Monday, June 27, 2011

Put-In-Bay Pirate Fest III

While there were a few rough spots, the 2011 Put-in-Bay Pirate Pirate Fest went quite well. The festival is held on the village green in the middle of town. Most of the surrounding merchants participate in some way and lots of visitors wear pirate hats and/or eye patches.

The main attractions are the historic pirate camp that we set up and the cannon firing.

This was our second year as official participants. Two years ago Michael and I checked out the festival and entered the costume contest. There was a historic encampment that year but the group that set it up has not been invited back. They didn't impress me. I had the impression that they were a F&I that said that they were pirates.

Last year was our first year. We were provided with a field to camp in that was a couple of blocks from the display area. This caused a little extra work since we had to tear down the displays Saturday night and set them back up Sunday morning. Still, it kept us separated from the drunks.

This year we were more comfortable with the set-up. In addition, we were provided with a better golf cart for hauling equipment and people so things were smother in general.

Our camp last year was so successful that the organizers asked us to bring back twice as many pirates this year. This lead to the main rough spot this year - cooking. Last year we cooked lunch and they fed us dinner. This year, with a larger group, they offered us groceries instead of meals. This meant cooking for 20+ over braziers. It also meant that we had to stick around the display camp where the braziers were. Some people went to the numerous restaurants and were not around when the time came to pack up the displays.

But enough of the rough spots. Highlights were:

The weather: Last year it was nearly 100 degrees. This year is was much cooler, especially on Friday and Saturday when there was a strong breeze.

Cannons: We arrived earlier this year and went looking for the organizer, Ty. He was piloting a barge full of cannons, attacking the town. He pulled up to the docks and three of us came on board as cannon crew. We had four cannons and five people so I ended up running a four-pounder by myself. I came back on Saturday when we repeated attack.

The tactical: This year we arranged to use the cannon area for a short tactical. This was thrown together fast and only ran for a few minutes but it was still fun. What it consisted of was a group of pirates, led by me, attacking from one side of a gazebo. A cannon fired and we retreated to the other side of the gazebo. A second cannon fired and we went back to the original side to exchange fire with some defenders. After we ran out of charges we did some hand-to-hand combat, killing the defenders. We regrouped and barely had time to declare "Nothing can stop us now!" before a final cannon went off, killing us all.

The last I heard, the organizers wanted us to bring even more pirates next year.

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