2018-06-01 / Features

Fort Walton surrenders to invaders

It started out as a water skiing festival in 1953, and has turned into one of the nation’s longest-running and most popular pirate festivals. Sponsored by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and its annual sponsors, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival always takes place on the first full weekend in June. People come by land, sea, and air to join in this family-friendly event.

The first pirate sightings will undoubtedly be at the Thursday night festivities at the landing. Those bold pirates will be scouting out the town, looking for the Mayor’s weaknesses - and tempting the locals into debaucherous behavior! Capt. Billy LX has decided to come to town early this year - with his Krewe of Bowlegs and other Krewes from around the nation. We’ve heard talk of a band and more entertainment - something to distract the locals. Stay tuned!

This year, there’ll be more pirates than ever! And yes, of course Capt. Billy and his Krewe will arrive by sea to “scout” the Landing on Friday, June 1, and return to implement their dastardly plans on Saturday, June 2.

Mayor Rynearson of Fort Walton Beach and Reed’s Raiders are plotting and planning their defense of the City - will this be the year that the Mayor keeps control of Fort Walton Beach??? Or once again, will the Krewe of Bowlegs take over our fair city?

Regardless of who prevails, there’ll be merriment, music, and fun as the Torchlight Parade returns to Monday night, June 4. Come down to Eglin Parkway (between 1st Street and Hughes) and enjoy the shenanigans!

FRIDAY, JUNE 1

3 p.m. Festival grounds open

6 p.m. “Defense of the City” demonstration by Reed’s Raiders

7 p.m. Capt. Billy and his Krewe will dock at the Landing for his

reconnaissance mission and a skirmish with Mayor Dick Rynearson

and Reed’s Raiders.

9 p.m. Fireworks display

A free shuttle service will pickup and drop off at Saint Mary’s

Catholic Church behind FWB City Hall and at Uptown Station from 5

to 9 p.m. on Friday night and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2

7:30 a.m. 44th Annual Billy Bowlegs 5K. Visit www.nwftc.com for

registration details.

11 a.m. Festival grounds open

3 to 4 p.m. Pirates’ Landing. Let’s see if Mayor Rynearson will have

success in repelling Capt. Billy’s invasion this year.

MONDAY, JUNE 4

7 p.m. Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade, beginning at First Street

and continuing up Eglin Parkway

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