Cannons boomed, tall ships sailed, and 18th century pirates fought for control of Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton. Over 1,000 local residents visited the park June 14 for the first annual Pirate Day, a day full of pirate-themed festivities and the grand opening of Pirates Cove Waterpark.
The event started with the dedication of the new waterpark, and continued with The Vigilant Crew, a living history group which amazed onlookers with a pirate battle on the shores of Pohick Bay. Attendees were entertained and educated about elements of 18th century life in the living history pirate camp. Children watched an 18th century puppet show, while others were given tours of the American Spirit, a 65 foot two-masted schooner.
Pirate Day was a great success, providing a very unique and fun experience for the public. Were looking forward to making this an annual event, said Paul Gilbert, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authoritys executive director.
As visitors approach Pirates Cover Waterpark, a large cannon, ships mast and pirates lookout make it apparent that you are in for something very different from your neighborhood pool. The giant pirate ship building, nautical murals on the restroom walls and the lobby treasure chest, create a unique waterpark experience for all visitors. We thought a pirate-themed pool would be popular, but we had no way of knowing what a hit this would be, said Jim Mayer, the park authority’s chair.
The pool itself contains a pirate-themed play feature with a giant dumping barrel, two kid-friendly slides and water spraying palm trees. A tot pool features a clam shell slide, spraying jets and crab and fish tiles throughout. In and around the pool area, giant fiberglass pirates and large parchment signs adorn the deck and provide stories and information about the real golden age of piracy. One of the most popular features is Buccaneer Beach, where young scallywags can dig for buried coins and redeem their findings for eye patches, plastic swords and other treasures.
Every weekend since Memorial Day weekend, weve had record crowds cooling off and enjoying all the new and fun features, Mayer said.
In addition to the pirate fun, the parks authority provided information about vacations that are closer to home. With the price of gas so high, many families are looking for fun and affordable alternatives this summer. We offer a number of options as alternatives, including luxury riverside cottages at Algonkian Regional Park and new air conditioned cabins at our campgrounds at Bull Run and Pohick Bay Regional Parks, Gilbert said.
Gilbert suggested combining these accommodations with golf, boating, waterparks, trails and many other family activities that make a wonderful vacation to remember.