Aargh! Get ready for one of Ventura County’s most popular events for swashbucklers of all ages. Theme for Ventura Harbor’s 10th annual Pirate Days Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19 is “X Marks the Spot: A Decade of Pirates.” You’ll meet famous pirate re-enactors including Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hook, enchanting mermaids, mateys sauntering through Pirate Marketplace, discover Port Royal Privateers’ historical encampment and much more.
Exciting new features include sea shanties by the Sisters of the Coast strolling cappella group, pirate bubble shows, chalk painting by artist Lysa Ashley, exotic birds, all new professional pirate shows, performances of “Peter Pan 2 and Hook’s Revenge” by Fairy Tales in the Park, dockside tours and two sails daily aboard The Schooner Bill of Rights historic Tall Ship. Back by popular demand are festival favorites including Lunch with the Pirates at The Greek Mediterranean Grill & Lounge at 11:45am on both days, the Reece Ryan Kids’ On-Land Pirate Ship, Tinker Bell (re-enactor) meet and greet, and pictures with mermaids. There are also vendor booths for face painting and henna body art as well as woodcrafts, jewelry, handcrafted glass and metal gifts and nautical-themed loot.
Throughout the village, children and adults leisurely meander in pirate dress and vie in daily costume contests for kids up to 7 years of age, ages 8-15, and adults 16+. Prizes include theme park tickets to San Diego Zoo and Safari Park for the kids, Magic Mountain for the tweens, and Disneyland for the adults. On Saturday, pet pirates compete for $50 in Ventura Harbor gift certificates.
For little ones, there’s a Mermaid Treasure Hunt and free craft activities provided by Macaroni Kid and Village galleries. Village restaurants offer grog and grub for hungry crews while live music and professional entertainment are provided by the Ship of Fools strolling pirate band and Pirates for Hire. And for treasure seekers, a bounty of buccaneer merchandise, pirate hats, swords, eye patches, flags, and other gear can be found at the seaside shops, The Schooner Bill of Rights Tall Ship will also be offering sails at 9 am and 4 pm with dockside tours from 11 am to 3:30 pm and on both days. For more information and to purchase advance sail tickets, visit SchoonerBillofRights.com .
Admission, parking and shuttle buses are free. For directions, entertainment schedule and complete list of shopping and dining specials, go to VenturaHarborVillage.com/PirateDays or call (805) 477-0470. The 2015 Pirate Days festival is supported by Gold Coast Broadcasting, Cumulus Broadcasting, VC Reporter, The Ventura County Star, and The Ventura Breeze.
Photos courtesy of Ventura Harbor Village.