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Pirate festival off to a fun start

Samantha Lewakowski • Aug 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Just when Grand Haven thought the festival madness was over, the Pirate Festival rolled in for its week of fun beginning Monday.

Austin Durham, who also goes by the pirate name of Hookah Joe, and his fellow scalawags have fun activities planned all week, with the Loutit District Library acting as their home base.

“This whole thing began when I was a kid when I went to renaissance fairs,” Durham said. “I started to love history, which turned into a love of pirating history, which turned me into a pirate.”

Monday’s kick-off events featured a small arms demonstration in the parking lot west of the library, where Durham displayed, and shot, authentic musket and handgun replicas from the 1700s. His pirate ensemble included his wife and fellow re-enactors who have been a part of the Pirate Festival in Grand Haven for the past 10 years.

“Being a pirate gives me a break from reality,” Durham said.

Today’s activities at the library, 407 Columbus Ave., include a bellydance class and show with Gypsy Rags at 11 a.m. and a pirate puppet show at 2 p.m.

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