4

Arrr, Matey! The Fort Lauderdale Pirate Festival Returns April 20

Cannonball!
Cannonball!
Brittany Eldridge/Claude Rayhome
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

You don’t have to make the trek to Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival to party with pirates.

For a second consecutive year, the Fort Lauderdale Pirate Festival is docking at Esplanade Park. The event is a good fit for people looking to party as well as those wanting to spend the day with family. It all goes down Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and this year's installment features some new surprises.

Perhaps the most dazzling of the new entertainment are the pirate re-enactors.

“My partner in all of this is Bobby Rodriguez, who runs the Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park”, says event chair Kat Martin. “He’s been wanting to bring pirates to the people, and now we’ll have acts to make it that much more exciting. We’ll have five to ten-minute skits throughout with all kinds of banter.”

On top of some new pirate friends to mix and mingle with, this year’s festival will boast dunk tanks, a petting zoo, rock climbing and seven food trucks. For adults, there will be a fully-stocked bar.

Returning this year are three live cannons, four tiki huts that float down the river, and live music. Slated to perform throughout the day are Broward’s own country-rockin’ Rough Shot and the always-rowdy Celtic Mayhew.

The event’s wildly popular raft race is back this year as well, with the race winner taking home a cool prize valued at $200.

The popular raft race return to this year's Fort Lauderdale Pirate Festival.EXPAND
The popular raft race return to this year's Fort Lauderdale Pirate Festival.
Brittany Eldridge

“It’s completely free to enter the race and you can paddle or kayak, too,” says Martin. “It’s just awesome to watch everyone right up on the steps by the wall, cheering everyone on.”

The 2018 event attracted upwards of 4,000 folks and 8,000 to 10,000 guests are expected this year.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale’s 1090 Foundation, which provides scholarships to local high school students among other community initiatives.

“Not only can you have a blast, but you can benefit the community at the same time,” says Martin. “We’re all about ‘service above self’ and that’s a big part of the experience, too.”

Fort Lauderdale Pirate Festival. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Esplanade Park, 400 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale; ftlpiratefest.com. Admission is free.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.