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The 2024 68th Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival Promises Swashbuckling Fun

todayApril 4, 2024 460

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The 68th Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival will be take place on May 16 to 18 at The Landing in Downtown Fort Walton Beach (131 Brooks Street SE) and end with the Torchlight Parade on May 20. The event is a collaboration with the William Augustus Bowles Museum & Historical Foundation, City of Fort Walton Beach, Krewe of Bowlegs, Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Title Sponsor Gary Smith Ford.

Here is the festival’s schedule:

Pre-Invasion: Thursday, May 16, starting approximately at 4:30 p.m. in Downtown Fort Walton Beach at the south end of Ferry Road SE near Hwy 98. Captain Billy Bowlegs 68 and his Krewe arriving aboard the Blackhawk. Enjoy live music, the arts and crafts festival, and food and beverage vendors while the pirates engage with the crowd and posing for pictures. Fireworks will herald the end of the day’s show.

Skirmish: Friday, May 17, offers you an Arts & Crafts Festival at 3 p.m. along with food and beverage vendors followed by live music starting at 6 p.m. Captain Billy and his scouting party will arrive on shore again around 7 p.m. to confront Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson—resulting a skirmish between the two groups. The mayor prevails and the pirates depart but not before Captain Billy is threatened with arrest. Fireworks over Santa Rosa Sound around 8 p.m. will end the this second day of the festival.

Pirate Invasion: Saturday, May 18, features the Arts & Crafts Festival again at 10 a.m. along with the food and beverage sales along with other vendor booths. There will be live music from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Captain Billy 68, his entire Krewe of Bowlegs, and allies from visiting Krewes across the country will return to The Landing around 3:30 to 4 p.m. interrupting the music interlude but determined to conquer the city of Fort Walton Beach.

Mayor Rynearson and his forces will try ward off the invasion, but Captain Billy and his band of pirates will win. To celebrate their victory, the pirates and their wenches will spend time with all present and share more of their booty until 6 p.m.

Torchlight Parade: The 68th Annual Billy Bowlegs Festival will close with the Torchlight Parade on Monday, May 20. The parade route will move up Eglin Parkway from First Street to Hughes Street at 7 p.m. Captain Billy 68 and the Krewe of Bowlegs will be celebrating their 68th season conquering Fort Walton Beach. The pirate celebrants will be aboard five of the more than 100 floats.

The following are sponsors of the 68th Annual Billy Bowlegs Festival.

More details about all the festival activities may be found at Emerald Coast Connected.

June Scroggin
Author: June Scroggin

Staff writer for Omni Broadcasting, June is curious about most everything and is adept at meticulously researching any topic. She enjoys the challenge of various writing styles—succinct “just-the-facts, ma’am” as well as energetic irreverence (while still factual).

Written by: June Scroggin

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