Pirate Day in the Bay
- story by Ana Balka, photos by Ellis Anderson
A certain Captain Longbeard and his roving band of mateys will take over the city of Bay St. Louis once again on June 24-25 for the second annual Pirate Day in the Bay, thanks to the Bay’s own Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse. Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to go “full pirate” in celebration of Bay St. Louis pirate history and legend.
Pirate Day in the Bay sprung from a 2014 restaging of the 1814 Battle of Bay St. Louis by the Bay’s then-new Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse. Marketing director of Pirate Day Margaret Rafferty Cantrell said that what started as Pirate Day — a small event with a poker run — in 2014 became something much bigger once organizers John Rosetti and Stephen Crawford “took the reins” and turned it into an annual event that would bring greater economic benefit the community.
Talk of the Town
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.
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.
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.
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!