2017 Billy Bowlegs Raft-Up Party
The 60th Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival will be held on Friday, June 2nd, Saturday the 3th and Monday, June 5th!
In honor of the 60th Anniversary the Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade will be held on the evening of Monday, June 5th!
Raft Up Party will be on Saturday June the 3rd
Start this summer off right with the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival on June 6tht at the Landing sandbar in Fort Walton Beach. Unlike your traditional festival with concessions and some light music, Bowlegs is more of an accelerated drinkathon with a pirate feel. Only accessible by boat, it is a wild party mixed with tailgating and Mardi Gras (without the ridiculous arrests) spiraled into a freshman year spring break evict-a-palooza setting. “If you’re not drunk at Bowlegs, you’re not at Billy Bowlegs.” says festival frequenter Chase Texada. With hundreds of boats lining the mile-long sandbar next to the Okaloosa Island Bridge, it forms what can only be described as Bourbon Street in the water. As you wade your way down the sandbar, you can encounter a melting pot of people from all across the country that have made their way to the Florida panhandle to pillage, plunder, and end up three sheets to the wind.
The party starts at dawn and goes on until the late afternoon so it is important to get out there early to get a good anchoring for your vessel. Local boat rentals have pontoon Bowleg specials if you need a rental. Every year I am repeatedly astonished by the measures that are taken to celebrate Bowlegs. From floating dancing poles to high-powered compressed water cannons, nothing is too farfetched. Be sure to hoist your vessel’s colors high from the forestay so it can be easily spotted amongst the masses. “Everyone’s a pirate at Bowleg.” Says old salt Nikki Pappas, a Bowlegs legend and last year’ recipient of the Official Scallywag Sailor Award. “You can’t miss Bowlegs. You just can’t.” After my first time to Bowlegs, I vowed to weigh anchor and hoist sails to return for as long as possible. It is too much fun to miss.
Not for Children!