By MELISSA SCHNEIDER
Quite a mutiny was on organizers' hands last week, as the community of Fort Myers Beach nabbed back its own Pirate Festival, after the out-of-town promotion company
"dropped the cannon ball" and was then
told to "walk the plank."
"It's been quite a wild ride, but we're all handling it well, and the seventh annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival is going to be better than ever," said Stephen DeAngelis, one of the local island members that grabbed the bull by its horns to get the festival back on track.
During a town meeting last week, Stephen, along with representatives from all over Bay Walk, Times Square, the Times Square Alliance, the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, Town Hall, and other island businesses, as well as a fair share of friendly pirates, gathered to correct the out-of-town mishap.
An event schedule was efficiently organized, as each business and representative offered products and services to the idea, and the community seemed even more eager than orginally planned, getting their island festival back on schedule.
Throughout Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6, the Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival will go on with guns blazing and swords slashing, as the downtown area of Fort Myers Beach will be transformed into a pirate's happy haven. Vendors will offer some of the best baubles and trinkets around, local businesses will offer extra-sweet treats to those dressed in pirate garb, and special events and contests will be held for the kids.
Swashbuckling festivities will begin Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. with the Pirate Cruise-a-Palooza Cruise, from Salty Sam's Marina to the Shipwrecked Pirate's Ball at Nervous Nellie's, beginning at 7 p.m.
Then, Saturday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m., the festival will commence with street vendors, roamin', rovin' pirates, street-side games and plenty o' beer wenches. Friendly mutineers, pirates and scalawags of all types will roam the streets and interact with festival visitors.
The all-new Little Buccaneers Fishing Tournament will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the festival docks.
There will be live entertainment, treasure hunts, a pirate pub crawl, and the exciting Ship to Shore Black-Powder Battle, starring the loveable Pieces of Eight pirates and a slew of other scurvy sailors that will come from far and wide to invade the isle of Fort Myers Beach that day.
The Fort Myers Princess will offer a 2:30 p.m. cruise to view the Ship to Shore Battle for $10. Cruisers can expect to be fired upon by the Pieces of Eight Pirate Ship, so be-warrrrgh!
Throughout the festival, area restaurants will offer food and/or drink specials to anyone dressed like a pirate. Participating restaurants include S.O.B, Matanzas Inn and Restaurant, the Yucatan Beach Stand, the Lighthouse Tiki Bar, Zushi Zushi, Nervous Nellie's, Fort Myers Princess, the Surf Club, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill and Big Game Waterfront Grill. Dairy Queen is offering free Dilly Bars to all children participating in the fishing tournament.
Schedule of Events:
Friday: All day: Be sure to be askin' your servin' wench for special pirate discounts along Times Square and Old San Carlos Boulevard.
5 to 10 p.m.: Enjoy live music from The Troublemakerz in Times Square.
6:30 to 10 p.m.: Cruise-a-Palooza (6 p.m. boarding). All ye pirates 21 and up can take this cruise through the back bay to Nervous Nellie's for the Pirate's Ball. The cost is $20 per pirate, departing from Salty Sam's Marina. It will return after the ball.
8 to 11 p.m.: Free Shipwrecked Pirate's Ball at Nervous Nellie's. Enjoy Sailor Jerry specials, the Sailor Jerry Girls, live music and a costume contest.
Saturday: All day: Be sure to be askin' your servin' wench for special pirate discounts along Times Square and Old San Carlos Boulevard.
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pirate Festival vendor booths, activities and the Thieves' Market. Contact Bonnie Robers at BonnieRobersEvents@gmail.com or call 443-8810 for vendor info.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Little Buccaneer Fishing Tournament. Kids should bring their gear if they have it, but if not, poles will be provided, courtesy of the Yucatan Beach Stand and Smokin' Oyster Brewery. Bait has been donated, courtesy of Pete's Time Out. Parental supervision is required.
Noon to 11 p.m.: Pub crawl
2:30 p.m.: Fort Myers Princess Battle Cruise. $10.
3 p.m.: Epic Ship to Shore Battle, starring the Pieces of Eight Pirate Ship, of the coast of the back bay, by Nervous Nellie's.
5 to 10 p.m.: Enjoy live music from Big Al and the Fat Cats in Times Square.
8 to 11 p.m.: Free Shipwecked Mutineers' Ball at Nervous Nellie's. Enjoy drink specials, prizes, giveaways, raffles and the coveted Pirate's Charity Auction.
9 p.m.: The coverted Pirate's Charity Auction, at the Mutineers' Ball, where local pirates offer donated goods, with all funds raised going to the children of Beach Elementary.
For more info on the upcoming Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival, visit FortMyersBeachPirateFest.com.
The Adopt-a-Pirate program
Organizers of the event ask any local businesses that could help put up a few traveling, professional performing pirates for the night would be most appreciated.
"For our professional pirates that are traveling from out of town to perform during our festival, adding to its appeal, it'd be greatly appreciated if some of our local inns could donate a room or two, so they can have a place to sleep for the night," Stephen said. "Pirates have no problem with four to a room. It beats the rocky waves of the high seas."
If you can donate a room for the festival's Adopt-a-Pirate program, call Stephen DeAngelis, 822-1369.