Pirates Days wrap up in Alexandria Bay

Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 6:53 PM EDT
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ALEXANDRIA BAY, New York (WWNY) - Alexandria Bay’s Bill Johnston’s Pirates Days wrapped up Sunday with a parade down the village’s main drag.

Two weekends of swashbuckling and sea shanties wrapped up Sunday with a parade celebrating Alexandria Bay’s history of piracy.

“This is for you. This is for the people that come and visit Alexandria Bay. We welcome everyone,” said Rick Sweet, Head of Pirates Days Parade.

The parade featured floats from a variety of businesses in Alexandria Bay. The Media Shriners and a marching band also made appearances. We caught up with a float before things kicked off.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I could remember it being Pirates weekend. Just brings out happiness and it’s good for the Bay, we’re just glad to be a part of it,” said Robin Moran, parade participant.

People of all ages took part including 5-year-old Jet Bondellio, who had an important role atop his float.

“Throw candy and throw necklaces,” said Bondellio.

While onlookers raked in candy, restaurants like Riley’s by the River raked in customers.

“We’ve had a ton of people coming through the doors, really enjoying everything. The festivities have been wonderful. The events in town really brought a lot of business for us,” said Kimberly Fadden, General Manager, Riley’s by the River.

At Treasure Island, business owners placed their own vessel outside to celebrate, topped with a pirate of its own. It’s a vintage boat from 1903 that they plan to restore.

“It just felt like it was part of the whole area, so we just didn’t want it to go too far off the 1000 islands,” said BJ Mosher, Vintage Boat Owner.

Pirates Days has had a bit of a staggered return from COVID. Although it’s been limited to weekends, it used to be a week-long celebration. According to organizers, that could come back next year.

“We’re just kind of getting our feet on the ground for the first year. We feel pretty comfortable. We’re pretty confident the next year will be fun filled for sure,” said Rick Thompson, Pirates Days Chairman.