ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Hats, swords, and eye patches. Every summer hundreds of people flock to Alexandria Bay to celebrate Pirate Days, which lasts 10 days.
“It’s nice, like, seeing everyone dress up as pirates and everything,” Alyvia Crosby said. “It gets a lot of people out here and to celebrate.”
But the Chamber of Commerce announced Monday both Pirate Days and Buskers in the Bay are cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chamber says many performers have had to cancel and they want to keep the village safe.
“It was little bit upsetting because we usually come down here to have fun and just walk around and go to many of the stores,” Hannah Belknap said.
Shop and restaurant owners say Pirate Days are a big deal for the 1000 Islands region and losing that business will hurt.
“It’s devastating to say the least,” Downtown club owner Rick Thomson said. “It’s our biggest event and quite popular.”
Many who travel from outside the north country stay at local hotels.
“We have both these weekends booked up for a year, pretty much everyone re-books when they leave” Capt.‘s Inn and Suites general manager Ethan Thomson said. “We are hoping most of them stay. I know there is a handful that have cancelled but I think people are still going to want to come up and enjoy the Bay.”
Business owners say many people have been doing that already this summer by shopping, fishing, and eating out.
“We will survive,” Rick Thomson said. “Come on to Alex Bay. Yup, we are open.”