By MELISSA SCHNEIDER
Yarrrrrr! Have ye' been missin' roamin' and rovin' pirates up and down ye' island? Well, yerr wait be over, as the eighth annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival rolls through town this weekend, now sponsored by the Pollo Tropical restaurant franchise.
The annual festival that's all about anything narrrrrtical will hit the streets Oct. 11 to 13, with a Pub and Grub Crawl for the Pollo Tropical Pirate Fest kicking off the week prior, from Oct. 6 to 13.
During the Columbus Day weekend festivities, enjoy all things "pirate" as specially themed events take place for three days straight anything from a Pirate's Ball, treasure hunts, a sea battle and pirate shows to tale-tale-tellin', kid's games and activities, musical shows and pirate cruises, all kicking off with a Pirate's Parade.
Pirates and wenches will be rovin' through the streets of Fort Myers Beach all weekend, as a wide array of vendors offer trinkets and treasures from across the globe. Melodies, music and miscellaneous mishap can be seen from two stages at the venue around the clock, and an epic sea battle, featuring our very own Pieces of Eight pirate ship, will commence on the high seas of the back bay for all to see.
Dance in the moonlight of the Pirate's Ball, and meet some of the most treacherous and loving pirates throughout the festival.
The Pirate's Ball
Come in yer best pirate or wench garb to the Pirates' Ball, at Nervous Nellie's Saturday, Oct. 12, starting at 8 p.m. Twirl yer best mate to the music o' Celtic Stew and be sure to enter the pirate costume contest, full o' cash booty fer best pirate, best wench and best couple. This event is sponsored by Nervous Nellies. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.
The Pub and Grub Crawl
The Pub and Grub Crawl is an event that allows crawlers a good, solid week to visit each of 10 local Fort Myers Beach locations, sampling either some tasty brew, a delicious app, or perhaps both or more!
Participating locations include Paradise Tropical Wines, the Yucatan Beach Stand, Smokin' Oyster Brewery, Nervous Nellie's, Zushi Zushi, Skip One Seafoods, Royal Scoop ice cream parlor, Matanzas Inn restaurant, Pincher's Crab Shack, and Ugly's upstairs at Nervous Nellie's.
The cost to participate is $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and comes with a coupon book for each of the participating restaurants. Purchase them online at PolloTropicalPiratefest.com or visit the Fort Myers Beach Chamber office, 17200 San Carlos Blvd.
Kids' fishing tourney and giveaway
A fishing rod and reel giveaway will be awarded to the first 25 kids accompanied by their parents at the Pollo Tropical Pirate Fest, hitting Fort Myers Beach Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13.
The Kids' Fishing Contest will be held both days, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fort Myers Beach waterfront, under the bridge between Matanzas Inn and Nervous Nellie's. Kids are encouraged to bring their own poles, but the first 25 who come each day without one will receive a free rod and reel.
The 50 fishing rods and reels have been donated through donations provided by the Smokin' Oyster Brewery, Lighthouse Island Resort, Liberty Coast Construction and Gavin's Ace Hardware. Rudy's Treasure Chest on the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier will provide bait for the contest, and the grand prize winner will receive a custom hand-made fishing rod courtesy of Hot Rods by Al Vacks. Runners-up will receive awards donated by Krusty Pete's on the Beach.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult, limit one rod and reel per family for the two-day event.
For further information on the any of these special offerings, a full schedule of weekend events or anything else, visit PolloTropicalPirateFest.com.