Ahoy, Mateys! Batten down the hatches! We’re about to be invaded by pirates!

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It’s time for the spectacular free 3rd annual Boynton Beach Haunted Pirate Fest and Mermaid Splash! Save the dates, Saturday and Sunday, October 25th and 26th, when the streets of East Ocean Avenue in Downtown Boynton Beach will be transformed with merriment and madness into lively Hobb’s Cove pirate village. The streets will come alive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. as pirates, merry maids, fairies, and authentic swashbuckling characters in reenactments and street performances put visitors right in the middle of the adventures. You’re invited to dress the part and bring cameras, as photo opportunities will abound throughout the day. Entertainment and an array of pirate activities are planned for all ages, including live music, pirate role playing, and an interactive pirate ship. The whole family will be engaged by the antics of Captain Jack and other interactive characters, reenacting sword fights, scenes of derring-do and rowdy adventures. All ages are invited to visit the Spook-tacular Haunted House, where an admission donation benefits the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and you’re guaranteed a ghastly good time. The list of good times at Pirate Fest goes on and on. Last year’s event attracted thousands of merrymakers with many of the same attractions slated for this year along with new entertainment fare: the breathtaking pirate wheel-walker, dramatic gypsies and belly dancers, tarot card and palm reading, a live mermaid tank, jugglers, stilt walkers and much more. This year the non-stop entertainment continues with a bounce house and a rock climbing wall for the really adventuresome. Acrobats and comedy help round out the offerings and promise to complete a day of pirate bounty for all ages. Youngsters will be kept busy at Pirate Fest with fun-filled activities like crafts, balloon art and face painting, along with observing the wonders of magicians and fairies. They’re invited to take part in a treasure hunt just for them, along with other activities specially planned for the youngest pirates in the Kid’s Buccaneer Village. Pirates Fest will expand its hours on Saturday, October 25, when live music is performed from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. From the stage at the east end of Ocean Ave. at Federal Highway, popular local bands U2 by UV and Sweet Justice, along with other area organizations, are geared up to entertain the crowds. There will be a bounty of goodies available for purchase from “Grub ‘n Grog” row, offering delicious fare from several local businesses. For everyone’s convenience, there is ample free parking nearby. Pirate Fest is sponsored by the City of Boynton Beach and Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. It’s not too late to get in on the fun with sponsorship of this unique and popular event. For more event or sponsorship information, contact Amy Zimmermann at the Boynton Beach CRA – zimmermanna@bbfl.us / 561.600.9097 or visit www.bbpiratefest.com/www.catchboynton.com.