Capitalizing on the excitement of the new "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's
Chest" movie release, and capturing a little of its spirit too, this past weekend The Ventura Harbor Village hosted a very nice "Pirates Day", resplendent with professional pirate action shows on sea and on land, photo opportunities with a Johnny Depp look-alike and a Pirate Photo Booth where you could dress up like your favorite pirate and have a keepsake for a few shillings or is it rum...? Not enough already? There was more fun to be had with a children's treasure hunt, pirate tattoo face paintings, and a strolling Irish sounding pirate band, Unkle Monkey (were pirates Irish?)
The Live Action Pirate Show included swordfights (nothing like an Errol Flynn flick), gun battles (only heard one gun go off, but boy was it loud), and more as Pirates For Hire from Los Angeles invaded Ventura Harbor Village. The show was great but it was hard to hear them talking and acting out their routine. By days end they'd repeated their act so often the lead Pirate lost his voice, but his hoarseness just made for a better sounding pirate. It might have been better if they'd hooked up an audio feed, but then they looked like they were being paid in shillings and rum, so... Still, it was a great show and the Wench they called Booty seemed certain to fall out of her top at any moment, but alas, as a pirate might say, there was to be no wardrobe malfunction during this particular show.
While mingling around I got a site I thought I would never see...The Jack Sparrow lookalike (who looked more like Gary Oldman playing Dracula playing a pirate) doing a sword duel with my old roommate! He was portraying Captain Hook for which I give him kudos for finding his niche, all up until the point his costume seemed to fall apart, and for the kicker his big Hook hat and full head of hair went swooping down to the ground - the Good pirate troop (as any good improv group would do) swooped in and saved the day with some funny lines about time-outs and costume malfunctions (sadly it was a costume malfunction on a guy and not a busty wench). Ahh and so many memories of the roommate who just seems to never do anything 100%. Enough about that guy and now more about the event.
Other great events included the Pirates Costume Contest in front of the Village Carousel, with the chance to win tickets to Disneyland to experience the new Pirates of the Caribbean ride...The ride that inspired the movie that inspired the revised ride. (And two out of three good, new Jack Sparrow characters on the new ride, ain't bad...)
The other attractions seemed like buried treasure, without a map to find it. I'm talking about the Pirate Personality Test (are you the true pirate kind?) and the Pirate Pick-up Lines! I couldn't find them.
There were plenty of Pirates at various vendor stands in the Village but none seemed to pillage or plunder anything... Am I wrong or were these pirates? Or wishwashbuckling pirates?
Lastly the amount of pirate merchandise left something to be desired. Just plenty of the regular non-Pirate Day stuff you'll find in any beach gift shop and had nothing to do with the event itself. No special t-shirts, posters, buttons, or event swag! And you know you gotta have Swag!
It's gonna be the busy season for Pirates, so check out this calendar of events!
Essential Events for Pirates 2006:
There are plenty of regional events. But the big international one we can all share, is Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th.
Ojai, CA Pirate Fair, Sep 23 & 24
Brun's Raiders & Tales Of The Seven Seas
I havent been to it yet (going this year) but I hear its a fun one. Visitors are encouraged to come in Pirate regalia.
Dana Point Tall Ships Festival.
The largest annual gathering of tallships on the west coast.
Annual Buccaneer Days - October 1-17, at Two Harbors located in Santa Catalina Island. Don your best pirate attire for the costume contest and compete in the Treasure Hunt for the Grand Prize. Enjoy great food and dance the night away!
So before you head out to any of these events I would say to get some pirate clothing (I rummage up mine from thrift stores) from vendors like Dress Like A Pirate where you can get your own pirate getup and accessories.
So with all of this info and a short plank to walk on, go forward I say to pillage and plunder on your next pirate adventure and who knows? Someone may come up to you and say, "hey your outfit is great, you look just like a pirate!" Upon which, you give an evil grin an state "Arrrr!"