Fort Walton Beach, a beautiful coastal town in the panhandle of Florida, is home to one of the most exciting and unique festivals in the region – the Billy Bowlegs Festival. This festival has been a longstanding tradition in Fort Walton Beach for over 65 years and draws thousands of visitors each year.

The Billy Bowlegs Festival, named after the legendary pirate who supposedly buried his treasure on the shores of Fort Walton Beach, is a celebration of the area’s rich history and cultural heritage. The festival is typically held in late May and spans several days, featuring a variety of events and activities that are fun for the whole family.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Parade, which takes place on the first Saturday of the event. The parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and hundreds of people dressed in pirate costumes, all paying homage to the town’s seafaring past. It’s a sight to behold and an experience that visitors won’t soon forget.

mother and a daughter smiling in a blue BillyBowlegs

In addition to the parade, the Billy Bowlegs Festival also features a carnival with rides and games, live music performances from local bands and musicians, and a wide variety of food vendors offering everything from classic festival fare to fresh seafood caught locally.

For those interested in history, the festival also offers a glimpse into the area’s past with reenactments of pirate battles, treasure hunts, and historical exhibits. Visitors can learn about the area’s Native American history, the early Spanish explorers who settled in the region, and of course, the pirates who roamed the seas off the coast of Florida.

Overall, the Billy Bowlegs Festival is a one-of-a-kind experience that captures the spirit of Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding region. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of pirate lore, or just looking for a fun-filled weekend with the family, this festival is not to be missed. So mark your calendars for early June and come join the celebration!

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