No black flags fly above the clear turquoise waters of Perdido Key these days. Most of the time, the only pirates who frequent these parts are the Pirates of Lost Treasure, a local Mardi Gras krewe. However, all that will change on Oct. 25-26, when an eager horde of buccaneers will descend on the shores of Big Lagoon State Park for two fun-filled days of family piracy. The annual Perdido Key Pirate Festival will feature pirate games, live music, a reptile show, story-telling, magic show, food and crafts vendors, and a daily treasure hunt yielding thousands of dollars in bounty including a free family beach vacation for one lucky pirate who finds the "Lost Key."
Perdido Key is a barrier island located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway. The word “Perdido” translates to “Lost” in Spanish. Perdido Bay was thus named due to the difficulty that early explorers had in finding the entrance. This made it a perfect place for pirates and privateers to hide from the British and French ships that patrolled the area in times past.
Each day, a large key will be hidden within the park for the treasure-hunters to discover. The lucky family who finds the "lost key” will unlock a treasure chest loaded with the ultimate vacation getaway including a one week stay at a Sandy Key Condominiums, dolphin cruise tickets and gift certificates to attractions and restaurants for a never-to-be forgotten week of family fun in enchanting Perdido Key, Fla.
More than 1,000 coins will be hidden each day of the festival. Some of the coins will be specially marked and can be redeemed for some of the thousands of dollars in treasures.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 25-26, at Big Lagoon State Park, 12301 Gulf Beach Hwy. Treasure hunters will receive a map outlining the boundaries of the hunting area. To protect the park, no coins will be buried or hidden anywhere that would cause damage to park facilities or plant life. Free admission with a $6 park entrance fee.
For more details, go to www.visitperdido.com/pirate-fest.