The streets of Moose Island were full of costumed visitors and residents having fun at the seventh annual Eastport Pirate Festival held on September 7, 8 and 9. "All indications are that it was absolutely fabulous," says a happy Chris Brown, one of the festival organizers.
"The weather seemingly threatened, but it turned out to be very cooperative," he says of the frequently overcast skies. "The sun was late coming out on Saturday, but the festival drew the biggest crowd we've ever had."
"The presence of the HMS Bounty was the cream on the cake," he points out. "There were 28 crew aboard her, and they participated in just about every event, including the Lobster Crate Race. One was crowned king. They were very, very happy with the very positive attitude and pleased with the support services."
Eastport Police Officer Rodney Merritt says the Pirate Festival "went very smoothly for us. There was only one arrest all weekend, and that didn't have anything to do with the festival."
Merritt wouldn't be surprised if 10,000 to 15,000 people had been in Eastport over that weekend. "The crowds rivalled the Fourth of July. There was substantial activity on Friday, really substantial activity on Saturday, and there were still a lot of people here on Sunday."
The Pirate Parade on Saturday afternoon was bigger than ever and included pirates on motorcycles, foot and colorful homemade floats. Events such as the Pirate Bed Race and the fireworks on Saturday and the Pirate Boat Parade and Lobster Boat Race on Sunday were popular with the crowd.
"We had 28 Pirates of the Dark Rose here this year," says Brown of the professional pirate group. "That's double the usual. They even came up from Key West to be here."
The festival also featured a variety of events aimed at children and families, and Brown reports, "All the kids' games went over really, really well."
Some of the people were first-time visitors to Eastport, he says. "There were a lot of Bangor area residents asking about where to park here over the weekend. I think a lot of them were drawn here by the Bounty."
"Everything was so much fun," sums up Brown. "It couldn't have gone any better."
Winners of the various contests held during the Pirate Festival are as follows.
Business awards: best dressed window, most creative -- Port O'Call; best dressed shop window, most interesting - Liberty Café; best dressed employees -- S.L. Wadsworth and Son Inc.; most authentic costume -- Marilu Scott.
Pirate Ball: king, Adam "Work" Prokosch, Seattle, Wash., the H.M.S. Bounty; queen, Tatiana Efanova, Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Pirate Parade: best business float -- Rossport Farms, Ross Furman, Eastport; best individual's float -- Liberty Café, Laura Baker, Eastport; most thrilling entry -- Washington County for the Freedom to Marry, Suzanne Carver; best child costume -- Mackenzie Smith, Dennysville; best adult costume -- Muriel Maryatt, Nova Scotia; best dressed family group -- Tammy Cox, Calais; farthest traveled -- Yarmouth Book Club, Yarmouth; most creative -- Pirates of Mudflat Lodge, Howard Johnson, Perry.
Pirate Bed Race: first place winner -- New Friendly Restaurant, 1:19, with Vanessa Patterson, Timmy Barnes, John Cushing, Nick Barnes and Tony Theriault; second place winner -- U.S. Coast Guard, 1:28, with Matthew McCorie, Noah Rowland, Jacob Schreider and Andrew W. Penns.
Pirate Children and Youth Pageant: ages 2B4 boys -- Liam Bowen; ages 2B4 girls -- Denali Wagstaff; ages 5B9 boys -- Noah Carver, also known as "Captain Jack Sparrow"; ages 5B9 girls -- Baylee Cummings; ages 10-plus boys -- Finn Sheehan; ages 10-plus girls -- Minsoss Sapiel‑Bobaotilla.
Pirate Pet Pageant: smallest -- Miss Macy, owned by Blayne Chaffey of Edmunds; largest -- P.J., owned by John Kehoe; best dressed -- Fluffer, owned by Michaelynn Cecire of Eastport; cutest -- Phoebe, owned by Cindy Amato of Portland; best trick -- Sunny, owned by Kaylie Robertson of Edmunds.
Pirate Crate Race: grand prize winner -- Matt Harris; winners -- Nathan Moffett, Lauren and Jace Cook, Cierra Seeley, Isaiah Chevrier, Caleb Dublin, A.J. Seeley.
International Lobster Boat Race winners are as follows for the different categories.
Clamdigger and lobster pickers: Outboards up to 70 hp, skiffs over 16 feet: Klose Enuff, Jesse McPhail.
Clamdiggers and lobster pickers: Inboards or outboards, skiffs 16 feet and over: Lorna Doone, Carol Dennison.
Gas V8 any CU in and under, 24 feet and over: Foolish Pleasure, Galen Alley.
Diesel 351 hp to 450 hp, 28 to 35 feet, 11-inches and under: Hee Haw, Brent Davis.
Diesel 351 to 450 hp, 36 feet and up: First Team, Travis Ortis.
Diesel 451 hp to 650 hp, 28 feet and over: first place -- Whitney and Ashley, Kristan Porter; second place -- High Maintenance, Angus McPhail.
Diesel 651 hp and over, 28 feet and over: first -- 16th Avenue, Wendall Bryant; second -- Fraid Knot, Patrick Feeney; third -- Tornado, Micheal Ferguson; fourth -- Phantom, Nick Lemieux; fifth -- Rattlesnake, Derek Feeney.
Eastport and Lubec race: first -- Lorna Doone, Carol Dennison; second -- Klose Enuff, Jesse McPhail; third -- High Maintenance, Angus McPhail; fourth -- Lady H., Matt Harris.
Diesel free for all, 24 feet and over: first -- 16th Avenue; second -- Fraid Knot; third -- Tornado; fourth -- Phantom; fifth -- Hee Haw; sixth -- First Team; seventh -- Whitney and Ashley; eighth -- Lady H.
Fastest lobster boat afloat: first -- 16th Avenue; second -- Fraid Knot; third -- Klose Enuff; fourth -- Whitney and Ashley; fifth -- Lady H.