Visit Panama City Beach‘s Pirates of the High Seas Virtual Fest, won the Henry award for the Special Events category at the 2021 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism’s esteemed Flagler Awards Ceremony in Hollywood, Florida. The coveted Henry awards are given to the highest scoring entry in each category and recognize outstanding tourism marketing in the State of Florida. Due to the enormous success of the Pirates of the High Seas Virtual Fest, Visit Panama City Beach plans to retain a virtual component of the festival going forward.


This is the third consecutive year Visit Panama City Beach has won this prestigious award. In 2019, Visit Panama City Beach won the Henry award in the Resource/Promotional Material- Consumer category for their Décor by the Shore campaign. The next year in 2020, the team received the Henry award in the Sustainable Tourism Marketing category for the Stay it Forward voluntourism campaign.


“I am extremely proud of the creativity and adaptability of our team. They successfully turned the 2020 Pirates of the High Seas Festival into such an incredible virtual event under unprecedented circumstances,” said Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO, Dan Rowe. “These efforts have not gone unnoticed. This Henry is a testament to the work that our team executes every day, and we are honored to win such a prestigious award from Visit Florida.”


The Pirates of the High Seas Festival, hosted annually on Columbus Day weekend, celebrates the legacy of the pirates who once roamed the Gulf of Mexico through interactive experiences, contests and storytelling. Last year’s event was comprised of a virtual scavenger hunt, social media costume contest, online magic show, a live-stream pirate battle and the chance to win a free vacation to the Real. Fun. Beach. Visit Panama City Beach invites families to celebrate again this year when Pirates of the High Seas Festival returns from October 4-10, both in-person and online, with the promise of new activities and exciting events.


The Flagler Awards recognize outstanding resourcefulness and creativity for tourism marketing in the state of Florida. Created by Visit Florida, these awards honor individuals and organizations whose efforts strengthen Florida’s position as the number one travel destination in the world.