A band of pirates came to terms with the City of Wilmington Wednesday to end their "occupation" of Delaware's replica tall ship, The Kalmar Nyckel - just in time for this Saturday's 5th Wilmington Pirate Festival.
Parties were invited to settle the dispute on the third floor of the Redding City-County Building. Captain Cutthroat Cortez said he was growing impatient with the lack of progress.
Mayor Mike Purzycki entered, asked the pirates for their terms, and agreed to offer them respect. He also invited all to this Saturday's festival at the shipyard on East 7th Street.
Within a few minutes, the Mayor and the pirates were pals. Captain Cutthroat even wandered through the lobby of the building and posed for a photo with a surprised bride who was there for her wedding.
"It's been very, very tense. It's been very tense," Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Executive Director Cathy Parsells said. "We're thankful we have an agreement with the city, and the ship will now be 'released.'"
"We are, after all, civilized," Captain Cutthroat said.
"Yes. Yes, you are," Parsells agreed.
Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., visitors to the Wilmington Pirate Festival will be able to enjoy tours of the Kalmar Nyckel, pirate-related games and music, crafts such as treasure chests, messages-in-a-bottle and scrimshaw candles, food trucks and more. Twin Lakes Brewing is supplying beer for adults as well as root beer.
The Wilmington Pirate Festival is already on the map, thanks to the appearance of actress Aubrey Plaza - a Wilmington native - on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. During the community calendar segment, Plaza visitors to "throw on an eye patch, strap on a wooden leg, ransack a passing ship, take their crew prisoner, succumb to scurvy and get hanged for your crimes. Plus, face painting!"
Pirate Festival organizer Joel McLaughlin said Plaza is invited to the festival but he was not aware of a response. In any event, the fest will have available "Aubrey Plaza roving face-painting crews, so no one is going to miss out on Wilming-tons of fun."
"It's a plunderful day!"