Aye, Mates, that time of year is upon once again. It’s the Billy Bowlegs Festival, of course!
Back in 1953, a group of businessmen dreamed up the idea to have a three day, Labor Day, water skiing festival with a theme of piracy. The Legendary, (authenticity somewhat questionable), William Augustus Bowles, who allegedly did dastardly deeds in the area in yore, was picked as the Theme Captain of the festivities. Through the years the Billy Bowlegs event has evolved into a full blown theme of Pirates, “Krewes”, Kings, Queens, courts and “besieging” the town of Fort Walton Beach. Parades, activities, grog and grub and music are just a few of the activities now offered, besides viewing the ships in the Sound and fireworks.
Here is a calendar of Billy Bowlegs events you better attend or maybe be taken hostage to!
Thursday, May 31st:
- 4:30-6:30pm – Pirate Walk in Downtown Fort Walton Beach
- 6:00pm – Festival begins at The Landing, 139 Brooks Street SE, Fort Walton Beach (Free Admission)
- 7:00pm – Torchlight parade sponsored by Carter & Co.
- 8:00pm – Pirate Contest
- 8:30 pm – Headliner: Jukebox Super Heros
- 10:00pm – Festival ends for the day
Friday, June 1st:
- 3:00pm – Festival Reopens at The Landing (Free admission)
- 4:00pm – Tom Mason and The Blue Buccaneers
- 5:30pm – Juke Joint Willie
- 7:00pm – THE SKIRMISH
- 8:00pm – Headliner: Cabo Rock
- 9:30pm – Fireworks
Saturday, June 2nd:
- 12:00Noon – Festival Reopens at The Landing – (Free Admission)
- 2:00pm – Tom Mason and The Blue Buccaneers
- 4:00pm – THE PIRATE LANDING
- 5:00pm – Red 423
- 6:30pm – Kasba Dancers
- 7:00pm – Headliner: The Landsharks Band
- 8:30pm – Fireworks
- 9:00pm – Festival Ends
Friday, June 1st, Billy Bowlegs and his Krewe will Land in Fort Walton and then on Saturday will attempt to overtake the city of Fort Walton from the Mayor the Mayor and his militia. There will be pirates all over!