First Great Lakes Pirate Festival to Take Place in Mackinaw City

The first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival featuring costumes, competitions and a pirate cruise is coming to Mackinaw City on June 20. A weeklong celebration leading up to the festival starts on June 15, including several virtual events for families.

Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry, the owner and operator of the Good Fortune pirate ship (the only pirate ship traveling to Mackinac Island this summer!), is hosting the first Great Lakes Pirate Festival on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mackinaw City boat dock (801 S. Huron St.). The kick-off event will be proceeded by a weeklong series of videos on Star Line’s social media pages beginning Monday, June 15, complete with award-winning authors virtually reading their own pirate-themed books.

Star Line’s 2020 summer season kick-off will culminate in the first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival that will include a pirate party on the Mackinaw City Dock, live DJ, pirate music, pirate trivia, family-friendly photo opportunities, food and drinks and two competitions—Talk Like a Pirate and Dress Like a Pirate. Festival participants of all ages in the Dress Like a Pirate competition are expected to wear a pirate-themed outfit and will receive a free hot dog and drink and a buy one/get one free discount on any pirate cruises that day. A free private cruise on the Good Fortune Pirate Ship for up to 50 people will be awarded to the first-place prize winner. The winner of the Talk Like a Pirate competition will earn four VIP tickets to any pirate cruise of their choice.

Star Line’s Good Fortune pirate ship will leave the festival at 4:45 p.m. and head to Mackinac Island where it will depart at 6 p.m. for a pirate cruise under the Mackinac Bridge. The night cruise will include pirate music and dancing, crew members dressed and talking like pirates and water cannons for kids on board. The cruise will culminate with the firing of the Good Fortune’s cannon. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase during the cruise.

Beginning Monday, June 15 a social media video series hosted on Star Line’s Facebook page will lead up to the Great Lakes Pirate Festival and will include three virtual readings by award-winning authors of popular children’s pirate-themed books. The video series will start off with a pirate-themed introduction by Good Fortune’s pirate deckhand Toussaint Ross on Monday, June 15 explaining Star Line’s week-long festivities and allowing viewers to catch a glimpse of what it will be like to ride on the Good Fortune. Then, on Tuesday through Thursday, special guest authors will be featured:

  • June 16: Brian Yanish will read his book, Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck
  • June 17: Sue Fliess will share a reading of her book, How to Be a Pirate
  • June 18: A reading from Melinda Long of her #1 New York Times Bestseller, How I Became a Pirate

On June 19, the Good Fortune will kick off the summer with five trips to and from Mackinac Island for visitors, and June 20 marks the first-ever Great Lakes Pirate Festival.

“We wanted to create an event that will give visitors an exciting reason to shake off the cabin fever that’s been building over the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Jerry Fetty, CEO of Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry. “And what better way to do that than with a pirate festival! We know there’s a little pirate in everybody, and this festival is a fun, family-friendly event that both adults and children can enjoy.”

All Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet® Ferry boats are sanitized with the Silver Bullet Tri-Jet ULV Non-Thermal fogging system and common areas on the boats are also wiped down and sanitized. Passengers are asked to wear masks and to social distance during the festival and on all the boats. Pirate cruises on the Good Fortune ship will be limited to 80 people, while trips to and from Mackinac Island will be limited to 100 people.

For tickets and information go to mackinacferry.com.

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