Monday, August 13, 2007

Pirates of Paynetown

I'll be posting more about this event later. The quick summary - it was a great event.

This was the second annual Pirates of Paynetown event. The first one came about when some employees of the state park at Monroe Lake Resource Area were trying to think of special events that would attract people to the park. The friend of an employee suggested a reenactment. The trouble is that nothing historic happened in the area. The only thing it has is the state's largest lake. That suggested a pirate event.

It was a hard sell to the state. It would mean having unknown people camped in a non-camping area but they hesitantly agreed. Around two dozen pirates attended and by the end of the event the staff was asking about the next one.

This year went even better. Around 60 pirates showed up with 30 tents, seven boats of varying sizes and lots of weapons and artillery. The state provided ice and firewood and the main course for a pot-luck.

The highlight was an attack on the "village" by river pirates. I was among the pirates. We were a small band with small arms in rowboats. Initially we were repulsed when a larger boat came to the aid of the village but then it switched its colors - it was one of ours. With the support of its guns, we successfully raided the village.

The day also included weapons demonstrations and the hanging of the old captain - it seems the crew wanted better articles.

After dark the organizers opened the "Scurvy Dog Tavern" in a marquee. The crowd overflowed and the party moved out into the open air. There were a half dozen musicians singing and playing late into the night.

It was a hot weekend but cooler in the country than it would have been in a city. There was a cooling breeze most of the weekend.

The site itself was nearly perfect. It was well-shaded (important on a hot August day) and it overlooked the lake on three sides.

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