History comes to life at Heritage Day

Heritage Day
A group of little pirates in training breaks through the lines of the Anna Maria Island Privateers to help rescue imprisoned pirate Bill “Sparkles” Rosencrantz from the old Anna Maria City Jail. - Kristin Swain | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Chilly Saturday morning temperatures didn’t keep anyone away from this year’s Heritage Day celebrations at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.

Attendees at this year’s event seemed most excited about two things – the loaves of Settler’s Bread available for purchase and the pirate invasion.

Bravely manning the bake sale table, volunteer Barbara Murphy said the loaves of Settler’s Bread sold out quickly. Within an hour of sales opening, none of the bread was left and few baked goods were still available for purchase.

Kids of all ages got into the spirit when members of the Anna Maria Island Privateers swept into the celebration with a yell and a swashbuckling sword fight. As more pirates arrived on the crewe’s land-bound ship, the Skully Wag, rowdy pirate Bill “Sparkles” Rosencrantz was clapped in irons and put into the Island’s historic jail. He was joined by several little pirates in training who attempted to break him out and hold on to a bag full of treasure. Despite the crowd voting to keep him in jail, Sparkles and his comrades escaped.

Many local craftspeople also were on hand, helping visitors take a step back in time as they toured the museum’s grounds. Experts in everything from sustainably collecting local honey to bonnet making, spinning, quilting and candle making gave demonstrations in their craft, answered questions and offered their wares for sale.

Visitors were invited to take a piece of history with them as they departed with items ranging from historical books by local authors to antique implements and signs from long ago Island landmarks. Tickets also were available for purchase for the 25th Annual Tour of Homes taking place March 17 and the corresponding quilt raffle, sponsored by the Eyeland Needlers.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum.