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The invasion is about to begin -- Benefit Pirate Ball kicks off Pirate Fest activities Oct. 3

All swashbucklers, first mates and wenches encouraged to begin putting together their best pirate ensemble

September 23, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

All ye pirates, wenches and kiddos from near and far are encouraged to don yerrr garb and prepare to take over ye Bootleggers BBQ, 2200 Main St., as ye annual Pirate Ball swings into town Saturday, Oct. 3, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The annual ball is a kick-off celebration to the 10th annual Fort Myers Pirate Festival that sweeps through town the very next weekend, Oct. 9 to 11, all along Bay Walk, Old San Carlos Boulevard.

Throughout the evening, pirates of young and old will have fun during the many special events, games and swashbuckling hijinks taking place at the Main Street eatery.

"The ball is going to be fabulous we are so excited to host a great night of fun for a cause,"?said Georgia Reinmuth, a coordinator of the festival with Paradise Advertising, the event's marketing firm, as well as the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. "We are going to have live music, several games of chance, delicious food together it's going to be dynamite."

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The annual pirate invasion is about to begin, as the Pirate Ball kicks off all Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival activities Saturday, Oct. 3, at Bootleggers BBQ, 2200 Main St., from 5 p.m. to midnight. Swashbucklers of all ages are welcome to join and enjoy a full evening of live music, tons of games, prizes, fortune tellers, contests and much more, all while raising funds for two non-profit charities. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.

Kicking off the night, the Bawdy Boys pirate band, a well-known group from the Tampa/St. Pete area, will be riling up the crowd from 5 to 7:30 p.m. that evening, followed by the main musical attraction of Jo List, performing with the Ricky Howard Blues Band.

Plenty of table-to-table games of chance by roving pirates will have all those in attendance playing for golden treasure, which later that evening will be used to participate in the Chinese auction of prize-packaged treasure chests, each worth hundreds of dollars.

"We'll have lots of fun games of chance offered from pirates visiting your table throughout the evening," said Belinda Hadcock, lead coordinator of the annual Pirate Festival. "We'll have a dice game called Port Royal, where players of each table ante up their coins and roll the dice a complete game of chance. We'll have blackjack, the ball-and-cup game, a Guess the Pirate name game with clues, balloon art, the fortune teller Madame Serena will be roving through the ball answering any burning questions you may be itching to ask, and plenty of more silliness is in store."

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Throughout the evening, pirates and pirate ladies may partake in the several silent auctions of the evening, which may feature anything from weekend-long hotel stays at some of the most luxurious resorts in the area to spa packages, golf packages and much more.

What's a pirate ball without a pirate feast??Bootleggers has all swashbucklers covered, offering a great Southern barbecue buffet feast that'll quench the toughest of high-sea appetites, along with many savory hors d'oeuvres and treats served throughout the evening.

"Salty Sam's is the title sponsor this year, so we decided to host the ball at Bootleggers to help promote their efforts in the Pirate Festival," Georgia said. "They're going to have lots of delicious food it's a great place right on the water, a very nice venue for this event."

"So far, plans have been coming along wonderfully for our Pirate Ball, taking place at such a nice, big, beautiful venue it's a gorgeous location and perfect for the ball," Belinda said. "The entertainment that evening will take place right on the stage along the water of the back bay. It's perfect."

Although pirates don't have to dress as their normal selves during the celebration and all landlubbers are welcome, the costume contest may have them thinking otherwise so be sure to dress your best for the contest at 8 p.m. that night!

Later in the evening, a live DJ?will spin and spin and spin, turing the Pirate Ball into a Pirate After-Party, from 10 p.m. to midnight.

While giving all ye pirates and privateers a chance to have fun and unwind, the celebrational Pirate Ball is also helping raise funds for two local charities:?The Guardian ad Litem Foundation 20th Judicial Circuit, the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center and the Bay Oaks Rec Center. "It's all about helping the children," Georgia said. "We encourage everyone come support the event and these wonderful organizations. Bootleggers has plenty of parking, there will be great food, and all pirates welcome! You don't have to have a costume to come and have fun!"

All pirates are welcome to attend young and old and advance ticket purchases are encouraged. All-inclusive tickets are available for $75 for adults, $50 for children, which covers you for the entire night of festivities, including food and hors d'oeuvres. For those just wanting to come for the music, the cost is $40 for adults, $25 for children. Tickets for admission are available on the event website,

Sponsorship information can also be found on the event website, and ticket and sponsorships may be purchased on the phone at 239-850-5611. Reduced price hotel and resort, 'Stay n' Play' packages are available online at, as well as reduced-rate taxi service from Majestic Transportation Services. Pick-ups are available from guests' homes or hotels anywhere in Fort Myers, Sanibel, Estero or Bonita Springs area. Contact The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce to learn more, 239-454-7500.

For those scallywags arriving by boat, from the Gulf of Mexico, enter the intracoastal waterway at the north end of Fort Myers Beach, go under the Matanzas Bridge, stay to the left, and the Bootleggers Waterfront BBQ is at Channel Marker 24. Boaters can hail the dockmaster at Salty Sam's on channel 16 or 17 for docking instructions.

Our annual Fort Myers Beach Pirate Fest was ranked in 2014 as the No. 2 Pirate Festival in the Nation by USA Today Travel. Visit for more info, and stay tuned to the Beach Bulletin as further details on this jolly good festival arrive.



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