Pirate Festival in St. Augustine, Florida

by Audrey Farley
Saint Augustive Pirate Gathering attracts enthusiasts from around the country.

Saint Augustive Pirate Gathering attracts enthusiasts from around the country.

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Pirate festivals are fun gatherings for young and old to celebrate maritime history and pirate lore. St. Augustine, Florida hosts different pirate-themed events, including an annual Pirate Gathering festival in the fall.


Off the coast of St. Augustine, archaeologists have recovered dozens of shipwrecks and other maritime archaeological sites. The Pirate Gathering is an annual festival that celebrates St. Augustine maritime history. Proceeds benefit the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, which promotes learning about maritime history in local schools.

Autumn Event

Pirate Gathering takes place in the fall, but the venue changes each year. The 4th annual event in 2011 was planned to be at St. Frances Field and Historical Quarter in downtown Saint Augustine.

Features and Events

St. Augustine Pirate Gathering features music, re-enactors, live historians and "casual pirates" (pirates in costume and character). The event features weapons demonstrations, swordfights, dramatic storytelling and a shipwreck exhibit. Children can explore the "Wee Matey's Play Area," a pirate-themed fun zone. The event includes a costume contest for kids, awarding prizes to the best-dressed little pirates.

Thieves' Market

The Thieves' Market is a gathering of local vendors, who sell pirate-themed food and drinks, including biscuits, fried shrimp and spiced rum. Booths display pirate treasure and booty, from jewelry and trinkets to T-shirts and apparel. Vendors must register in advance on the Pirate Gathering website (pirategathering.com) to participate.

About the Author

Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.

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