Privateers Come Ashore for Festival

Mark Laluan

Crowd is ecstatic as ship opens fire.

The Northern California Pirate Festival entertained a wide variety of personalities in Vallejo on Father’s Day.

The event billed by festival organizers as the “largest pirate festival in the United States,” attracted a wide variant of individuals from pirate costumed enthusiastic mixed with plainclothes festival goers, to tongue-in-cheek cosplayers sporting ninja garb.

The event, held in an open field next to the Vallejo Ferry Terminal, hosted various activities ranging from historical exhibitions to live music to tents and stalls selling nautical themed items.

In spite of such amusements as a “ship-to-shore” cannon duel, some festival goers were less than impressed by the delights offered up by the Pirate Festival.

“There were a lot of exciting people but the shopping left much to be desired,” said festival goer Andrew Untal.

When asked what his thoughts were on Saturday’s selection of artists performing in an open-air concert, Untal had mixed thoughts.

“I was somewhat amused to hear a variation of ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ about railroads at a Pirate Festival,” said Untal.

He also added somewhat sarcastically that he “enjoyed the creativity and originality of a song called ‘Gun’.”

“Gun” was a quaint, anachronistic piece of metal rooted in present rather than in the past.

Untal heaped much praise on a booth manned by members of the “Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square,” an organization which advocates turning the currently mothballed World War II-era battleship, USS Iowa, into a museum ship.

“The USS Iowa booth was probably the highlight of the festival,” said Untal. “[Those who manned the booth] actually talked about naval exploits and interesting naval history despite their lack of a connection to piracy.”