Queen Kay Kell and King Henry Winters of the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse at the krewe’s kick-off party Thursday for Pirate Day in the Bay.

Swab the decks and batten down the hatches -- the fifth annual Pirate Day in the Bay will be in full swing on Saturday day in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

The "pirates and wenches" were more than ready to paaarrrrrrrrrty on Thursday, kicking off the two-day long Pirate Day celebration a day early in Old Town Bay St. Louis with a dinner-dance at the corner of Beach Boulevard and Court Street.

Organized by the non-profit Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse, the event is packed with music, a pub crawl, scavenger hunt, kids activities and more to celebrate the Bay’s pirate history, dating back more than 200 years. Pirate Day was recently named a Top Twenty Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, chosen from events taking place across 12 southern states.

The Pirate Day events began in earnest on Friday afternoon when the krewe "invaded" Old Town, leading into the Pirates Pub Crawl and Scavenger Hunt.

The action is scheduled to begin early on Saturday, with a Lil' Buccaneers Parade. Line up starts at 10:30 a.m. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. with children in their finest pirate drag and will head down Main Street to Pirate Central at Beach Boulevard. Immediately following will be the pirate costume contest, starting at 12 noon, where serious contenders of all ages show off to win pirate swag.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the krewe will host its second annual "Pirate Cruise" on the Betsy Ann Riverboat. Boarding starts at 2:30 p.m. at the Bay St. Louis Harbor Event Deck.

The riverboat leaves at 3 p.m. and will return all pirates back to shore in time for the evening’s festivities.

The Pirate Invasion parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday will also offer a pirates’ play zone for kids, craft vendors and live entertainment from Dr. Rock & the Interns at 7 p.m. Pirate Day wraps up with fireworks over the harbor, sponsored by Silver Slipper Casino at 9 p.m.

Pirate Day is an annual fundraiser for the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse, a volunteer organization that supports economic development in downtown Bay St. Louis. Much of the event and viewing will be free of charge.

You can view the complete schedule at www.mkotsh.com.

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