Shiver me timbers, it’s the Louisiana Pirate Festival!
The 2018 Louisiana Pirate Festival dates back to 1957 and was recently voted a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society. Many Gulf cities have pirate festivals, but Lake Charles has a story to go with it. It is said that Jean Lafitte and his pirates used to hide out in Lake Charles and buried lots of contraband on its shores. Should we start looking?
Every year, citizens of Lake Charles fight the invading pirates. Cannons boom and festivities are widespread, but the good citizens always lose and the mayor is forced to walk the plank.
Cruisers can reserve a fully-serviced slip at Bord du Lac Marina on the eastern shore of Lake Charles. With 40 transient boat slips, the marina is only a short walk to the festival held in and around the Lake Charles Civic Center.
From May 3-13, tempting Cajun food beckons up and down Galley Alley while uplifting Louisiana music swirls in the air, much of it live. Saturday, May 5th salutes mariners with a boat parade and the “Show Us Your Dinghy” contest. The “Dress Like a Pirate” parade takes to the streets on Sunday.
Children have extra fun things to do at McDonald’s Little Matey Children’s Area with Captain Crabbe where they can join in the Pirates Got Talent competition and the “How to Play with Your Food” cooking class.
The inaugural Louisiana Pirate Festival Costume Ball will take place at the appropriately named Buccaneer Room of the Civic Center on Friday, May 11th. Tickets begin at $45 and proceeds benefit the St. Nicholas Center for Children.
Arrgh, matey! Let the fun begin.
By Bill AuCoin, Southern Boating May 2018