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Pirate festival comes to Fort Myers Beach from Oct. 9 to 11

If you like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and the whole pirate theme excites you, then Salty Sam’s 10th annual Pirate Festival is the party for you. The festival will be held from Friday, Oct. 9 to Sunday, Oct. 11 on Old San Carlos Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach. It is a charity event and an opportunity for family fun during the Columbus Day weekend.

Abby Eischen, a freshman marine science major, believes that the festival has the makings to be a great success.

“I think the Pirate Festival on Fort Myers Beach is a fantastic idea for little kids and families,” Eischen said. “I am personally not really into pirates, but I think that it all depends on how the festival is advertised and the view it gets from others. It has the potential to be a big hit. I also like the fact that some of the proceeds will be donated to various deserving causes.”

Andrew Tate, the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce ambassador, said the festival is a pirate-themed celebration filled with entertainment, games, food and fundraising. A portion of the festival’s proceeds will benefit the Guardian ad Litem Foundation – 20th Judicial Circuit, Greater Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts, Bay Oaks Recreation Center and Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center.

There will be an Inaugural Pirate Ball on Saturday, Oct. 3 as a kickoff event for the festival. The ball will be held from 5 p.m. to midnight, and the evening will include entertainment, auctions and contests. Tickets to attend the Inaugural Pirate Ball are $75 and include dinner, but concert-only tickets are available for $45.

Bootleggers Waterfront BBQ will be hosting the event, and attendees can partake in pirate games for a chance to win prizes and compete in the costume contest. There will also be a silent auction, all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet and live music by The Ricky Howard Blues Band, with special guest Jo List.

Tate encourages individuals of all ages to attend the festival.

“The Pirate Festival is one of biggest events held on Fort Myers Beach and one of the largest in Southwest Florida, and we have been rated the No. 2 pirate festival in the nation by USA Today,” Tate said. “A lot of work goes into making this unique charity event happen. The excitement of seeing the streets of Old San Carlos transform into a pirate village is wonderful, and since it is our 10-year anniversary, we have planned the biggest and best festival yet. We encourage families and pirates of all ages from near and far to join us down on the beach. From the kids’ entertainment, to the fun in the sun, this year’s festival is sure to be a sensation.”

The pirate festival is a family friendly event that will feature pirate entertainers, vendors and musicians. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the historic seaport of Fort Myers Beach.

Events taking place during the festival include live musical and interactive shows by professional Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator Captain Jase, performers Arrr Ink and The Craic Show.

There will be a live Sea Battle at Matanzas Pass, where attendees can watch ships go to battle with their cannons. Tickets can be purchased to go on a cruise aboard Salty Sam’s Pieces of Eight, a replica Spanish ship, and watch an interactive pirate show. There will also be action and entertainment for adults, including the Pub Quest on Friday night, where attendees can play a card game of chance at a variety of bars and restaurants located in the downtown Fort Myers Beach area.

Anna Guerrero, a junior legal studies major, is interested in participating in the upcoming pirate festival on Fort Myers Beach, especially since it is a charity event.

“I have never heard of the Pirate Festival on Fort Myers Beach before, but it definitely sounds like something I would be interested in,” Guerrero said. “It seems different and unique. I attended Zombicon in Fort Myers last year and it was pretty cool, but the Pirate Festival sounds like a great event, too. I think it is a wonderful way for kids, students, parents and families to have fun over the Columbus Day weekend.”

The suggested entry donation for the Pirate Festival is $5 for adults, and admission for children younger than 12 is free.

For more information about the Pirate Festival, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation, visit fortmyersbeach.org/ piratefest. Tickets can also be purchased at 239-850-5611.

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