It wasn’t just the East Carolina University Pirates roaming the streets of downtown Greenville this weekend.
Pirate Fest 2013 brought in pirates from all over, as one of them said, "basically to take Greenville by storm."
The day began with an attempt at the Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as pirates in one place. Though they missed the mark, spirits were still high. "This is just the best event ever, we've been waiting all year for it," said Captain Jolley Rogue. Why, you ask? He says it’s because he gets to be himself.
Greenville residents know the pirates weren’t there to pillage the village. Rosemarie Grinder said she comes to Pirate Fest to see “all the costumes and seeing all the vendors and people getting together, you know, that they support Greenville."
Some pirates, like Captain Jack Sparrow, did have tasks which demanded attention. His initiative was to not "pass out of heat stroke, drink lots of rum, make friends, make the crowd happy generally, and find my ship, I'm looking for my ship."
That ship, “The Black Pearl”, may have to wait to be found. It appeared there may have been a counterfeit Jack Sparrow roaming the streets. When another Captain Jack Sparrow heard about the other Captain Jack Sparrow he said “there's an imposter somewhere around here then because I am the one and only captain Jack Sparrow."
When asked hours later if he had found “The Pearl”, the first Captain Jack Sparrow said no, but he had commandeered a smaller vessel.
Though the festival ended at 7 p.m., the captains and their mates stuck around. As two female pirates told me, their plan was to "take as many hostages as possible, and then to the pub."
As one sea dog put it, "pirates always get in trouble."
Of course that, like Pirate Fest, was all in good fun.