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Costume Weekends at Florida Renaissance Festival

Sunday's pirate costume contest at the Florida Renaissance Festival.
Sunday's pirate costume contest at the Florida Renaissance Festival.
Joleen Koehly

This past long weekend the Florida Renaissance Festival hosted the popular annual salute to the Pirates of South Florida with a well-attended themed weekend and three days of Pirate Costume Contests and tie-in events.
On my visit Sunday, I found, that as this column has discussed previously, every year, more and more attendees get into the spirit of the festival by donning their own, homemade, store bought and rented costumes. The costumes run the gamut from historically accurate, intricate, works of art, true to one of many well-known generations of pirate history, to those outfits with a slight hint of the pirate life indicated by frilly shirts a.k.a. Pirate Shirts, hats and bucket boots. Additionally, there were lovely and fantastical costume renditions and theoretical visualizations, of, Anime, Steampunk, Fairy, and Hip-hop Pirates.

Sunday’s costume contest disappointed only in that it was not better attended by both contestants and audience. At 4:30pm when the contest occurred there were still many pirates, both children and adults, meandering about the village who did not participate in the contest and since the contest winner is selected by audience response, a larger audience means an event that is more fun for all involved.

The children’s contest resulted in an unusual but richly deserved five-way tie. Or, as the moderator pronounced “five happy pirates.” Sunday’s adult division was won by a women named, Anna, with a blinged-out pirate hook and a black bird on her shoulder (a synthetic bird, not live or stuffed.)

Another fun aspect of the week-end were festival tie-ins to the theme, for example, a rousing original ballad, Pirate’s Life, performed by the Rambling Sailors, husband and wife musicians Gregg and Susan Csikos, and written by Gregg.

This coming week-end, February 22 and 23rd, 2014 is another crowd pleaser of a costume theme week-end as the festival presents its ever popular, Bodacious Bodices Weekend, aka. Wench’s Weekend, aka. Cleavage Contest. (Don’t fret ladies, our turn to gawk is coming up for Celtic Weekend and the famous Men in Kilts contest, March 15 and 16, 2014.)

Upcoming Costume Themed Week ends:
February 22 and 23rd, 2014 – Bodacious Bodices – Cleavage Contest
March 1 and 2, 2014 – Time Traveler’s Weekend with a Steampunk Costume Contest and Fashion Parade.
March 8 and 9, 2014 – Game of Thrones Inspired Weekend with Fight Demonstrations / Battle for Supremacy of the Houses of Westeros.
March 15 and 16, 2014 – Celtic Weekend with the Men in Kilts Contest

Start designing and creating your costumes for upcoming weekends!