Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum: Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest will return to the International Palms Resort Friday through Sunday, June 7 through 9 with new bands, new vendors and the same old rollicking attitude.
“We are expecting thousands of people,” said Kathy Gilbert, a spokeswoman for Pirates of the Treasure Coast Events (POTTC), which organizes the event.
Pirate fanciers are delighted.
“AARRRGGG! I’m a (Jimmy) Buffett fan. How could I not love pirates?” asked Char Reinig of Melbourne.
This year’s “family-friendly piracy” will include arts and crafts, nautical and pirate-themed displays and vendors, black powder weapon demonstrations, a “living history pirate encampment,” Blackbeard’s Pirate Ship, “Pirates’ Dice,” interactive treasure hunts and cannonball water balloon battles in the 150,000-gallon themed pool.
Children’s activities will include Miss Amy’s Pirate Puppet Show and “pirate school” so that kids can learn about the wonderful world of piracy.
Seaman-turned-maritime artist Steve Witucki of Port St. Lucie, who does glass etchings and graphics, as well as paintings, will be the featured artist; vendors will be located in the hotel as well as outdoors.
A ticketed, adults-only Pirate Party, to which guests are invited to “dress like a pirate or come as you are” will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Manatee Ballroom, with contests for “Best Beard,” “Best Legs in Boots” and “Best Pirate Pick-Up Line.” Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.
The ticketed, adults-only Pirates’ Ball, for which pirate attire is encouraged, will take place 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday in the same location, and there, the Best Female Pirate, Best Male Pirate and Best Pirate Couple will be judged. Admission is $25 per person and VIP dinners cost $50 each.
Should Pam and Chuck Jacobs of Melbourne decide to attend, the costume part will be ready to go, with a distinct look of Disney’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
“I made his costume, did his hair and makeup, including his moustache and beard,” said Pam Jacobs, herself an entertainer (she sings with The Divas Band). “He won second place in a pirate costume contest. The guy who won had a live parrot on his shoulder.”
The Bawdy Boys will entertain, and those who attend the ball are warned, “Those with tender ears may wish to jump ship after the costume contest, as The Bawdy Boys’ last set will contain extremely vulgar and obscene subject matter. For those who have been in a tavern or two, you are in for a real treat, for the Boys have been known to make even the fiercest of pirates blush!”
Naturally, entertainment will play a large role in the proceedings, with:
- The Bawdy Boys, who combine Irish pub tunes and pirate themes;
- The Lazy Jacks, who perform traditional maritime music at the festival and party;
- Celtic Conundrum, with English, Irish, Scottish, Australian and American songs as well as sea shanties, who also will entertain at the ball and party as well as at the festival itself;
- Guitarist “Sunnyland Steve” Burchfield;
- BAM! (The Bard and the Minstrel), described as performing “comedy, music and mild-mannered debauchery, who will entertain at the ball and party too;”
- And Christopher “Captain Jack” Linden will serve as master of ceremonies.
“Mermaid Layla” will lead the contingent of half-fish-half-human creatures (“Mermaids Are Real Live Entertainment”) by “interacting with children,” Gilbert said. “It should be fun. Those are four new bands, plus we have new kids’ activities and a new guest artist. It’s going to be a big weekend.”
Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: International Palms Resort, 1300 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach
Admisssion: Free but organizers ask for $2 per person donations. Admission to the Pirate Party Friday night is $10 per person in advance or $15 at the door. Admission to the Pirates’ Ball Saturday night is $25, plus $50 for dinner
Parking: Free, at Lori Wilson Park.
For tickets or more information: www.cocoabeachpiratefest.com