BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Pirates have taken over Beauvoir this weekend, but instead of robbing, they’re bringing in money, by attracting people who may not have ever come to the museum dedicated to Jefferson Davis, the only Confederate president.
And the festival strategy seems to be working by dishing up some fun with a little history lesson on the side. This festival is tailor-made for Louisiana residents Golden Lynn and Julie Wiggers.
“Oh, it’s fun,” Lynn said. “I love dressing up anyway. Well, pirates or queens or whatever.”
But is also a lesson in family history.
“This is my family,” Wiggers said. “My family is from the Isle of Jura. It’s clan Donald. And, it’s an island. We were pirates.”
You can’t have a pirate festival without the sidebar entertainment. A magic trick or two; some fancy dancing - both professional and just for kicks; and of course, all the cool costumes, like Santa Pirate.
“Everybody loves a good pirate show,” said Richard from Tupelo. “The illusion or feeling of freedom from normal strains of the world. So, that’s what pirates are normally about. So, it helps us kind of relax.”
The pirate festival is one of many hosted by Beauvoir, and the effort seems to be paying off.
“Once you’re here on the grounds, you’re going to explore,” Wiggers. “Because those of us that are here are interested in looking for more things to do, anyway. So, once they’re here, a lot of people that wouldn’t have come here normally are going to go in and explore.”
Like Danielle Vertrees of Mobile.
“I’ve never been here before,” she said. “I’ve never even heard of it before. And, coming to this, I’m a little interested in looking around the museum and just seeing what there is to offer and it’s a beautiful location.”
For Tammy Kelley and Tabitha Wiggins of Alabama, history is fine.
“We’re looking for rum,” said Kelley. “We get to dress up and be somebody different for a day. And we can do what we want to because we’re pirates and we can get away with it.”
The festival continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Proceeds benefit Hope 4 Hearts Animal Rescue and Adoption and Beauvoir Restoration and Beautification Fund.