The 7th annual Midlands Pirate Festival near Omaha, Nebraska has now concluded. This two day event, held in the western town of the Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch, has grown and changed considerably since it’s first year in 2008. In recent years, the Ranch has built a massive pirate ship (that you can actually explore), a nicely themed pirate’s pub, and various other buildings that are clear departures from the original Wild West look of the west of the facility.
Entertainment this year consisted of fencing demonstrations, sword/combat performances, juggling, music, belly dancing, magic, improv comedy, children’s entertainment and more. There is a small rocking pirate ship ride for the kids, and various games (like the duck pond and knife tossing) for various ages. The lanes saw plenty of pirates (many were patrons) and a number of Jack Sparrows.
Food at the event is above many, since the Ranch runs most locations and has access to their commercial catering kitchen. They offered shrimp baskets, turkey legs, Scotch eggs, pasta, spiraled potatoes, BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes, popcorn, sodas, adult beverages, and much more. Outside vendors provided snow cones and homemade rootbeer.
For the grownups, the pirate’s pub had margaritas, sangria, beer, rum drinks and others. Moonstruct Meadery (from nearby Bellevue, NE) was there with three types of their locally made meads. A large group from the Central Iowa Pirate’s Guild made the two hour trek on Saturday and occupied the pub for much of the day, sampling various drinks.
This event is smaller than the Nebraska Renaissance Faire, which is also held at this location in the Spring. The focus is more on piratey fun, with four stages of entertainment and no jousting. This did leave some of the areas feeling a bit sparse compared to that event, but the percentage of patrons that came dressed up seemed much higher – much more of a street party fun event.
The Midlands Pirate Festival is one of several events produced by the publisher of this website, and is done as a partnership with the Bellevue Berry Farm. They are already planning the 2015 Renaissance Faire and Pirate Fest events.