Billy Bowlegs

This past weekend was Fort Walton Beach's annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival and even though I've been working non-stop on our gallery, I did manage to surface for a little pirate fun.

As I posted before, I'm a little mad about how they changed the Treasure Hunt this year but I wasn't going to let that stop me from enjoying the rest of the festival.

Friday evening, we dressed up in our finest pirate outfits and headed down to the Fort Walton Landing to watch the fireworks.

I forgot the camera but this picture from last year gives you an idea of what my motley pirate crew looked like.

They had a crosswalk set up across Highway 98 so festival goers could cross the road safely and as we got to the middle of the crosswalk the Island King stopped walking, threw his hands up in the air and yelled "AAARRGGG!" at the top of his lungs. Which prompted the kids to do the same. People were staring at us like we were crazy and once we got across the street I asked the Island King what prompted him to lose his mind in the middle of the road.

"How often does all traffic come to a stop just so we can cross the road? It was empowering baby and as a pirate I just felt like yelling" LOL
The man's a nut.

We'd no sooner gotten into the park than the Youngest Island Boy started tugging on my arm. He's had a cold and as soon as I looked at him I knew what he was going to say.

"I'm having trouble breathing, Mom"

I could tell he was having a hard time so we hurried back to the car, drove home for a breathing treatment and missed the fireworks LOL

His asthma acts up when he's sick and as soon as I gave him a breathing treatment he was better. We missed the fireworks but we did have fun crossing the street LOL

He was still sick on Saturday so we skipped the festival and stayed home to watch after him. It's humid here and even without a cold and asthma it's hard to breathe some days so he stayed inside all day resting.

By Monday he was much better and we were able to go to the Torchlight Parade.

This parade is always interesting because when else do most of the city officials dress up like pirates, have a little too much to drink and then ride floats down the main street? LOL

Lots of people lined Eglin Parkway and waited for the parade to start.

The Island King tells me he wants to be the Grand Marshall one day so he can wear that costume. He's serious and I won't be a bit surprised if he's up there one day, dressed to the pirate nines and grinning from ear to ear.

This is our Superintendent of Schools and even though I don't agree with a lot of her policies, I'd bet the woman is a hoot to hang out with. She always looks like she's having the best time and she was definitely having fun in the parade.

This float full of Boy Scouts came by and they didn't throw one piece of candy. Didn't throw any beads either. I laughed and told the Island King that giving those boys big bags of candy and then expecting them to throw it instead of eat it obviously didn't work.

The dark haired woman on the front of this float looked to be about 65 and was carrying on like she was at a Mardi Gras parade on Bourbon Street. She was flirting with all of the men she passed and just as she got in front of us she held up a little tiny pair of red, thong underwear and then threw them at an older man standing next to us.

He caught them and then looked so shell shocked that everyone around him started laughing. A woman on the other side of him said "Oh my God! She's the manager at my bank. She looks so grandmotherly at the bank"

I guess grandma decided to get a little wild for the parade LOL

The Youngest Island Boy is a little on the shy side and when we first got to the parade he stayed real close to my leg. As soon as the first few floats came by and he realized they were throwing candy he muscled his way to the front of the crowd and then started yelling "Surrender The Booty!" to all of the floats.

Between him being so cute, his pirate hat, and his yelling for them to surrender the booty, the boy racked up. He had 2 Walmart bags overflowing with candy and beads.

The Bowlegs Festival is over for another year but it's something we're already looking forward to for next year. There's just something about dressing up like pirates that appeals to us.