While we insist on spelling it PYRATE, ye may see Pirate, Pyrat, Pyraat or other variations. Corsair, Buccaneer, Freebooter, Picaroon, Privateer and o’ course Swashbuckler are often used interchangeably.
However ye say it or spell it, the 7th annual NOLA Pyrate Week (Mar. 27 – April 5) is the time for ye all to gather, from across the Seven Seas, to “The Northernmost Island In The Caribbean”, La Louisiane, the foot o’ Louisiana Territory…LOUISIANA! While we always share the details o’ Pyrate History, especially it’s particular ties to New Orleans, this year marks the 200th anniversary o’ The Battle Of New Orleans and the end o’ the War Of 1812 – which means, it’s been 200 years since Pyrates saved the US! The battle would not have been won had it not been for the considerable contributions o’ gunpowder, flint, cannons and supplies, made by Jean & Pierre Laffite and their men. Remember and honour the names o’ Renato Beluche & Dominique Youx (who manned the cannons & fought at the battle), Barthelemy Lafon (who designed the CBD, Lower Garden District and many buildings in the Vieux Carré) and the many others who fought as free men for a new country they believed in.
“Fearless warrior on land and on wave
In a hundred fights he showed his worth
And this new Bayard, blameless and without fear
Could watch without trembling the crumbling of the Earth.”
(tr. from the tomb o’ Dominique Youx, New Orleans)
Starting on the evening o’ Friday March 27 (8-11pm) – in the Vieux Carré (the Old Square), the “French Quarter” o’ New Orleans, in the Alley named for Pyrates, on the site o’ the old Calabozo, at Pirates Alley Café & Olde Absinthe House our gracious hosts Thais ‘La Reina del Callejón’ Solano & Tony ‘Cadillac’ Seville welcome ye to rest yer bones, enjoy some light snacks and tip back a Rum, Ale or Absinthe to yer liking! Meet yer ol’ mates and forge new alliances, plan for adventure in the days ahead…and drop a few doubloons to support our Community Partners!
This year, in addition to our continuing education & support for all Wetlands (and our Community Partners in Houma, Keep Terrebonne Beautiful), we raise awareness and support for a new local Community Partner in New Orleans, Villalobos Rescue Center. Tia Maria Torres, her Family & Crew have dedicated their lives to providing second chances to both dogs and people, while educating the public about the need. While they started out primarily as a Pit Bull rescue, they do not turn away any breed…and while they have made some TV fame with the show Pitbulls & Parolees, they certainly have not made their fortune by it. They are constantly overwhelmed with the number o’ dogs they find and rescue – just in the New Orleans area (let alone the ones coming in from across the State); but have raised the bar so many times they should be operating the Claiborne Lift Bridge! Each and EVERY dog taken in, gets spayed or neutered, and given any medical treatment necessary – as well as the many days often necessary to re-acclimatize many dogs to human contact & kindness, prior to finding just the right person/family to take them home. Educating folks about this process is one o’ the greatest challenges – and not as easy as ye think. Their need is as great as the work they do; donations o’ time (volunteer), money, dog food, leashes, crates & more are all appreciated. Anything ye can contribute, bring along Friday night (Mar. 27) to Pyrates Alley; 9-11pm. A crew o’ volunteer Pyrates plan to assist with dog walking duties earlier in the evening (7pm – 8:30pm).
Speaking o’ Keep Terrebonne Beautiful, we partner with them for our 3rd annual “Houma Pyrate Day” at the Downtown Marina, Saturday April 4 from 10am-5pm. Live Pyrate Music from our “official band” The Whiskey Bay Rovers, local Artisans & Merchants, fantastic local food, display from the Regional Military Museum, activities for wee Pyrates, Pyrate History…and much more fun for the whole family! Set yer sights on the Merchant List page for more info!