Pirates week: Dressing the part

Loutit District Library and Harbor Island have been claimed as pirate territory this week during the Michigan Pirate Festival. The festival began Monday and continues through Sunday.
Krystle Wagner
Aug 9, 2012


Brethren of the Great Lakes is hosting events such as storytelling, a mermaid lagoon and pirate games.

Although Zoe Foley, 7, has three pirate outfits at home, trying on different pirate wardrobe was her favorite part of Wednesday’s discussion series, "How to Dress Like a Pirate," at the Grand Haven library.

“I liked trying on outfits because it’s fun,” she said.

During the discussion, Admiral Morgan gave tips about dressing like a pirate and the history behind the clothing. She explained pirates wore mismatched, baggy clothing because they were more concerned about just having clothes to wear.

“They got what they could get at sea,” Admiral Morgan said.

Following the discussion, kids and adults donned various articles of pirate clothing from hats to overcoats.

To see more photos from the event, click here.

Tom Foley said he and his daughter have attended the festival for three years because it’s fun.

“It’s like Halloween in the middle of summer,” the Grand Haven man said.

Nunica resident Jill Kelly joined her kids in the fun by trying on a dress and hat. Kelly said her family is always looking for community events to participate in.

“It was good,” she said of Wednesday's activity. “I appreciate that it was interactive.”

As visitors tried on clothes, Hookah Joe demonstrated how to take regular clothes and turn them into pirate fashions.

Niles resident Austin Durham, who plays the character of Hookah Joe, said participating in the festival gives him a break from reality. He said there’s some apprehension about pirates because people don’t always know their role in history.

“My favorite part is the ability to get the history out there to people,” Durham said.

Stella Tuczak said playing the role of Admiral Morgan gives her the chance to be a kid again. She said they host the festival mainly for the kids.

“I like the look on their faces,” said the Niles resident. “Their enthusiasm is wonderful.”

Earlier this week, Isabelle and Gabe Houseman attended other Pirate Festival events such as storytelling at the library. They plan to attend the "Sparring with Sparrow and Friends" on Thursday.

“I think it’s fun,” Isabelle said.

Michelle DeVito of Grand Haven said both kids and adults learn a lot throughout the week.

“I appreciate the time, the care and the concern of the adults doing it,” she said. “They are really into it.”


11 a.m. — Jade’s Pirate Overview
Noon — Sparring with Sparrow and Friends, ages 4-7
12:30 p.m. — Sparring with Sparrow and Friends, ages 8-13
5:30 p.m. — Pirate Theater
7 p.m. — Jade’s Pirate Overview

11 a.m. — Discussion series of pirate viewpoints
Noon — Pirate Storytime, all ages
1 p.m. — Tweens Pirate Workshop, ages 8-16
6 p.m. — Pirate Sail-in
5-9 p.m. — Michigan Pirate Festival on Harbor Island

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Michigan Pirate Festival on Harbor Island

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Michigan Pirate Festival on Harbor Island

Loutit District Library events are free.
Harbor Island gate admission for adults is $5, children are free.


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