Pirate Fest!

Mad Maria’s waiting for you, matey. And she’s ready to get her shanty on.

Hoist that mainsail and strap on your patch, this weekend marks the launch of Northern California’s first Pirate Festival in Vallejo. Avast! There’s more than just plundering booty to be done here–like sassy singing wenches and barnacled blokes entertaining in full pirate regalia; fresh seafood and meat pies (and uh, hot dogs for your little buccaneers); games and nautical music; a pirate-girl pin-up contest, grog shop and, well, lots of other stuff to bring out your inner Jack Sparrow.

The event is family friendly, with activities for both kids and adults. Click here for more details about the event.

So, who’d be crazy enough to come up with a whole weekend devoted to pirate escapades? Mad Maria’s who, AKA Anna Benincasa of Petaluma and her partner Steve Morales. After discovering a shared passion for nautical music (hey, there’s someone out there for everyone, right?) the two got involved with the Seadogs, a sort of roving music and theatrical troupe with a maritime bent.

From there, they launched a t-shirt and clothing company called piratemod.com “because pirates need to look their best, too. Once Hollywood got into the game with the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Anna says their pirate-passion became something of an all-consuming lifestyle.

No. They don’t walk around in pirate clothes all day or talk like Black Beard, but the couple are so passionate about the history and romantic ideals of pirates that they agreed to create NorCal’s very first Pirate Festival (there are actually many other pirate festivals around the country. Really.) Think Renaissance festival with eye-patches and lots of Arrggghs.

Will the idea sail, or run aground? “Piracy just gives you that feeling that you can have your own rules and your own code,” Anna says. “It’s that bad boy thing. And there will always be an audience for that.” This is a building year for the festival, and in future years Anna says she hopes to build on the nautical theme, incorporating large ships and even more maritime fun. As for this year, ahoy!, admission is free. What more could a pirate ask for?

Northern California Pirate Festival: Vallejo Waterfront, California
Saturday: 10am til Dusk, Father’s Day Sunday: 10am – 6pm