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The "Golden Age of Piracy" immediately followed the English Renaissance and ran from the 1650's to the 1720's. Focused mainly in the Caribbean, it began as nations vied for Spanish riches taken from South America. Privateering commissions were issued allowing ships to attack vessels from other countries. Once commissions were halted, many privateers, now unemployed, turned to freelance piracy.
[Click Here for More Information on Golden Age Pirates]

Area Info:

KnottyBits Sideshow
This innovative, family friendly traveling Duo sideshow is designed to appeal to all audiences, young and old alike! The enchanting Sylver Fyre dazzles with her world famous fire eating act and cracking bullwhips while Gwyd the Unusual does everything he can to keep from being hurt by broken glass, pointy nails and the most dangerous thing of all...Sylver.

Sentinels of the Rose
In the eastern woods in the Kingdom of Kamm Island, you might stumble across a training encampment of the Sentinels of the Rose. Cast adrift by the House of Landcaster, the Sentinels now travel the land, doing what they can to ease the plight of villagers.

Brethren of the Great Lakes
What would a pirate area be without pirates? We don't want to know. Luckily the Brethren of the Great Lakes will make port at the Festival, and they've promised to behave. If you can't trust a pirate, who can you trust? Best not to answer that.

Pickled Princess Pub
Woe to the princess, caught in a pickle, looking for romance in a pub... or so the story goes. In any case, the Pickled Princes Pub is a great place to kick back with a pint and listen to a tale or a song.

Pub Sing!
Come to the pub area at 5:30 and join the Minstrels singing and laughing, ending a great day at the festival.

Black Powder Demonstrations
The Brethren of the Great Lakes and their pirate mateys are bringing a small arsonal of authentic black powder weapons with the intent to disturb the calm. When you hear the boom, you'll know the show is on.

Friar Finnegan
Where can you find a friar? In a pub of course! There you'll find the good Friar Finnegan singing songs, spinning yarns and telling the worst jokes. Don't forget to ask about Friar Finnegan's Floggers.

Robyn the Bard
Robyn the Bard will serenade you from the stage and street with traditional, modern songs and his own music.

Drunk and Sailor
Phillip is usually the drunk, and Capt Amos is usually the sailor. Sometimes they're both drunk, and sometimes they're both sailors. Every once in a great while they are both drunk and both sailors. Drunk & Sailor shows are a high-energy, interactive party.

Red Rum
Enjoy a lively tune from the merry band of Pirates known as Red Rum. You'll hear traditional favorites and a few parodies to lighten your mood.

Just Happy to Be Here: Romeo & Juliet
Two of the world's greatest pirates, Captain Duckman and his loving wife Jennivev, have plundered nearly every ship that sails the seven seas. Bored, and on the run, they've turned to stealing something even more important than gold... laughter! Come see them enact piracy of the great bard as they perform 'Romeo and Juliet' (the short version). Shakespeare as it should have been... Funny!

Gypsy Raqs
Be sure to stop by and wiggle your torso along with the Gypsy Raqs at the Michiana Renaissance Festival. Bellies will be dancing.

Crossroads Mystic
Bringing mystery and wonder from ages past to the present with fire eating, juggling, death defying stunts, and magic.


Golden Age Pirate Information Continued

For as long as ships have sailed, so have pirates. Ancient Greeks and Romans faced the menace of piracy on their waters, just as modern countries do today. While pirates have existed throughout most of recorded history, one period of marauding stands out above the rest: the "Golden Age of Piracy". The Golden Age of Piracy immediately followed the English Renaissance and ran from the 1650's to the 1720's. It is the period that has engaged, shocked, and romanced audiences for generations. Focused mainly in the Caribbean, it began as nations vied for Spanish riches taken from South America.

When gold was discovered in the Americas, South America in particular, the major European powers of the time began sending fleets to collect treasure and bring the wealth home. The countries soon discovered that it was far easier to take over a ship already full of gold and on its way home than it was to go all the way to South America and back, as well as pack your own ship. In support of this more efficient method of treasure-seeking, privateering commissions were issued allowing ships to attack vessels from other countries. Francis Drake is a prime example of a commissioned pirate, or privateer. Queen Elizabeth I of England gave Drake permission to loot foreign ships. He made a great deal of his fortune taking Spanish ships, and he and the Queen divided up the profits between them. Drake was knighted by Elizabeth for his great success on her behalf. Eventually commissions were halted, and many privateers, now unemployed, turned to freelance piracy.

Life on a ship was hard, no matter what one's trade. Compared to life of a poor, outranked merchant, piracy often seemed like a fast way to a happier life. Pirates had a high success rate, and spoils were divided equally among the crew, who governed the ship as a democracy behind their captain. When pirates attacked a merchant ship, they would fly a pirate flag to scare the crew into surrendering without a battle. Who wants a ship full of holes? Upon arrival, or after the battle if it occurred, the pirates would recruit men to their ranks from the ship, plunder whatever goods they could find, and often let everyone else go. Doctors and skilled craftsmen were especially pressured into joining the pirate crew. Not every case was a catch-and-release scenario, however. Sometimes more people were killed, or the ship was commandeered and made a part of the pirate fleet instead of being loosed. For the most part, it was in everyone's best interest to keep losses light, as that left more for the taking.

References: www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_piracy.htm;
Admiral Morgan of the Brethren of the Great Lakes, see www.brethrenofthegreatlakes.com



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