BARNEGAT, NJ – Saturday was perfect sailing weather for Barnegat’s Pirate’s Day. By the end of day, Barnegat’s Recreation Director Jean Broadbent estimated at least 8,000 people showed up and embraced their own inner pirate.

Landlubbers and sea dogs alike graced the streets where “X” marked the spot in the historic downtown area.  From all appearances, there were no reports of pillaging or plundering warranting a trip to Barnegat’s brig.

“We had 175 vendors,” shared Broadbent. “They started arriving at 6:30 am to set up for the day and stayed until late afternoon.”

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Barnegat’s Pirate’s Day officially opened with the national anthem beautifully performed by local favorite, Jim Kelly. Subsequently, American Legion Post 232‘s Color Guard ceremoniously presented the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance.

As it has in many years’ past, Barnegat’s own radio station, WBNJ ran the sound for the event.  Additionally, WBNJ’s General Manager and Program Director Bill Clanton, Jr.’s powerful broadcast voice directed visitors to performances throughout the day.

The Main Stage featured Jersey Sure Cats, Madeline Smith and Strictly 60s, which all received accolades. Meanwhile, at Pirate’s Cove, visitors shivered their timbers at a few skits enacted by “real” pirates from Fortune’s Folly, Valhalla Pirates and Ye Pyrate Brotherhood. The Sea Dogs offered both acapella and accompanied sea shanties, without hauling ropes or cleaning the decks.

Legendary Captain Black oversaw a children’s costume contest. However, he roved the seas of the audience’s applause to determine winners.

The Barnegat Waretown Chamber of Commerce acted in coordination with the Barnegat Recreation for the well-orchestrated festivities.  They also sold shirts commemorating the event that outfitted more than a few mateys in matching regalia.

Non-profits sold tasty grub, while many marveled at the treasures offered by local crafters and other vendors. The Children’s Entertainment Zone set up courtesy of Manahawkin Kia Jeep Ram Dodge, spared youngsters from walking the plank. Instead, it offered fun times in inflatables bouncies.

When it was time to weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen, many walked away with some new loot. In Barnegat, it seems the downtown area is a perfect place to stowaway once a year on Pirate’s Day.

Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at sfaughnan@tapinto.net.