It’s that time of year again! Kidspace is set to host its 3rd Annual Members-only Summer Barbecue. Each year we present a different theme and invite members to participate by dressing in character and enjoying an array of related activities. This summer, members are invited to set sail for a Kidspace pirate adventure with fun crafts, tasty treats, and a live performance. Pirates continue to be a popular subject for books, movies, and events. The highly stylized, fantastic, and mythological pirate world we have come to know has been inspired by books such as Treasure Island (1950) or by popular movies such as Peter Pan or Pirates of the Caribbean. Today, when we think of pirates, we imagine burly characters, with scarves, eye patches, and a parrot companion, who ward off giant squids and are lured by siren songs. Here are just a few facts about pirates:
- Although a fun notion, it is highly unlikely that pirates walked around with talking parrots perched upon their shoulders. Parrots, as well as other exotic birds and animals, would typically have been used for trade, especially in areas where these animals could not easily be acquired.
- Pirates were often met with harsh conditions while out to sea, so it was not uncommon for one to lose a limb or an eye. While it was not unusual for a pirate to wear an eye patch, the idea of a peg leg or hook became highly popularized by books and movies.
- While most early pirates were male, there were a few female pirates, or pirettes. Two of the most famous pirettes in history were Anne Bonney and Mary Read. According to stories, the women met aboard a pirate ship while dressed as men to disguise their gender. They became close friends upon revealing their secret to one another. The women were known to be ferocious and violent, and were equal rivals in battle against their male counterparts.
- As fun as it is to speak like a pirate, the popular “Arrrr” and other such pirate lingo and expressions most likely became popular from the 1950 version of Treasure Island thanks the strong accent of actor Robert Newton who played Silver in the classic and its subsequent spin-offs, as well as from other popular fictional pirate tales over time. Pirates spoke the common nautical language of the time.
- The plank walk has become quite synonymous with piracy as we’ve seen movies and read tales of enemies being forced to walk the plank and fall into ravenous waters or into an onslaught of crocodiles. A suspenseful story device, indeed; however, there has been no historical evidence of pirates committing this act. Pirates were known to use more “colorful” tactics against their enemies.
There is a lot to discover about pirate history and fiction. If you know any fun facts or interesting history, do share! While true tales of piracy are often dark and riddled with crime and thievery, popular movies continue to add just a dash of fun and fantasy in a way that people of all ages can enjoy. On Saturday, August 9, at 5:00 to 8:00pm, Kidspace members are invited to join the fun while dressed as pirates, mythical sea creatures, aquatic animals, sailors, and more during our Swashbucklin’ Summer BBQ. We welcome all guests to join our Kidspace Member Family to enjoy these great events, as well as multitude of unique experiences offered at Kidspace as we grow year to year. All aboard!
Noelle Jefferson, Membership & Administrative Assistant, has been with Kidspace since 2011. With her customer service experience, she is focusing on creating an amazing guest experience for Kidspace Members and is very excited to find more ways the Museum can be a resource for families.