Stuart DBA presents 4th Annual Treasure Coast Pirate Fest

Ahoy Mateys!

The 4th Annual Treasure Coast Pirate Fest sails into Historic Downtown Stuart rain or shine Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 9-11 courtesy of the Downtown Business Association (DBA) of Stuart. Come ashore for mayhem and merriment from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday with costume contests, a family treasure hunt, live music, street performers, pirate demonstrations, pirate-themed vendors, and a plentiful array of arts, crafts, and food – plus a special pirate’s ball Friday night from 7-11 p.m. This year Pirate Fest introduces a living history pirate encampment and an all new three-day pirate pub crawl. General admission is FREE, and a portion of proceeds benefits Honor Flight Southeast Florida and the Road to Victory Museum as well as the DBA.

“Our beautiful waterfront and pirate heritage are part of what makes Stuart unique. Pirate Fest is a way to enjoy them both,” says event organizer, Patty O’Connell of the DBA. “Our local businesses all participate with friends and neighbors and pirate fans from all over Florida and the southeastern United States come together for three days of fun.”

The weekend kicks off Friday night with the Pirates Ball at the Lyric Flagler Center. Festivities include the finest in pirate fare, a well-stocked cash bar, sea shanties by the famed pirate crew, The Brigands, and a fantastic piratical adult costume contest. Don your finest pirate regalia and compete for the top prize. Not blessed with a fancy gown or pirate coat? An eye patch and a hearty pirate attitude will carry ‘ye through the amateur division.

It’s all in good fun Saturday and Sunday as locals and pirates alike take to the streets of downtown Stuart for two days of family fun. With hundreds of authentic pirate re-enactors and interactive street performers wandering the streets of Stuart in period costume, don’t be surprised by random acts of piracy. Family fun includes a pirate treasure hunt Saturday and Sunday, so watch for would-be buccaneers plundering in search of trinkets and treasure. The winning family will be announced Sunday afternoon at the end of the festival. Sign up at the Chickee Hut behind the Stuart Heritage Museum.

New this year is a full scale pirate encampment on the waterfront behind the museum. This living history display will stand on the very grounds where infamous Treasure Coast pirate Don Pedro Gilbert (of Gilbert’s Bar fame) and his crew of scallywags once wreaked havoc in the early 1800s. And for those who want to eat (and drink) like a pirate, organizers have added a three-day pirate pub crawl with stops at downtown Stuart’s tastiest galleys. With three days to complete the crawl, there’s no reason not to savor every stop.

Live music and demonstrations begin at 11 each day with shows on three stages. Performances include an educational – and entertaining! – return to the golden days of piracy with a Black Powder Demonstration featuring real flintlocks and cannons and a children’s costume contest. Famous pirate balladeers, The Brigands of Long Island and For Love or Money of Tampa Bay will be joined by local bands and a special Saturday night headliner to be announced.

At 12 noon on Sunday, September 11, it’s all hands on deck for a remembrance of the men, women, and children who lost their lives in the attacks on the twin towers in 2001 and the brave heroes who gave all in response. Historic re-enactors will fire a 21 gun salute in tribute to those we lost in this attack on our country 10 years ago. Volunteers will also collect donated items for our troops overseas at the gate.

Visitors are encouraged to attend in costume, so come dressed as your favorite Hollywood buccaneer, Mardi Gras pirate, or historic swashbuckler. Too shy for pirate gear? Pirates-at-heart are welcome too! Either way, you’ll get a taste of the pirate life at the 4th Annual Treasure Coast Pirate Fest!

Pirate Fest is an annual event organized by the DBA, organized by Pirates of the Treasure Coast, and sponsored by Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill, Treasure Coast Toyota-Scion of Stuart and Treasure Coast Lexus of Fort Pierce, Landshark Lager, Seacoast National Bank, City of Stuart CRA, PNC Bank, and Crown Car Care. Media sponsors include Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, Pirates Magazine, Sunny 104.3, WIRK 107.9, The Breeze 93.7, Jack 99.7, Coast 101.3, 103.1 The Buzz, WAVW 92.7, Oldies 103.7 and Real Radio 101.7. The event benefits the DBA’s efforts to promote and market the downtown area and its businesses. Admission is free, but a donation of “A Buck an Ear” is encouraged at the gate to support the DBA and its programs. For more information, contact Patty O’Connell at 772-283-1077 or Pirates of the Treasure Coast at 561-792-9260. Event details are available at www.treasurecoastpiratefest.com or www.facebook.com/TreasureCoastPirateFest.

The Downtown Business Association (DBA) of Stuart formed to market the shops, galleries, restaurants, and professional businesses of Stuart’s Historic Downtown and the surrounding areas. The group is an advocate for business owners and promotes a positive image of the downtown business district as a unique alternative to “cookie cutter” mall shopping. The DBA plans events, promotes Stuart’s history through the Stuart Heritage Museum downtown, and provides a platform for business people to air concerns. The DBA meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. in the City Hall Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. For more information, please visit www.historicdowntownstuart.com.