Arrr – it’s nearly time for Pirate Festival! Beginning next Friday, October 7th,
a variety of colorful characters will be found roaming San Carlos Blvd and Time Square during this year’s Festival – which will also feature the popular Pub Quest on Friday evening, Ship Battles on Saturday and Sunday, family fun and much more – for a complete schedule, see next week’s Sand Paper. As the event gets bigger every year, talent comes from as far as the four winds blow. This week we introduce readers to just a few of the many colorful characters they’ll meet at Pirate Fest this year…
Rascal Robert Pirate Magyke
Rascal Robert is the creation of magician/musician Mark Pettey of Naples, FL.
Mark has been a professional performer for almost 40 years, and brings happiness, smiles and laughter to his audiences from coast to coast. The Rascal’s character is based on Mark’s actual relative from the golden age of pirates, William Marsh, who went from privateer to scallywag and had the dubious distinction of being the first pirate to be hung by the king of England!
Using special magic routines and presentations are based on all things “piratical.”
Beware the crew of the Black Pearl. The three Sirens, Treacherous Tiffany, Ms. Jo, and Janice the Mistress of Malice, sail the salty seas with Captain Hurricane. If ye see the Black Pearl ‘neering yer shores, and hear her cannon roar, lock up yer booty and hide yer oars, for soon they be ashore! So break out the rum, and fear to be chum, for Captain Hurricane has come to pillage and plunder. Yo ho mates. A pirate’s life for me.
Brandon the Piper
Before Brandon the Piper became an internationally known musician, he was first a young pirate performing at the Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival. Brandon Martinelli is an exceptional musician having won numerous awards as a solo performer. He has performed from California to Florida in the U.S. as well as concerts and events in Scotland and France. Brandon plays a variety of instruments as well as composing his own music. “Being able to put on pirate garb and become a pirate when I was a child are very happy memories, indeed!” Brandon reminisced, “So much so, that it seemed only natural that I’d continue to put on pirate garb and perform at one of my favorite pirate events, The Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival!”
Master of Ceremonies Cannibal Chrispy
A veteran of 20 years on tour with world-class bands as a stage manager, he turned to Piracy roughly a decade ago. His upbeat mannerisms and off the wall antics both on and off stage add up to “comic relief at its best.” Chrispy – It’s not just a name… it’s a life style!
Lord Henry Hyde
His Excellency, Lord Sir Henry Hyde, Lord Governor Plenipotentiary of Her Majesty’s Colonies in the New World. He is a gentle British aristocrat, whose position has made him the richest and most powerful man in the colonies. He is as cultured and charming with his friends as he is dangerous and lethal to his enemies. His policy on pirates is “Hang ‘em from the highest yardarm!” if they are not in possession of a letter of marque from the Crown, that is.
Lord Hyde is portrayed by Timothy Fraley, a classically trained Shakespearean actor with over 35 years of experience delighting audiences with his personal interactive improvisational style. This “man of a thousand characters” is a native of South Florida, and his popular and beloved characters have performed at many Pirate, Renaissance and Medieval Festivals all over the U.S.
Hailing and sailing from Old Town St. Augustine, Florida, The Rusty Anchors are a group of professional musicians gone Pirate. Performing Sea Shanties and Island Music, the band has been entertaining at festivals and events all over the Southeast for more than 4 years now. The Crewe: James Knowles (Capt. Dirty James) Guitar & Vocals; Angelina Morgan – Fiddle, Bodhran & Tin whistles; Mark Wood (Barbosa) Bass, Guitar & Vocals; Reuben Morgan – Mandolin, Guitar & Vocals and Anthony Brisbane (Capt. Jack Black) Drums, Percussion & Vocals
The CRAIC Show
The CRAIC Show is an intense and wildly entertaining act, made up of four international travelers who were banded together on an ancient battlefield. This unique merging of music from far away lands brings a sound that is unlike any other. Watching the group switch and interchange instruments throughout the show is something to see – songs are often started on bagpipes and ended with the entire group on percussion. Ever changing and constantly blending styles, The CRAIC Show always brings a fresh, high-energy blend of World Medieval Music. www.TheCraicShow.com.
Jason Smith is a professional Captain Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp impersonator with over 10 years’ experience. His spotlight includes both stage and screen. A father of 2 beautiful girls, who also pirate with him, he performs his family variety show coast to coast & he is looking forward to meeting you.
The Skeleton Pirate
The years in question are 1712 to 1725. Pirates rule the sea. Captain Jack Quint sailed these blue-green waters of Southwest Florida alongside some of the greatest known Pirates in history. Based in and around the barrier islands of what is now known as Ft. Myers Beach & Estero Bay, he was responsible for the capture of hundreds of vessels, and was feared on land, as well as at sea. He and his crew plundered millions in gold, silver, weapons, women and anything else of value, and killed mercilessly.
Born in December of 1690, Jack Quint quickly learned the ways of the seas from his father, also a Pirate.
In October of 1725, a devastating Hurricane came ashore the entire Gulf Coast of Florida, beaching parts of the riggings of his personal ship.
The true cause of Quint’s death remains unknown, but it is feared he was sunk in this massive storm, just offshore of where the Ft. Myers Beach Pier stands.
Sightings of an undead skeletal figure, that match his description have been reported numerous times over the past 100 years on the beaches of Southwest Florida…
Belinda Hadcock, Event Organizer
A lifelong resident of Southwest Florida, Belinda Hadcock grew up on the shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Her love of acting, theatrical make up and costumes emerged early on when she discovered Halloween, which soon became her favorite holiday. In 1993, while visiting friends in Kenosha, WI and looking for something to do, Belinda happened upon the Bristol Renaissance Faire. As soon as she entered the gates, she knew she was home. Over time, Renaissance Faires translated into Pirate Festivals as she blended her theatrical background with her natural ease on the water to create her own unique Pirate Persona.
Belinda has been a key part of the Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival since it began in 2006, and accepted the role of Entertainment Director in 2012. Her roots in the Pirate Community make her a natural fit for this position, and her leadership has expanded the festival to include more participation by local merchants as well as members of the surrounding community. Belinda also owns Skeleton Crew Entertainment, which offers live pirate-themed events throughout the region.
And calling all those who wish to walk the plank of marital bliss at this year’s pirate festival! Belinda is still seeking participants in Saturday’s vow renewal ceremony, so sign up now to declare yer love for ye wench! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keri Hendry Weeg