Pirates of the High Seas Fest – A Detailed Guide

Florida - Panama City Beach - Pirates of the High Seas
Florida - Panama City Beach - Pirates of the High Seas

With its excellent climate, emerald waters, and white sandy beaches Panama City Beach, Florida is a hugely popular vacation destination in the Sunshine State – especially during the month of October. Don’t miss one of the more popular fall festivals in Panama City – the Pirates of the High Seas. With the great October weather and the beginning of the holiday season it will be a supremely satisfying vacay. So, let’s unpack Pirates of the High Seas Fest – A Detailed Guide.  

Pirates of the High Seas – Columbus Day Weekend 

The Pirates of the High Seas Festival begins on October 6 and lasts until October 8 this year. During this grand weekend, locals and visitors to Panama City Beach, Florida are treated to a festival and a parade. 

It’s a wonderful time to spend quality time with the family and carve out some excellent memories. The event is free. At the event you can expect to see mock pirate invasions, a scavenger hunt, fireworks, and live music as well as a parade for both kids and parents.  

The Legend of the Battle of Panama City Beach 

The story goes that the famous pirate Dominique Youx (an associate of renowned pirate Jean Lafitte) and his loyal krewe saved Panama City in a time of peril (via West End PCB). Today, locals and visitors alike visit Panama City Beach over the Columbus Day weekend to revisit the legend with a grand celebration.  

Per the legend Youx and his krewe were beloved in the city for sharing their booty.  However, invading pirates engaged in a fierce battle over Youx and his krewe’s plunder, and that battle is still remembered to this day.  

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The story goes that the people of the city learned of an invasion by pirates who intended to rob the town of its riches. Dominique Youx organized the townspeople and put up a defense. All the people of Panama City gathered in the town center – known called Pier Park – where the treasure was held.  

They then carried the treasure off in order to hide it from the invading pirates. A battle ensued and the invaders were later driven off. In celebration of the victory, the townspeople and Youx’s krewe paraded through the streets and created a wild display of fireworks.  

However, the story didn’t end there. As it goes, the invaders didn’t actually leave. They circled around to Panama City’s Grand Lagoon. Again, the townspeople rallied and fought, forming a flotilla of ships they used to drive the invaders back to sea forever. And to this day, each year the battle is recreated to keep alive the legend of the Battle of Panama City.  

Florida - Panama City Beach - Pirates of the High Seas

Pirates of the High Seas Schedule – Friday – Day 1 

The first day of the Pirates of the High Seas Festival is on Friday, October 6 and starts with an exciting schedule of events.   

  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Live Music – The Mead Sisters & The Masked Marauders 
  • 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Kids Parade 
  • 6:15 PM – 6:30 PM: Opening Ceremonies, Legend of Dominque You and the Treasure Drop 
  • 6:30 PM -7:00 PM: Pirate Crawl Parade 
  • 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM: Live Music – The Bryne Brothers 
  • 8:30 PM – 8:45 PM: Fireworks Display 
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Saturday – Day 2 

  • 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Pirates of the High Seas & Renaissance Fest 5k Run/Walk @ Frank Brown Park  
  • 10:00 AM – 8:15 PM: Festival Village & Little Pirate Fun Zone @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Live Music – The Mead Sisters & the Masked Marauders @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Live Music – Captain Davy and the Crossbones @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Live Music – Anthony Peebles @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Live Show: Commodore Mayhem Magic Show @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 3:00 PM – 3:20 PM: Pirate Invasion & Battle for Panama City Beach @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Tom Mason & The Blue Buccaneers @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: The Main Parade Presented by the Krewe of Dominique Youx @ Pier Park Drive  
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Live Music by The Byrne Brothers @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 8:00 PM – 8:15 PM: Fireworks @ Russell-Fields City Pier 

Sunday – Day 4 

  • 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Festival Village & Little Pirates Fun Zone  
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Live Show: Fire Circus Productions @ Aaron Bessant Park 
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Food Court Entertainment: Mitch Pearson @ Aaron Bessant Park 
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Live Entertainment: Captain Davy and the Crossbones @ Aaron Bessant Park  
  • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Live Music by The Mead Sisters and the Mask Marauders @ Aaron Bessant Park 
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Renaissance Dance Performance: By the Sea Studios @ Aaron Bessant Park 
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Food Court Entertainment: Mitch Pearson @ Aaron Bessant Park 
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Still planning a trip to Florida? Check out our article Best Family-Friendly Resorts in Panama City Beach  as well as Dangers of Swimming in Florida. 

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