The seventh annual Eastport Pirate Festival will be held on Friday to Sunday, September 7, 8 and 9, and feature food, fun, fireworks and the tall ship H.M.S. Bounty. Spectators and participants of all ages are urged to wear pirate garb that weekend.
The Bounty, a replica of the ship on which the famous mutiny took place in 1789, will be open for tours. "Having the Bounty tied up at our fish pier for the duration of the festival is a fantastic addition to this year's festivals," says Chris Brown, Eastport Pirate Festival Committee co-chair. "I'm sure it's going to be a big draw. It is a beautiful ship to tour and spend time standing on her deck."
The always exciting invasion of Lubec will be held the weekend before the Eastport Pirate Festival. The town will be attacked from land, air and sea on Saturday, September 1. Pirate events in Lubec are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include a tug-of-war, pirate parade, bed race and children's games.
Events in Eastport on Friday, September 7, include foot-tapping entertainment at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the downtown stage with the Paradigm East Shanghai Dance crew as well as great local pirate music performed by Keltic Schmeltic from 6 to 8 p.m. The pirate king and queen will be crowned that night during the annual Pirates Ball at the Eastport Chowder House. Best dressed businesses, windows and employee awards will be rewarded with cash prizes that day.
Highlights for Saturday, September 8, include the Suddy 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. and Ruth Dunfield performing songs from her CD "Saltwater Women" in front of The Commons from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Family fun will be provided by the Maine National Guard, which will provide free pedal go-cart rides, races and give-aways from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the library. The National Guard will also have a bounce obstacle tent on the library lawn from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
A letterpress poster printing demonstration will be held by artist-in-the-street David Wolfe in front of the Holmes Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the annual Pirate Pet Pageant will begin at 10 a.m. at the downtown stage. The Pirate Parade starts at 1 p.m. by the high school and will be open to pirates of all ages and include cutlass demonstrations, cannons and small-arms fire. "During the parade, [The First] bank employees will be on a float and collecting money to help out with next year's festival," points out Brown. "And we're expecting more floats and more music in this year's parade."
Anyone who is planning to be in the Pirate Parade should approach the high school by Adams Street or Clark Street and Hillside Cemetery.
Music on Saturday includes the Atlantic Clarion Band playing from 2 to 3 p.m. on Water Street and popular Fishwhistle playing from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the downtown stage and again from 8 to 10 p.m.
The very entertaining Pirate Bed Race will begin at 3 p.m. in Bank Square, and Brown promises that "sacks of gold dollars" will be given out to each person on the winning team. Prizes will be given out during the Kids and Youth Pirate Pageant at 4 p.m. downtown. That will be followed by the "A Pirate's Life For Me" show with Piper and Greybeard at the amphitheater beginning at 5 p.m.
A fireworks display will light up the sky at 7:30 p.m.
The events on Sunday, September 10, include a Hunstman Marine Touch Tank set up in front of Eastport Pets at 10 a.m., and Piper and Greybeard will perform "A Pirate's Life For Me" again at 10 a.m.
Awards will be given out to the winners in the Antique Auto and Motorcycle Show that will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. downtown.
A Pirate Boat Parade is planned for 12 p.m., and that will be followed at 1 p.m. by the Lobster Boat Race. On land, youngsters can enjoy a Kid's Treasure Chest Hunt if they meet at Bank Square at 2 p.m., and actors from the Pirates of the Dark Rose and Stage East will hold a Pirate Tryal at 3 p.m. on the downtown stage. Sandi Bilbo of the Pirates of the Black Rose says that the Eastport festival is her personal favorite festival, because the whole town is involved. "Even the dogs dress up. When we go to Eastport, it's like family."
A Lobster Crate Race will be held at 4 p.m. at the Eastport Chowder House.
All through the weekend, craft and food vendors will be set up throughout town, and most of the local bars and restaurants are featuring special musical entertainment.
Geoff Edgers of the Travel Channel will also be in town on Saturday and Sunday to cover the pirate festival.