This past weekend was the Pirate Invasion of the Belmont pier in Long Beach, and if you're into that kind of thing it was definitely an event to be experienced.
We were absent of the first day but that didn't mean there was a shortage in activities to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
The only "problem" was the lack of parking, but if you're okay with parking a couple of blocks away and walking back it's really not a big deal if you find street parking that is free.
But once you set foot on the sand it's like stepping into the past and right into the middle of a pirate encampment. Complete with ships anchored off shore, cannon fire and flintlock pistols and muskets being fired from the deck of the ships and pier respectively.
Take a stroll through the numerous tents, down the the beach and you'll see all kinds of pirates, mermaids and several other patrons dressed in "normal" clothes, enjoying the waves and playing with an almost picturesque backdrop of sail boats just beyond swims reach.
But that's only the beginning. Going from the beach to the pier you step into a marketplace of jewelry, clothing, and a plethora of food and libations. With a couple of stages, one at the entrance and another at the end of the pier, providing willing rabble rousers with live bands for their listening pleasure. One of which happens to be my personal favorite, as far as local pirate bands are concerned, the always awesome Pirates Charles. If you've never heard of them or had the privilege of seeing them live I highly recommend them.
Aside from all of the visuals such as belly dancers, fire dancers, pirates, privateers and occasional royalty it's great to find something that's so all encompassing that there's no helping but getting
into the spirit of things. And the added bonus of free admission should be equally enticing. If you are in ear shot of someone mentioning the next pirate invasion be sure to make yourself available because it's a weekend guaranteed to leave you satisfied in one or many ways, depending on how openly you come into it.
Also, full disclosure, the food and drinks aren't free, but you'll definitely be full and jolly the whole day through even if you are particular or selective, there's a massive selection of both.
Photo Credit: Jim Pool Photography*