Aye, maties, it's that time a year again. The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is today in Tampa, FL. The Tampa Bay Times has a nice piece on the festival highlighting the growing diversity of the festival.
Formerly a Mardi-Gras-style event for white people with privilege, the Fest is now growing into something for everyone, from the suburbs to the "gritty" neighborhoods, to the rural surrounding areas. The article describes the various groups involved:
Time — and even Gasparilla — changes. After the big brouhaha over Ye Mystic Krewe's all-white, all-male membership, they admitted a few black members. Today you have more than 50 krewes in the pirate party: a krewe for "women of spirit and wit," krewes of sailboaters and riverboat gamblers, the Krewe of Buffalo Soldiers, a krewe in kilts. There's even Ye Notorious Krewe of the Peg Leg Pirate, with a core mission of helping amputees and their families.
It's fitting for a pirate festival to be diverse, because most pirate crews were more diverse than their Naval and otherwise reputable counterparts. Since pirats pledged allegiance to no nation, many nationalilites could be represented on their crews. Pirates had even been known to capture slaving ships and invite the enslaved people to join their crew as equal members.
So if yer near Tampa today... hell if you're near Tampa you're probably already at the fest, so read the nice article tomorrow...