Pirate Festival Makes Land in Owatonna
This past weekend, the 4th annual Iowa/Minnesota Pirate Festival went underway in Moorehouse Park. It was essentially a renaissance festival dedicated to the pirate life. Previously, this event had taken place in Clear Lake, Iowa. This year, it was moved into Owatonna with a goal to re-establish it. That is just what happened as much interest was shown, and the public enjoyed everything the festival had to offer. Hopefully, it will be making a return next summer.
The park was packed with numerous activities, shows and attractions. Several performers entertained the crowds with comedy, magic and theater acts. Vendors were selling everything from food and pottery to jewelry and pirate merchandise. Treasure hunts, lawn games and photo booths kept children busy.
Blue Rose Mermaid proved to be a popular attraction. Kids were able to toss wishing stones into her pool and buy treasures that she had collected. She claimed to have been captured by the pirates, but now she enjoys visiting with new friends that come to meet her.
Pirate Merlyn awed the audience with his “Majik.” Bob Schmill has been doing magic tricks since 1961, and what makes him unique is the fact that he uses an interactive style, so the viewers get involved in the act. He demonstrated escape art by freeing himself from a straitjacket. He held the attention of the audience with his comedy and illusions.
One highlight was the Costume Contest. Many kids dressed as pirates entered the competition, in hopes to catch the eyes of both the judges and the audience. They were to walk across the stage, flaunting their character by pulling off a fancy move. Everyone’s outfits were very impressive, but one participant did something that wowed everyone.
Calista Seiler’s stage name wasn’t “The Flipping Pirate” for no reason. Seiler successfully did a cartwheel and back handspring across the stage. “What better way to show off my costume than with my skills?” She is 11 years old, but has known how to perform this stunt since age 7. She won the girl’s division of the contest. “It feels so good to win.” Her favorite part of the festival was getting her hair braided there. She also enjoyed Crazy Boy Coy, who perched on a board that teetered on a can while maneuvering his body through a tennis racquet.