Mountaintop Mateys

Renaissance fairs are pretty much old hat: Dress up in tights, speak in faux olde English, eat a roast turkey leg, watch the Society for Creative Anachronism knock the hell out of each other with padded swords, yadda yadda. So to spice up the local medieval festival, Pagosa Springs added a completely awesome twist: pirates. Seem a little strange for pirates to invade a tiny mountain town? Not at all, explains Autumn Daily, event planner for the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce: “We’re the home of the Pagosa Pirates; that’s our high-school mascot. And when the Spanish conquistadors were coming over the pass, there [were] a lot of tales of treasures being hidden in the mountains by them, as well as pirates. We actually have a falls called Treasure Falls, and there’s some hype that the Spanish conquistadors left some gold up there.”

Whether you believe the local legend or not, pirates are always fun, and their presence should help liven up the first Pagosa Renaissance and Pirate Festival. In addition to the buccaneers’ swashbuckling and the usual renaissance-fair activities – fencing demonstrations, performances from The Canterbury Tales, artisans selling vaguely medieval wares, period fare such as the aforementioned turkey legs – they’ll also have belly dancing and camel rides, adding a Middle Eastern flair to the proceedings. That’s a can’t-miss ensemble of the world’s historic cultures, and the best excuse you’re likely to find to wear tights, an eye patch or a turban around Pagosa Springs.

The festival starts July 18 at 10 a.m. in downtown Pagosa Springs and continues through the evening of Juy 19, ending with a performance from Treasure Island. Two-day tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for kids seventeen and under; one-day tix go for just $5 and $3, respectively. For more info, call 970-264-2360 or visit
July 18-19, 2009

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato

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