By Brittany Llorente
MARTIN COUNTY - With billowing sails, wooden legs, cannons and treasure about, the winds have blown the Treasure Coast Pirate Festival back into town.
The annual festival will be held at the Martin County Fairgrounds for the first time, from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.
"It's a three-day, fun-filled, family friendly pirate event," said Kathy Gilbert, event manager for the festival. "We have live entertainment, lots of pirates, vendors, arts and crafts, a pirate encampment, kid zones and different themed events like costume contests and treasure hunts."
In addition to the encampment, there will also be Blackbeard's pirate ship, pirate weapons demonstrations and on Saturday night, for those ages 21 and over, there will be a Pirate Ball.
"We encourage everyone to come out dressed as pirates," Ms. Gilbert said. "It just makes it that much more fun."
As a pet-friendly event, even "four-legged" pirates are allowed to attend and are also encouraged to dress up.
"I love bringing the festival to an area and take a break from the every day," Ms. Gilbert said. "I love seeing the children happy and watching as they see the mermaids and watching them hunt down treasure."
The change of location, from downtown Stuart to the Martin County Fairgrounds, 2616 S.E. Dixie Highway, Stuart, was to make room for the 150 indoor vendor booth spaces, stage area and on-site parking.
The event is free, but a $2 'buck-an-ear' donation is requested.
The festival will also be collecting canned goods and other nonperishable items at the entrance to donate to charity.
For more information, visit TreasureCoastPirateFest.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.