OLCOTT – Ships ahoy, matey, it’s that time of year for the annual Pirate Festival in Krull Park, slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to benefit the Olcott Fire Company.
Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Friday with carnival rides, vendors, food, a beer tent and entertainment by Carrie G and the Runaways. Fireworks will light up the sky over Lake Ontario at 10 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday. The festival closes at midnight.
The festival offers free admission and free parking throughout the weekend.
“We’ll have 12 rides this year, for big and little kids, because we’re trying to cover everyone,” said Festival Chairman Robert Horanburg. “We’ll also have Ye Pyrate Brotherhood setting up camp Friday and giving shows over the weekend about pirate life back in the day.”
Saturday’s festivities kick off with a car show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Krull Park. Awards are presented to the top show cars and music will be provided by Pete V. the Dee Jay. It’s free admission for spectators and 50/50 raffles will be featured. A portion of the car show’s proceeds benefits the Olcott Fire Department. To register a vehicle, contact Ray at 799-4974 or visit: www.PirateAutoShow.com.
“We had more than 100 cars last year,” said Horanburg.
A Pirate Parade starts at noon Saturday on East Lake Road, outside the Krull Park entrance. It travels down East Lake Road, turns right on Lockport Street, and then continues east on Main Street to end back at the festival. Everyone is encouraged to wear pirate garb. Look for parade participants ranging from area fire companies to farmers on hay wagons and from motorcycles to the Veterans of Foreign War.
Saturday’s entertainment includes: the Sophisticats at 1:30 p.m., followed by Jonesie, and later, Blood Money.
“Ye Pyrate Brotherhood will give three shows that day and a local farmer will bring in some animals for the kids to ride for a small fee,” Horanburg said. “We’ve also brought in a couple of new novelty vendors, because we’re trying to bring in new people so that it isn’t always the same old stuff each year. The new vendors have novelties, like sundresses, sweatshirts and personalized cellphone cases.”
Saturday’s festivities end at midnight.
The festival is open a final day from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and the Soles Brothers Band will play at 1 p.m.
Horanburg said Ye Pyrate Brotherhood will continue its antics Sunday.
“They have a little cannon and they make a lot of noise, which makes it exciting,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. And some of the vendors get dressed up in pirate costume, as well, to set the mood.”
The festival began in 1998 and is the volunteer fire company’s largest fundraiser of the year. The firefighters have been trying to save for a new ambulance to replace its old one, which is as old as the festival, Horanburg pointed out.
“The ambulance is one piece of our equipment that we might use up to four or five times a day, and stuff is breaking down on it and it’s getting expensive,” said Horanburg, who is also a fire company trustee. He added that the aging ambulance must also meet state regulations.
He said a new ambulance might cost in the neighborhood of $150,000.
Horanburg added that, “Without the support of the town’s people and town officials, this festival wouldn’t happen. It’s good for the kids and good for the community. I love it.”