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Fort Walton Beach Braces for Bowlegs Invasion

by S. Lynne on May 24th, 2013

Visitors and residents alike, beware! Fort Walton Beach is bracing for trouble when that infamous pirate, Captain Billy Bowlegs, and his band of merry men stage their annual invasion. The resulting skirmishes though, will be fun, not mayhem, when Billy and his crew come ashore at Fort Walton Beach Landing Park and parade through the city streets in a celebration that dates back to 1953.

Rumor has it that the first pirate sightings of this year’s Billy Bowlegs Festival will be on Thursday night, May 30, at the Torchlight Parade on Eglin Parkway. The parade starts at 7 p.m. and includes floats, boats, bands, and pirates throwing lots of colorful beads. Friday will feature a preliminary clash, when the Pirate Skirmish begins at 7 p.m. The actual Pirate Landing invasion takes place on Saturday afternoon, June 1, at 4 p.m.

Other activities include a kids’ pirate walk, the Talk Like a Pirate contest, Pirate Karaoke, a hotdog-eating contest, fireworks, a Pirate Play Zone with inflatables and other activities for the younger set, and live music by Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, the Bottoms Up Band, Cabo Rock, and the Journey Tribute Band Don’t Stop Believin’.

There’s no charge to come out and enjoy the festivities, but there is a fee for parade participation. For more information, go to

And for places to stay in the area, just click on our links to Fort Walton Beach and Destin vacation rentals. You’ll find descriptions of local eateries at Fort Walton Beach and Destin  restaurants.

Photo courtesy of Larry Beat


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