Liverpool’s unofficial kick off to summer is back.
Privateer Days returns Friday after COVID restrictions cancelled the event for the past two years.
People can look forward to the return of many regular features such as the Privateer Day parade and historic encampment on Saturday, guided historic walking tours as well as activities and music all weekend at Privateer Park.
Many of the Privateer Days board members are new this year having only been elected to their positions at their annual general meeting in February.
That gave the group just four months to plan an event that would normally take all year.
Board chair Ashley Whynot says the mix of new and returning board members has been vital to getting Privateer Days up and running.
“This was all new. I’m used to planning birthday parties and very, very small events, so this is way out of my comfort zone,” said Whynot.
Despite having to quickly learn what permitting, licensing and insurance was needed to host an event the scale of Privateer Days, Whynot says the planning wasn’t that stressful.
“This isn’t a brand-new event so we always have previous years that we can look back on and be like, okay, what worked and what didn’t, look at the lineup, keep the traditional aspects like the parade and the rum run and the wedding. Those always had specific start times, so we kept those in mind,” said Whynot. “All the new things we kind of just filled in the blanks as we went.”
One of the big changes this year is the focus on providing a family friendly environment.
The beer tent was done away with in favour of organizing a pub crawl and encouraging people to visit the local drinking establishments.
Attendees will see family focused entertainment such as circus performers, a kid’s fishing derby, and a teddy bear picnic.
Whynot says the board is not only looking for new ideas but is always happy to see new people get involved with Privateer Days.
“We are looking to bring back as much tradition as possible, like the wedding for instance, and we’re looking to keep traditions going like the rum run and the parade. But we are looking to modernize it as well. There’s a lot of virtual reality things going on for the children and interactive things. We are always looking for new board members and fresh minds, fresh ideas, and lots of volunteers for that weekend in general.”
Kids can kick off the 2022 edition of Privateer Days at the Thomas Raddall Library Friday morning with pirate themed stories and crafts.
Adults can join the fun Friday night at one of several musical performances at the Legion, Route 3 Cellar Taproom and Grill and Hell Bay Brewing Company.
Events get underway at Privateer Park beginning at 9:00am Saturday.
Reported by Ed Halverson
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