So we have a Pirate Festival in Mahone Bay every year. It was once the Wooden Boat Festival, then the Classic Boat Festival and finally the Pirate Festival… I think it will stay Piratey. It’s awesome – pirates wandering through town always happy to pose for a photo, and a plethora of activites for everyone, young and old: crafts, storytellers, lots & lots of live music, boating, races, crafters, face painting, oh my heavens this list just won’t end. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it.
Why Pirates, you might find yourself asking. Well, it’s kinda cool. This part of Nova Scotia was once a thriving pirate port! Struth! Rum runners galore, of course, but pirates too. Nice, deep, hidden harbours. Surely you’ve heard of Oak Island? ’nuff said. So, in June of 1917 a pirate ship called The Teazer was being chased down by the ‘good guys’ (five shipsfull of British ‘good guys’) and, well, to make a long story short, it ended up exploding most spectacularly. The ship’s first Lieutenant had apparnetly set fire to her to prevent her from being captured, but the fire had reached the powder magazine before the crew could escape. Only eight of the ship’s 36-man crew survived, and most were horribly maimed. Some of the men who died were buried in St. Stephen’s cemetery in Chester. When the moon is nearly full and a fog blows in from offshore, many residents maintain that a ghostly Teaser replays her last voyage across Mahone Bay…. and certainly on the last night of the Pirate Festival, two ships venture out onto the Bay and replay the scene .. ending with a spectacular display of fireworks.