Thousands pack Tybee Island for annual Pirate Festival

Thousands pack Tybee Island for annual Pirate Festival

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) -Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out. Thousands of pirates flocked to Tybee for the annual Pirate Fest.

Pirate Fest is more than just a big party on Tybee. It’s a big economic boost at a critical time of the year.

For this weekend, it’s the official flag of Tybee. The annual Pirate Fest draws thousands of visitors, some from out of town, others from out of state all wanting to be a pirate at least for a day.

“It’s great,” said Lisa McAfee and Mark Kelly Taylor. “It’s fun. The costumes are great. We get to dress up and come out of our shell a little.”

Tybee’s Pirate Festival committee brings vendors to offer a little bit of everything, including a petting zoo and a kid-friendly zone. It’s also designed to appeal to the biggest crowd, a crowd that fills restaurants, hotels, and stores.

“It’s the biggest and more important festival on Tybee,” said festival director. “It probably puts in excess of $4 million in this economy.”

Pirate Fest comes marks the biggest crowd of the Fall, weeks after Labor Day and the seasonal tourists have gone home.

“Pirate Fest will carry local businesses until about New Year’s,” said Al Slocum with Tybee Turtle Transit. “That’ll get us sort of stable and able to pay the mortgage so to speak.”

That kind of boost leaves everybody partying like pirates this weekend.

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