Pirates week officially started yesterday, but actually starts today. Tonignt is the first street party and the song contest. The song contest is a contest that local bands enter, and the winner’s song is selected as the official Pirates Week song for the year.
Pirates Week was started more that 20 years as a way to kick off the winter tourist season, and as way to boost tourism earlier in the year. It’s a combination of Pirates Week, halloween, and Carnival!
Here’s how Pirates week works: Saturday, Pirates invade the island. they come ashore in their pirate ships, have a big pirates landing, (ceremonously) capture the Governor, and take over the island. (The Governor usually ends up in a Pirates costume himself, swinging a cardboard sword!) Then there is a Caribbean Carnival/Pirate style parade and fireworks, and also another street party with downtown blocked off to traffic and several stages set up with different genres of music at the different stages. Theres also plenty of food and drink.
Then all week, the pirates move around the island, (ceremonously) pillaging the whole place, and every night all week there is a Heritage Day at each of the districts around the island, followed by a street party at that district, again with Caribbean music and food and dancing.
Then the following weekend, after a week of street parties and Heritage exhibitions, the Pirates are pretty wasted, so the Government is able to wrest control away from them and again the downtown area is filled with partiers, celebrating the removal of the pirates and return to normalcy!