Pirates Cove Wood Boat Fest May 3-5 in Josephine
Event at laid back waterfront bistro back after one year hiatus
The Pirates Cove Wood Boat Festival, after a one year hiatus, returns to Pirates Cove Marina (near the south end of Hwy. 95-S) in Josephine for the 21st time with festivities from May 3-5 . Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 per person per day with children under 12 admitted free.
The fest kicks off with The Pirates Ball on Friday night, May 3 at 7 p.m. Big Muddy will entertain, and patrons are encouraged to dress in pirate regalia. Cover charge is $10 for the Pirates Ball.
Fest activities include – of course – lots of wooden boats of all kinds and sizes and a treasure chest. The Perdido Bay Optimists will serve grilled sausage sandwiches (and mullet sandwiches if available) to benefit their wonderful charities both days. There will be live music (see schedule) all day Saturday and Sunday.
One of the festival highlights every year is the dirty boat building contest. Contestants will build their boats all day Saturday and finish on Sunday morning. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, the newly built boats will race. Awards for best of show and the boatbuilding contest will be presented afterwards, usually around 3 p.m.
“The people who were responsible for putting this on for many years all retired, and I just got to busy last year to continue doing it,’’ said event coordinator Karl Mueller. “But a lot of people missed having it. So we are doing it again.’’
Mueller, whose father built the iconic waterfront restaurant and bar, currently owns and operates the bistro with his mother (Eileen) and brother (Paul). The family celebrated its 50th anniversary in business in 2017.
“We came up with the idea one winter evening when we were all sitting around bored to death,’’ Karl Mueller said. “We wanted to have a wood boat show where all boats. People with working wood charter boats really had no place else.
Mueller said the show is more about sharing information and comparing notes about wood boat building than it is competing for top prizes and many friendships among wood boat afficionados started at Pirates Cove.
“It just grew organically,’’ he said. “There are many people that met here that keep in touch over the years. That is one of the best things about it.’’
For more info, visit piratescoveriffraff.com or call Mueller at 251-228-2074.
Wood Boat Fest Music
Friday, May 3
7 p.m. – Big Muddy
Saturday, May 4
11 a.m – Perdido Brothers
3 p.m. – Johnny Barbato
7 p.m. – Fat Man Squeeze
Sunday, May 5
11 a.m. – Ja Rhythm
3 p.m. – Merge