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Boynton Beach Pirate Fest brings Pirate-themed fun to Downtown
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 16:23

Boynton Beach Pirate Fest brings pirate-themed fun to downtown
By Kate Jacobson, Sun Sentinel
Boynton Beach Pirate Fest brings pirate-themed fun to downtown
On Saturday afternoon, dressed in his finest pirate attire, Captain Jack stopped to talk to a little boy brandishing a wooden sword and giving his best pirate "arrr."
"When you get this high, your mom will buy you a real one," he said, putting his hand above the boy's head. "I promise."
Captain Jack — known in his free time as Steven Dapcevich — was one of the main performers at Boynton Beach's Haunted Pirate Fest & Mermaid Splash on Saturday.
The festival, which continues Sunday, was put in by the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Authority and offered free live music, events and games in downtown Boynton Beach.
Officials predict anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 people will attend this weekend.
The festival is inspired by true events from the city's past. Tracy Smith-Coffey, the city's business development specialist, said records show a 222-foot, lumber-bearing ship named the Lofthus wrecked off the coast of Boynton in 1898 after a storm blew it off course.
On Saturday, the city drew pirate enthusiasts young and old to check out the events.
West Boynton resident Betsy Leibowitz brought her brother and her two young sons, ages 2 and 4, to check out the events. She said the group went last year and loved it so much, they decided to come again.
"We're having a great time," she said.
All four donned pirate outfits and were enjoying snacks by the concert stage. She said her sons are really into pirates at their age, and were loving the adults dressed in full costume.
"I'm from out west, a small town," she said. "It's nice to have community events like this. It feels like home again because you get the sense of community."
Dapcevich, who works professionally as a Capt. Jack Sparrow impersonator, said the Boynton Beach festival was one of his favorites to attend every year. He said because the event is so kid-centric, the energy is always high.
When they see him in his costume, he said, they light up and smiles come on their faces.
"It's a suspension of disbelief with children," Dapcevich said. "I just love the kids."
Impersonators, musicians, dancers and comedians were all part of the performers featured at the festival. Daniel O'Ryan, lead singer for the musical group The Craic Show, said Boynton is also one of his favorites because of the family feel.
The Craic Show is based out of the Tampa area, but the group travels across the country to pirate and renaissance festivals.
"I think the kids are the best thing here," he said. "We like inviting the kids up to dance. When we get a rhythm going, you can see people all the way down the street dancing. It's a good time."
Local businesses also participated in the festival. Cindy Sumlin, owner of the East Ocean Café in Boynton Beach, had her crew out selling drinks and food for festivalgoers.
She said herself and her right-hand-woman Cathy Marx helped get the store prepared for the festival. Both dressed in their pirate garb, they were excited about the fun weekend ahead and the potential business it would bring.
"How many times do you get to dress up like this?" Sumlin said. "I think it's great."

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