PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., September XX, 2018 – Panama City Beach invites families of all ages to join in the celebrations of the 2018 Pirates of the High Seas Fest this Columbus Day weekend. From Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7, the eighth annual festival will bring swashbuckling adventures to the destination, including a scavenger hunt, pirate parades including a pirate pet parade, a magic show, storytelling, live music, fireworks and more. Kids won’t want to miss Friday night’s Treasure Drop that includes over 8,000 gold and jewel colored beach balls dropped from nets stretched over the street of Pier Park.

            “Columbus Day weekend is a great time for a beach getaway, and we’re pleased to offer a full schedule of free, unforgettable pirate-themed events for the whole family,” shares Dan Rowe, president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach. “We’re excited to bring back many of the events and performers that have made our Pirates of the High Seas Fest a yearly favorite for locals and visitors alike, and look forward to the all-new tradition of a 5K run/walk taking place on Saturday.”

            This one-of-a-kind festival celebrates the legend of the pirates who used to roam the coast near Panama City Beach. Guests are invited to watch staged pirate battles, following the legend of Dominique Youx and his krewe of loyal pirateers who fought to defend Panama City Beach from invaders who wanted to steal the destination’s jewels in the early 1800s. New to the festival this year is the Pirates of the High Seas GeoTour. Participants can download the GeoTour Passports from or pick up their passport         In keeping with the family-friendly spirit of Panama City Beach, the below events ARRR sure to be a whole lot of fun for attendees of all ages.


Friday, October 5:

  • Festival Village & Little Pirates Fun Zone (5 p.m.)

Get the weekend started with pirate themed activities for the whole family.


  • Kid’s Parade (6:00 – 6:45 p.m. at Pier Park)

Children fill the available floats and parade down the streets of Pier Park, tossing out beads and other pirate treasure. (Space is limited.)


  • Entertainment on Center Stage (6:45 – 7:15 p.m. at Center Stage)

The opening ceremonies at Center Stage will feature a dramatic reading of the Legend of Dominique Youx by the Pirates of the Emerald Coast Theatre Company, followed by Conch Sounding and the Treasure Drop, when thousands of gold and jewel colored beach balls are released from nets stretched above the crowd.


  • Second Line Parade (7:15 – 7:45 p.m.)

All are invited to dress up and join the Second Line parade, which will end at Celebration Stage


  • Live Music (8:00 – 9:15 p.m. at Celebration Stage)

Live music on the Circle Stage features Victor Wainwright & The Train as the Second Line Parade winds through Pier Park in a colorful Mardi Gras style celebration.


  • Fireworks Show (9:15 p.m. at Russell-Fields Pier)

A fireworks show from the City Pier sure to excite the entire family.


Saturday, October 6:

  • Pirates of the High Seas Fest 5k run/walk (8:00 a.m. at Frank Brown Park)

Come run, jog, walk or waddle and have a great time. Wear your pirate costume! There will be an adult and children's costume contest and also a 1-mile family run! Race day registration and pre-registration packet pick up will open at 6:30 October 6, 2018.


  • Little Pirate Fun Zone (12-8 p.m. at Dave & Buster’s Parking Area)

A full day of fun offers children a chance to show their swagger with fun pirate-themed activities and entertainment. Pirates and mermaids will be leading activities, and temporary pirate tattoos will be available.


  • Live Entertainment (1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Celebration Stage)

Magic and more with Captain Mayhem.


  • Pirate Invasion (2:30 – 3:00 p.m. at Pier Park and Pier Stage)

The Pirates of Dominique Youx defend Panama City Beach from an invasion of Pier Park as pirates swarm from the beach.


  • Live Music (3:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Celebration Stage)

Live music from Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, the Main Parade on Pier Park Drive (5 – 7 p.m.) and a concert featuring Landsharks.


  • Fireworks (8:30 p.m. at Russel-Fields Pier)

All pirates are invited to return for a second night of breathtaking fireworks, again launched over the beach from the City Pier.


Sunday, October 7:

  • Lil’ Pirates Fun Zone Open (12-2 p.m. at Main Stage)

Pirates-in-the-making will learn the basics of casting and reeling in some of Panama City Beach’s native sea creatures.

  • Victory Celebration (12:00 – 7:15 p.m. at Grand Lagoon and Captain Anderson’s Marina)

The day’s activities include a treasure hunt, magic shows, a family and pet pirate parade, food and drink specials at area restaurants, live music, pirate ship flotilla, and a fireworks show in the evening.