As turns out, Northglenn’s Pirate Fest was a missing one thing — mermaids. “We’ve added mermaids last year,” Northglenn Events Supervisor Steven Stokes. “But this year it’s bigger.” …
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As turns out, Northglenn’s Pirate Fest was a missing one thing — mermaids.
“We’ve added mermaids last year,” Northglenn Events Supervisor Steven Stokes. “But this year it’s bigger.”
The festival returns to E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park with a night of adult shenanigans Sept. 20 and a family-friendly festival on Sept. 21.
It includes all of the favorites from the past five years: A winner in the months-long contest to determine the Pirate King, scavenger hunts, weapons demonstrations, food, drinks, live music and the annual Cardboard Regatta across Webster Lake.
But this fifth annual festival, everything gets a twist, beginning with the mermaids.
Stokes said the city added few mermaids at last year’s events, occupying a pool in the middle of the festival where they could swim up and interact with the guests. They’d been one of the most requested events after the first year.
“We had people tell us that `Pirates were fine, but you missed out by not having mermaids,” Stokes said.
They remedied that in 2018, bringing in a 3,500 gallon tank that serves as the mermaid stage, about two feet deep.
“We have a bigger mermaid entourage this year,” Stokes said. “Last year, our pool was 16-feet-by-16-feet. This year it’s bigger, 28-by-18. Last year, we had a couple of mermaid each shift. This year, we’ll have three or four so they can interact with more people.”
They tell the story of mermaids, sing and perform.
“It’s the only event I’ve ever been a part of where the stage is a 3,000 gallon-plus pool,” he said.
The event also includes a beer garden, food and three other stages for performances.
Night and day
As in year’s past, the event is broken up into two distinct celebrations. Friday night’s Pirate Ball, on Sept. 20, is meant for adults. It features live bands on three stages, special rum, mead and beer drinks and a treasure hunt contest.
It’s also when the 2019 Pirate king will be names.
“They actually started competing this summer,” Stoke said. “They have competitions they have to do over the summer. For example, they need to show up at other city events dressed like a pirate, do social media posts and videos online and silly scavenger hunts. They get points for each of the things they do and then they come to the event and the one with the most points gets named Pirate King.”
The winner gets a throne they can sit in for the rest of the festival, a staff to carry around and a $50 bar tab at the event to share with their crew.
There’s still adult beverages at the Saturday event, but the tone and the entertainment is more family friendly. It includes bounce houses and other games for kids, plenty of music and demonstrations, culminating in the cardboard regatta. Like year’s past, the competitors build a boat using cardboard, tape, glue and paint that they must paddle across Webster Lake. The event is open for everyone from middle schoolers to adults.
This year, they’ll have to contend with ruffians firing water balloons at them from across the shore.
“The boats have to leave from a dock, go around a bouy and get to the end,” Stokes said. “The additional element of fun is shooting biodegradable water balloons, like you would if you were a real pirate.”
Stokes said the festival is also hosting a kids show with Tinkerbell and a kid’s costume parade.
Costumes are a big part of both days, he said.
“Almost 100 percent of everybody who comes Friday night will be in costume,” he said. “We encourage that, it really is the costume show. On Saturday, it’ll be like 50 or 60 percent in costume. But both days, most everyone who shows up not in costume wishes they were in costume, especially on Friday night. You are really in the minority if you’re not in costume.”
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