DAMARISCOTTA - It seems every year we get attacked by pirates. And strangely, we like it. Right on cue, on June 22, the sixth annual Damariscotta River Pirate Rendezvous will transform the sleepy coastal town of Damariscotta into a massive sound stage of mayhem. For those who've never experienced this kind of festival before, it isn't just some side tables selling pirate-y items and some face painting for the kids. The whole town goes mental for a few hours. The village will be swarmed with pirates and peg legs, lubbers and lasses, scallywags and scurvy lads.
Festivities begin to warm up around 10 a.m. Later, pirate reenactors and defenders will be gearing up for a full scale ocean assault when the pirate ship Must Roos, a 57-foot topsail yawl, owned by Maine's Pirates of The Dark Rose, sails into the Damariscotta harbor at high noon. Costumed reenactors on shore will attempt to repel the attack with artillery, muskets, and swords as the pirate ship lays down a barrage of cannon fire.
Ahoy me hearties! Get into the spirit of the thing by learning to talk like a pirate! English To Pirate Translator
As it takes a while for the ship to come in, listen for the local band Straight Up, who has composed a “menacing theme song” to herald the arrival of pirate ships. Pirate reenactor groups from all over will join forces, such as Black Rose II Privateers from New Hampshire, the Ancient Ones, the Kennebec Rovers and aforementioned Dark Rose Pirates. Once the pirates have invaded and convinced the townfolk and children to seek the riches of their lost treasure, the children will be involved in a day-long drama to find the hidden plunder that will include a crew muster and pirate costume contest, and a treasure hunt that will take the children through businesses of the intown area as they search for the Lost Treasure of the Mystic Pirates. Mystic Pirates swashbuckle their way throughout Damariscotta and Newcastle until approximately 4 p.m.
Look for the band Straight Up to play during the Volunteers Celebration at the end of the Pirate Rendezvous, beginning at approximately 4 p.m., open to the public, and located at Schooner Landing Restaurant and Marina. But the fun won't end there. Bands will continue later in the evening. Several intown restaurants will still be offering specials into the evening. There will also be a Pirate Pub Crawl for those who want to get their grog on.
The Pirate Rendezvous benefits Lincoln County Family Holiday Wishes, a Christmas season food and gift drive. Last year the Pirate Rendezvous raised more than $4,000 benefiting more than 500 children with Christmas gifts and clothes.
There is no charge for admission to the Pirate Rendezvous. There will be free parking and shuttle service will be provided at the Lincoln Academy parking lot. For more information visit piraterendezvous.com.
All photos by Kay Stephens. She can be reached at email@example.com