Argh Matey: Pirates prove popular at festival

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Aarghh, me hearties! I hope you did not miss the festivities this weekend at Oronoco Park. As my mates and I had recently helped to lighten the wallet of a mild-mannered newspaper publisher by means of a swindle, we decided to spend our few farthings at the annual Red Cross Waterfront Festival.  Though there blew a hefty cloudy breeze through the town of Alexandria on Saturday eve, many hearty souls crowded round to see the bedazzling display of fireworks. 

As we still had a few of these newfangled American dollars in our purse, we returned on Sunday to barter for the wares of the craftsmen and partake of the local fare.  Aye, sure enough, there was plenty of good fresh lemonade to parch the thirst, and an ale called Miller Lite, brewed especially for landlubbers.  We contented our bellies with cinnamon roasted nuts and some Greek style meat sandwicheswhich were, of course, heartyas we wandered about the fair. Various musical acts played upon a stage, which added to the festive atmosphere.  

Along our way, we found a signmaker selling signs, and actually paid for one reading, Deadlines Amuse Me. That seemed well enough to convey our feelings about modernity; and then we found an especially charming sun hat that a lady from the Virginia towne of Richmond had for sale.  Other merchants sold jewelry, wooden furniture, garments, and artwork.  That posed a dilemma: should we keep our few farthings, or buy more treasure with it?

We also observed several water tanks containing some curious sea creatures that live in the waters of the Bay of Chesapeake; and in one tank there was one of the smallest sharks we had ever seen in our journeys.  The wee ones seemed especially interested in these odd fishes.

While we have weathered storms and hot sunshine in our wayfaring, we had not the instinct of the children to ride the several curious contraptions that seemed to elicit a good bit of excited yelling out from the little tykes.  Nay, the very idea of falling several hundred feet for pleasure seemed to elude us, seeming more like a deliberate dive off the high rigging; but it seemed to fascinate the small set.  Fine pirates they will make one day, these intrepid little souls.

One and all were invited to board the pretty schooner ship Sultana,  which plied the Atlantic waves in those later colonial years.  Aye, theres a graceful craft, and her ships log is a real lesson in the history of these parts.  Read all about her on the website, www.schoonersultana.com.  Also, there on the docks we met some of the mates from the Sterling Playmakers, worthy pirates indeed from this newfangled Commonwealth of Virginia.  Likely as not they were recruiting the youth of this towne for their misadventures at sea.

If you missed the days entertainments, dont despair, lads and lasses; it will come around again next year.   

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