Thomas E. Williams II
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Emerald Coast Living

Get Ready! Pirates Of The High Seas Festival Is Coming Up

Posted on - Laura Bernstien

Once a year, Back Beach Road fills up with cars full of people dressed as pirates and pirate themed floats are seen amongst the cars.  It’s funny to watch expressions of tourists wondering if this is just something that Panama City Beach residents do and exchange glances as if to say, ‘maybe this is normal,’ *shrug*.   What they are bemused about is the decor and festivities of the annual Pirates Of The High Seas Festival in Panama City Beach, Florida.  This event is geared towards kids, but it is fun for everyone.   It is a 3-day festival of fun and thrills. It will take place this Columbus Day Weekend and takes place at Pier Park and Grand Lagoon.  I love the Pirates Of The High Seas Festival.  Although I enjoy the entertaining sword-swinging showdowns and the ensemble of parades, what I look out for the most is the dueling fireworks display.

For my fellow Panama City Beach residents and visitors that may be interested, here are some important details of the festival:

Pirates of the High Seas Festival


October 6, 2017, to October 8, 2017


Day 1 & 2

Pier Park

600 Pier Park Dr.

Panama City Beach, FL 32413

(850) 236-9974

Pier Park is an outdoor shopping mall that also has special events. It is large.  You can just show up and follow the crowd.

Day 3

Capt. Anderson’s Marina

5550 N Lagoon Dr

Panama City Beach, Florida

(850) 234-3435

Friday, October 6, 2017

All events will take place in Pier Park. The Festival Village and Little Pirates Fun Zone will open at exactly 5:00 pm in Dave & Buster’s parking area. Children’s parade will begin at exactly 5:30 pm and it ends at the Back Porch. Right after that, opening ceremonies and Treasure Drop will hit the Center Stage of Pier Park. This should begin at 6:15 pm.

At 6:30 pm, second line parade also takes place. It runs from south to north, and it ends at the Celebration Stage. Fais Do-Do Cajun Dance live music begins on the Celebration Stage at 7 pm. At about 8:30 pm, a long series of fireworks will go off at Russell-Fields Pier to end the day’s activities. This is usually my favorite part. I love watching the Gulf of Mexico light up as it reflects the firework colors.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Events will take place in Pier Park. Festival Village and Little Pirates Fun Zone will open at 12:00 pm in Dave & Buster’s parking area. And the Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews hit the Celebration to dish out some live music. At 1:30 pm, Commodore Mayhem Magic Show begins on the Celebration Stage.

At 2:30 pm, the much awaited Pirate Invasion takes place at the Pier Stage, and it will be followed by live music from Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers also at the Celebration Stage. At 5 pm, the main 2-hour parade takes place. It will cover Powell Adams Road along Pier Park Route. This is another event that puts my camera into overdrive.

At 7 pm after the parade, Land Sharks will treat us to another live music session on the Celebration Stage. The day ends with another breathtaking session of fireworks.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The events of the day will take place in at Grand Lagoon. Festival Village will open as usual at 12 pm but this time in Capt. Anderson’s Marina parking area. The first event is Kids Fishing Clinic, and it will take us from 12 pm to 2 pm. It will be at the Main Stage. While that is going on, Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers will be playing some live music concurrently.

Storytelling will begin at 1:15 pm. The title of this year’s story is The Legend of Dominique Youx, and it will take place on the Main Stage. Other events that take place before the final fireworks go off are:

At about 7:15 pm, a series of fireworks will go off to mark the end of the festival. I have always enjoyed myself, and it looks like this one will even be more promising. To others also looking forward to this festival, Ahoy!!!