By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- Swashbucklers and scallywags of all ages are invited to the International Palms Resort & Conference Center in Cocoa Beach this weekend for a one-of-a-kind event.
From Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, Pirates of the Treasure Coast will host the third annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Festival, a free, family-friendly event.
With live music by The Bawdy Boys, Rusty Cutlass, A-Tribe and For Love or Money, as well as tons of pirate demonstrations, this weekend's Pirate Festival is sure to please even the most ruthless pirates.
"This event was brought to Cocoa Beach in an effort to increase tourism after the loss of the Space Shuttle program and to bring the local residents an adventure in family-friendly piracy," said Kathy Gilbert of Pirates of the Treasure Coast. "This year, we are focusing more on the Living History Pirate Encampment and teaching a new generation about the history of piracy to see if the community would support a proposed expansion of the Pirate Festival to include Lori Wilson Park."
During the weekend-long event, younger scallywags will be able to enjoy pirate ship and water cannon battles, complete with hundreds of cannonball water-balloons, in an expansive 150,000 gallon pirate-themed kiddie pool.
Pirates of all ages will be able to check out the Living History Pirate Encampment and a Black Powder Weapon Demonstration, featuring flintlocks, long rifles, blunderbuss, muskets and cannons.
"All, who come out, will have the opportunity to meet celebrity artist Don Maitz, creator of the original Captain Morgan Spiced Rum character," Ms. Gilber said. "He will be on-hand, signing his art and event posters, as well as selling his artwork."
On Friday night from 8 to 11 p.m., scallywags, 18 and older, are invited to the Pirate's Ball. General admission tickets are $25, while VIP tickets are $35.
Ms. Gilbert encourages all interested in attending the Pirate's Ball to purchase tickets as soon as possible, as tickets are expected to sell out prior to the event.
The Pirate's Ball will feature a mix of swashbuckling entertainment, as well as a costume contest, cash bar and delicious hors d'oeuvres.
A free event, the Cocoa Beach Pirate Festival is sure to be a great time for attendees of all ages.
"Whether you come to enjoy the educational and historical aspects or like listening to the music and shopping a great selection of vendors, going on treasure hunts and dressing up as a pirate, or just like hearing the roar of the cannons, there is something here for everyone to enjoy," Ms. Gilbert said. "If you're lucky enough, you can catch a glimpse of one of the event's beautiful mermaids."
The Pirates of the Treasure Coast will host the third annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest from Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15 at the International Palms Resort & Conference Center.
Festival hours are Friday, noon until 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Festival admission is free, although a voluntary $2 "Buck-N-Ear" admission is appreciated.
For more information, visit www.CocoaBeachPirateFest.com or call (561) 792-9260.