After 58 years of celebrations, you’d think it would be difficult to inject new surprises into the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival traditions – but not so. There will be many new features at this year’s Festival, which begins on Thursday, May 30 and extends through Saturday, June 1 at The Landing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
The pirate festivities begin with the kids’ Pirate Walk (4 to 6 pm), costumed trick or treating hosted by the downtown merchants at their stores along Miracle Strip Parkway. At The Landing, the Festival will actually begin at 6 pm, with food and craft vendors creating a Pirate’s Village at the waterfront park. The Bowlegs Pub Crawl will also begin at 6, and pedestrians will enjoy the fact that a portion of Brooks Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6 to 10pm.
The Torchlight Parade will wend its way up Eglin Parkway at 7 pm, with dozens of floats representing area businesses and clubs, visiting krewes, and Fort Walton Beach’s very own Krewe of Bowlegs.
Following the Parade, activity will move back to the Landing, where the theme for Thursday is “Pirate Zombie Night”. There’ll be costume contests and pirate zombie fun, with prizes from AMC’s “Walking Dead,” provided by Cox. Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers will perform at 8 pm.
On Friday, the Festival will open at 3, and the popular Pirate Skirmish will begin at 7, followed by a “Talk Like a Pirate” contest and music by Cabo Rock. There will be a 20-minute fireworks show at 9:30, after which the festival grounds will close.
There’ll be pirate shenanigans all day on Saturday, from 10 am to 9 pm, and Capt. Billy Bowlegs and his Krewe are expected to return for their ultimate standoff with Mayor Anderson and his militia at 4 pm on Saturday. Following the outcome of that legendary battle, there’ll be music from the Bottoms Up Band and the Journey tribute band Don’t Stop Believin’.
All day on Friday and Saturday, there’ll be new surprises ... for news of those go to www.FWBChamber.com.
For more information about top events in Florida take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Florida.