Monday, May 21, 2012

Pirates on the Santa Maria - Spring 2012

The Spring Pirate event on the Columbus Santa Maria was a rousing success. The ship saw a record-breaking number of visitors and pirates.

The battle between pirates in boats and the ship was the biggest ever. We had four boats including the Persephone. After loading the Black Sheep up with two people on a bench, it was able to hold seven. In all, we had 18 attackers on Saturday and 16 on Sunday. That is in addition to the defenders on the quarter deck, the mortar crew on the stern castle, and the howitzer crew on shore.

Saturday also had a singing duo and a set of stocks and a gibbet for hoisting pirates in. Sunday had a performance by the Hard Tackers.

A few things helped the event. One was weather. It was hot but clear. Last year, Sunday was pretty much rained out (although it was still the second biggest weekend of the year) and the event would have been cancelled due to flooding if it had been scheduled a week later.

The event is getting a lot of publicity. We were written up in the Columbus Dispatch's Weekender the previous Thursday and several kid and family-oriented web sites listed the event. This showed in the attendance with most visitors being families with kids. We had some activities just for them including certificates for them after they toured the ship.

Three years ago the ship's Director told me that she would be thrilled if the weekend brought in $2,000 (it was $2,500). This year we brought in $3,900.

Visitors missed one of the best parts after hours Saturday when various singers performed past midnight.

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