Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pirates Festival of Northern California

When other little girls of my age were dreaming of being ballerinas and hollywood starlettes, my ambitions laid somewhere between being on the A-Team and working with Indiana Jones. However, I was 5 years old when I went on my first trip on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World and realized that what I really wanted to be when I grew-up was a swashbuckling pirate.

I can 't remember the day that I realized that Santa Claus was just a myth, but I do remember the day I had the crushing realization that the days of Jack Sparrow and sailing the seas on a tall-ship are over. I've held a special place in my heart for pirates ever since. So when I was told of a mythical Pirate Festival held this weekend in the Vallejo Marina, you can imagine my excitement. So with childlike enthusiasm, I took the BayLink Ferry from the San Francisco Warf to Vallejo in search of Pirates and hidden treasures.

The Pirate Festival was like walking onto the set of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, with most of the people in attendance in elaborate costumes. Designed to be like Renaissance Festival, the Pirate Festival was set up by the marina with tents full of costumes, cool crafts and gifts, games, and food. There were also multiple stages with entertainment going on at the same time including sword fights, cannon fights, craft demonstrations, bands, and even a pirate magician by the name of Jack Spareribs. However the biggest draw of the festival was the people watching with so many amazing dressed pirates, period dressed naval officers and Victorian ladies walking around. Even children, pets, and strollers came decked in Pirate gear! My favorite part of the day was the cannon show when a Pirate ship sailed the harbor and fought a battle with a village of Pirates on shore.

The Northern California Pirate Festival was created four years ago to celebrate pirate mythology: the world of sword fights, bawdy wenches and buried doubloons. The local newspapers are estimating over 40,000 people people will attend. And the count today was that 2,643 people came out in costume to try to set the Guinness record for the world's largest gathering of pirates. All in all, it was worth the hour long ferry ride from San Francisco and I highly recommend his free festival for pirates and pirate lovers of all ages!

No comments: