Buccaneer bacchanal besets George Town

Fearsome pirates, salty seadogs and gun-toting wenches invaded George Town harbor Saturday in a swashbuckling display to celebrate Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands.

With flintlock pistols, sabers, and cutlasses drawn, a terrifying looking band of outlaws, spilled out of replica pirate ships, Grosse Ile and Liana’s Ransom, on to the streets of the capital.

Staging mock battles on the waterfront, the extravagantly dressed pirate brigades entertained thousands of onlookers who flooded the town for the annual extravaganza.

Later in the day, the rival bands laid down their arms and shared tankards of rum as they danced through the streets to the tune of a fiddler and the sound of steel pan drums.

Children dressed as pirates lined the parade route as pirates handed out beads and other booty.

Dancers from the Cayman mas bands, dressed in feathered finery, also strutted through the streets for what has become a landmark day on the Cayman Islands calendar.

Celebrating its 40th year with a condensed five-day schedule, Pirates Week officially kicked off Thursday with pirates at the Royal Palms and Margaritaville, and the Pan in De City steel pan band competition.

A teen street dance, Miss Festival Queen competition and fireworks display also drew large crowds on Friday. Saturday began with the Pirate Pooch Parade, followed by the CayBrew Cardboard Boat Race in Hog Sty Bay.

The landing of replica pirate ships at 3 p.m. was the signal for the start of the float parade, which continued into the evening, before another series of street dances.

Other pirate-themed events so far have included a 5K swim and 10K run, children’s fun day at Pedro St. James and the official “sentencing of the pirates” on Monday.

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