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Virginia museum's pirate gathering aims to set Guinness record

August 15, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., hopes to round up enough pirates and wenches for the largest pirate gathering in the world on Sept. 21.
The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., hopes to round up enough… (Mariners' Museum )

Pirate wannabes, pirate speakers, wenches, heck, anyone with a striped shirt and a swagger, the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., desperately wants you -- about 15,000 of you, to be precise.

The museum is gearing up to take a run at the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of pop-culture pirates. It aims to woo people far and wide to Pirates Pack the Park in Newport News on Sept. 21 in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day two days earlier.

The record was set July 22, 2012, when the town of Hastings, England, persuaded 14,231 pirate-clad folks to invade the city. Now, apparently, it's time to take revenge.

"While it’s true that most of the big-league pirates were British, it’s also true that the home turf for most of their pirate deeds was off the shores of North America," the museum says in a release. "Besides, taking something that belongs to someone else – it’s what good pirates do."

And only good pirates are invited to attend (no real swords or guns, please). Participants must wear pirate-looking pants or skirts with a white or striped shirt, and a bandana or pirate hat on their heads. Add an eye patch, toy sword or parrot (fake ones are fine) too.

The official count for the record takes place at 2 p.m., though the pirate fest runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Entrance to the festival is free, but entrance to the nearby museum costs $5 per person.)

Does the U.S. have a shot at unseating the Brits? Well, the museum hasn't tried. It has sponsored International Talk Like a Pirate Day Weekends in the past that drew about 3,000 people, spokesman John Warren said.

"This is the first attempt at the world record," Warren wrote in an email. "In 2013, the Hastings Festival did not try to beat its own record because it apparently felt complacent, and weren't aware the Americans are breathing down their necks."

Info: Pirates Pack the Park, The Mariners' Museum, (800) 581-7245

mary.forgione@latimes.com
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