Whether traveling by land or sea, Panama City Beach invites everyone to take part in the 2015 Pirates of the High Seas Fest from Friday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 11. The fifth annual festival includes 3 fireworks shows, sword fight reenactments, treasure hunts, pirate parades, music, and enough pirate-themed fun to guarantee an exciting weekend for the entire family. This year's events will take place at the Grand Lagoon, Pier Park and the City Pier of beautiful Panama City Beach. All events are free and open to the public, including fireworks each evening and musical performances by national touring acts the Caribbean Chillers, Trop Rock Junkies, Todd Sparks Band, Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, and Heat and the Zydeco Gents.
"Columbus Day weekend features our fantastic fall weather, and the Pirates of the High Seas Fest is just loads of fun for families and children of all ages," shares Dan Rowe, president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach. "Celebrating our fifth year, it just keeps getting bigger and better, and I encourage everyone to come embrace their inner pirate spirit."
The spirit of the revelry and love of food and drink that characterizes the early pirates who were known to ply the waters of St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is alive and thriving in Panama City Beach during this special event. Visitors to the area get to help reenact two pirate battles, mirroring the legend of Dominique Youx and his krewe of loyal privateers fighting to defend Panama City Beach from invaders intent on stealing the town's jewels and kidnapping the city's mayor.
In keeping with the family-friendly spirit of Panama City Beach, these events welcome attendees of all ages, and the one thing you ARRRR certain to experience is a whole lot of FUN.
Friday, Oct. 9, 2015
• Early activities kick off at the Festival Village at 4:00p.m., with pirate themed activities and fireworks.
• Children's Costume Contest and Parade (5:00p.m. - 5:30p.m. at Pier Park)
Fun for buccaneers of all ages as they don their best pirate attire.
• Entertainment on Circle Stage (5:30p.m. - 8:00p.m. at Circle Stage)
Beginning with the children's parade at 5:30, followed by the opening ceremonies, Circle Stage will host the Conch Sounding prior to the Treasure Drop, as well as musical entertainment from Trop Rock Junkies.
• Entertainment and Second Line Parade (7:30p.m. - 8:30p.m. at Pier Park and Circle Stage)
Live music on the Circle stage features Trop Rock Junkies. The Village Brass Band leads the Second Line Parade as in winds through Pier Park in a colorful Mardi Gras style celebration for families and friends.
• Fireworks Show (8:30p.m. at City Pier)
A fireworks show from the City Pier is sure to excite the entire family.
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015
• Run for the Treasure (7:00a.m. - 11:00a.m. at St. Andrews State Park)
Landlubbers can stretch their legs at the pirate-themed 5k, 10k and Fun Run.
• Festival Village (10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m. at Grand Theatre Plaza)
The full day of fun offers children a chance to show their swagger with fun pirate-themed activities and entertainment.
• Circle Stage (12:00p.m. - 2 p.m. at Grand Theatre Plaza)
Music by Tom Mason & The Blue Buccaneers and Todd Sparks Band on the Circle stage.
• Pirate Invasion (2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Pier Park)
The Pirates of Dominique Youx defend Panama City Beach from an invasion of Pier Park from the beach.
• Costume Contest, Parade and Live Music (3:00p.m. - 8:00p.m. at Circle Stage)
A chance for adult pirates and wenches to strut their stuff on the Circle Stage followed by live music from Heat and the Zydeco Gents, the Main Parade on Pier Park Drive and one last concert featuring the Caribbean Chillers.
• Fireworks (8:30p.m. at City Pier)
All pirates are invited to return for a second night of breathtaking fireworks, again launched over the beach, from the City Pier.
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015
• Victory Celebration (Grand Lagoon)
A day-long celebration, including a second, final defeat as the city's defenders take to boats to chase off a second pirate invasion. The day's activities include a Grand Lagoon treasure hunt, fishing tournament, costume contest, kids' pirate themed activities, food and drink specials at area restaurants, pirate ship flotilla, and a fireworks show in the evening.
Exact times are subject to change. For more information about last year's festival and other special travel packages visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.