Avast, me hearties! Pirates Off Portrush returns

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One of the most popular events of the year, ‘Pirates Off Portrush’, returns to the seaside resort of Portrush on Saturday 4th July. This time, the historical pirate, ‘Tavish Dhu’, faces one of his scariest foes yet – his own ghost!

The event is a community driven partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Portrush Heritage Group. It is sponsored by Roadside Garages, and part-funded by a large number of Portrush traders.

It is 700 years since the death of Portrush’s dastardly pirate. For one day only, he will come alive and return to the town of Portrush welcomed by thousands of spectators of all ages who enjoy this now annual live theatre piece and street parade.

The day has a packed programme of treasure hunts, an outdoor disco, open top bus, street theatre and free Bam-Bam sticks and face painters. Beginning at 11.00am at the Ramada Hotel there will be a Pirate Treasure Hunt and Face Painting.

At 12.00 noon there will be an opportunity to visit a ‘Pirate Village’, where there will be stalls and an opportunity to meet Tavish Dhu in Station Square.

At 1.00pm popular local entertainer Brian Moore continues the fun at the Amphitheatre where there will be a Pirate Dance and Pirate Dress Competition, followed at 2.00pm with an adult’s fancy dress and a chance to win the grand prize, awarded to the best dressed pirate-couple, a £100 Gordons Chemists Hamper.

The pirate drama will begin at 2:30pm when Tavish confronts the ghost of Tavish. The Portrush Community Pantomime Group perform a dramatic dance supported by the Victoria Lagan Dance and Drama group and Coleraine Twirlstars. At 3.00pm the two Pirate Ships set out on a journey around town with pirates joined in the chase by a group of young pirates from the Youth Centre, an eight piece Samba Band, Stilt-walking Pirates, Big Head Characters, an Open-top Bus and vehicles from RNLI Beach Rescue and HM Coastguard.

The drama will climax at Antrim Gardens when the pirates resolve their quarrel as to who is the real ‘Pirate Off Portrush’, before the defeated pirates are led back through the town to face a watery-end off the plank at the Amphitheatre.

This is a free family event.

Everyone is encouraged to dress-up as pirates and join-in the fun. ‘Pirates Off Portrush’ is a guaranteed fun day out and a great warm-up ahead of the tall ships arrival approximately five miles off the north coast the following Monday.