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St. Thomas Pirate Festival Will Bring Boatload of Buccaneers this Weekend

Oct. 30, 2008 — Pirates, buccaneers, freebooters, filibusters, gentlemen adventurers.
Call 'em what you will, they'll invade the St. Thomas waterfront in force this weekend when the first St. Thomas Pirate Festival kicks off its three-day run Friday with events for kids, adults and kids who are adults.
The festival is the brainchild of Casey Thornburgh, a pirate enthusiast who every day dons his buccaneer garb to sells historical souvenirs at Vendors Plaza.
The festival will begin at 3 p.m. Friday when a pirate ship, loaded with costumed buccaneers, will land at the waterfront. The pirates will disembark and roam the sidewalks, visiting with guests and visitors. Pirate Happy Hour will extend from 5 to 7 p.m. at several downtown taverns, including The Greenhouse, Happy Buzzard and Drake's Passage. A pirate-themed Halloween party will follow at 7 p.m. at Tickles Dockside Pub at Crown Bay Marina. The pirate costume contest will feature a $250 first prize.
The festival gets into full swing at 11 a.m. Saturday with the landing of the pirate ship at Lindberg Bay. The day's activities will include a face-painting booth and iced lemonade free to all children from noon to 4 p.m.; sword-fighting exhibitions from 1 to 3 p.m.; and a treasure hunt at 2 p.m. for kids 12 and younger, with children searching the sand for more than $500 in cash and prizes. There will also be a sandcastle-building contest for children 12 and younger from 3 to 4 p.m. with a $50 first-place prize.
The big event of the weekend comes at 7 p.m. with The Pirate's Ball, held on the terrace at Bluebeard's Castle. Live local music and a DJ will be part of the entertainment. There will be a pirate costume contest, and the "Queen of the Pirate Wenches" will be crowned. The pirate wench contest is sponsored by Pirate Radio and Tiger Lee Pirate Portraits. Entertainment by a reenactment group will highlight the evening. All guests are to be in pirate attire. Tickets are $10 at the door, with no advance reservations, and all proceeds will go to The Animal Care Center of St. John.
A professional sand sculpture exhibition and a barbecue cook-off will highlight Sunday's schedule at Lindbergh Bay.
Viewing of the sand sculptures will begin at 11 a.m. and run through the afternoon. The Buccaneer's Barbecue Cookoff will serve barbecue sample plates from noon to 5 p.m. Sample plates will cost $5 and can be obtained by purchasing a $5 ticket. No cash will be accepted for sample plates. All proceeds of sample plates will go to a local charity.
Sunday will also feature children's face painting from noon to 4 p.m. and local steel pan music.
And pirates, of course — lots of pirates available for photos with the public free of charge.
Pirate reenactors will perform music and comic skits at 1 p.m., and a second treasure hunt for children will take place at 2 p.m.
Further information on the festival is available online at stthomaspiratefestival.com.
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