbeat New Orleans band Karma playing Saturday from 8-11.
The Mayor takes back the city and proclaims it safe by 7:30 p.m. Saturday, but pirates will keep reveling as the music goes through the night. Then, thrill to the glory of the cannons — or rather, a big and gorgeous fireworks display, sponsored by the Silver Slipper at 9.
Then we can all go home and rest easy that Captain Longbeard and his dastardly cohorts have sailed away for another year. Ahoy!