Pirate festival at Vallejo for Father’s day
Once we arrived to the Pirate festival in Vallejo we ported along the Mare Island Way. I unloaded the tackle consisting of provisions and clothing garments for the little pirate. In the distance not far away we heard clash swords, cannonade and a cheerful singing. We are in the right place! Skipper and I found the Northern California Pirate festival!
Immediately Jack London’s “Tales of the fish patrol” flooded my memories from childhood, once we crossed the Alfred Zampa bridge from Martinez. “A raid on the oyster pirates” vividly came to life while looking at the Carquinez straight to the right. San Pablo bay reminded me of the Yellow Handkerchief chase as I looked to the left.
Who would’ve thought that the stories that I’ve read as a child would come to life, right here in the Bay Area! You can read Jack’s stories to your little ones for free here.
Tip: You can take Hwy 80 to the fest or actually ride the ferry from San Francisco peninsula on your way to celebrate Father’s day.
Spending a day with my son in SF East Bay
Going to the Pirates festival in Vallejo, CA with my son for Father’s day was one of the best ways to spend a weekend in SF East Bay. My wife and I love to explore the nature with our little dude traveling to places around California, although sometimes we just have to have a boy’s day out.
One of the best memories I retained from my joyful childhood was going to some event with my father. Literally it’s 2-3 second memory that imprinted in the back of my mind: sitting on his wide shoulder in the crowd of people while walking. There are several more similar vague yet warm moment that I retained revolving around hanging out with my dad.
The tiny recollections made me want to be a father and one day carry a little ball of warmth of my own on my shoulders as well. Now I get to do this every weekend and its one of the best ways to enjoy life in my humble opinion. Going to the buccaneer fest with my little son was that special moment for me and I’d like to recommend it to all the other dad out there.
What to do at theNorthern California Pirate festival ?
There are very few reasons why people would actually want to go hang out in Vallejo. Many typically go to that region of the bay to check out the Blu Homes Model Home on Mare Island or get some adrenaline rush at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or check out the Solano County fair. Going to the
Northern California Pirate festival was one of the best experiences for us since we love pirates and anything that has to do with boats!
You never really know if it’s a good idea to do something new until you try. I read up some online reviews about the event and it seemed to be pretty child friendly. We arrived almost at the opening and found some free parking along the Mare Island Way.
Ticket info to the fest
You could purchase the tickets in advance on the official website, although we decided to wing it and got them at the gate which were $12 or so, kids under 12 get in for free so that was a pleasant surprise. Immediately as you walk in you realize that there are several plays, some sort of a show and a concert going on all at once. It’s a really vibrant atmosphere.
Like at any carnival there are fun things to try: like throwing a ball at a target to drown a mermaid or running in a water in a giant see-through zorb. People were shooting catapults, cannons went of on the hour! I mean, the activities are engaging for kids of all ages, however probably will be best enjoyed by kids age 6 and up.
Should you dress up for the buccaneer fest in Vallejo?
You will get to touch weapons, cannons take selfies with pirates and the british royal guards… I mean everything you can image related and unrelated to Buccaneering will be there, and at least a dozen of Jack Sparrows, Black beards and John Silvers.
Most of the visitors, adults and kids alike were wearing marine themed garments or outright looked like pirates. So yeah! Go wild and throw on that Halloween costume from back in the days.
Should you bring the food to the fest?
Actually you could buy some carnival food here, although we prefer to maintain a consistent diet for our little dude so we brought our own stuff. Btw, adults can grab some beers at the beer garden smack down in the middle of the fair grounds.
Side note: it seems that the shows are geared toward the kids earlier in the morning and for adults during the evening (that’s what I’ve read on the reviews). Have fun, dress up and feel like a pirate for a day!