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Put-in-Bay's annual Pyrate Fest has pirates galore

scenes from Pyrate Fest
scenes from Pyrate Fest
courtesy Pyrate Fest

"Yo, ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me." If that is a song that you sing to yourself or if you've seen all of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies or you just have a thing for swashbuckling pirates then set your sails for the 6th annual Put-in-Bay Pyrate (Yes, it is spelled right) Fest being held on South Bass Island from Friday, June 20 through Monday, June 23.

Captain Jack Sparrow at Pyrate Fest
courtesy Pyrate Fest

Put-in-Bay Pyrate Fest Everything pirate will be in the spotlight at this free, family-friendly 4-day event being held at DeRivera Park and other venues (including Perry's Victory Monument) along Put-in-Bay's waterfront.

The Festival kicks off on Friday ay 4 p.m. with invading pirate ships sailing into the downtown harbor and being met by infantry fire from the island. A battle will ensue (including cannon fire) as the scoundrel pirates make their way to shore. Special Note: The best place to view the battle is along the downtown waterfront. Be aware that the pirates will be roaming the streets and may take captives. The official Opening Ceremony is at 7 p.m.

Weekend activities at Pyrate Fest include a Pirate Parade on Saturday at 2 p.m., a costume contest for adults and for kids (with the adult winner being awarded a trip to the Cayman Islands), a Kids Fun Fest with lots of hands-on activities, black powder firing demonstrations, Cardboard Boat Races (on Monday at 6 p.m.) and shopping at the Pyrate Marketplace.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Alas, it will not be Johnny Depp) and his crew from the Black Pearl will be demonstrating sword fighting techniques and Captain Jack will also lead a Treasure Hunt.

Pyrate Village (home to the Marketplace) and DeRivera Park will also feature Capt'n Willie's Safety Program for the kids, pirate re-enactors giving living history demonstrations such as cooking using 18th century ingredients and utensils, teaching 18th century dice games and giving lectures about small sailing vessels. In addition, Faire Wynds Circus will be performing.

And don't miss the spectacular fireworks display on Saturday evening.

All visitors to Pyrate Fest are encouraged to wear pirate garb or costumes though it is not required.

For those visitors wishing to stay overnight on Put-in-Bay, the official hotels of Pyrate Fest are Put-in-Bay Resort & Conference Center, Island Club and Bay Lodging Resort. Call 888-742-7829 for more information or to make reservations.

Hours for Pyrate Fest are 4 p.m. - approximately 7 p.m. (after the Opening Ceremony) on Friday, 11 a.m. - after the fireworks on Saturday, 11 a.m - 5 p.m. on Sunday and 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Monday.

To get to Put-in-Bay you will need to come on your own boat, fly in or take a ferry. Miller Boat Line Ferries offers regular service at a cost of $7 (one way) for adults and $1.50 (one way) for children (6-11), Children 5 and under are free. The Miller ferries leave from Catawba (Rt. 53 N. off Rt. 2) and offer an 18 minute ride to Put-in-Bay. Call 800-500-2421 or get online at for more information. If you dress like a pirate or talk like a pirate you can get $1 off your roundtrip ticket from Catawba.

You can also catch a ride on the Jet Express out of Port Clinton and Sandusky. Cost is $16.50 (one way) for adults and $3 for children (6-12). Children 5 and under are free. Call 800-245-1JET or get online at for more information and schedules.

For more information about Pyrate Fest get online at

Pyrate Fest will be held at at island's DeRivera Park on Delaware Ave. It is approximately a one hour drive from Cleveland to Catawba, Port Clinton or Sandusky where you can catch transportation to Put-in-Bay.

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