ANNA MARIA – It was a great beach day last Saturday with blue skies and gentle breezes, but a group of kids and their parents decided to spend some time with a band of pirates at a park across the street from the city pier.
The late Willis Howard “Snooks” Adams began Snooks Adams Kid’s Day in 1954 when he took some Island boys to the beach in his Jeep to the south end of the Island for swimming and a cookout. Over time, girls were included and after a few years, the party was moved to Manatee Beach. The Lions Club and local residents helped out as the size increased and in 1980, Snooks turned the event over to the Privateers, but he still helped out as his health allowed. The Privateers moved it to Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.
This year, Manatee County rented out Bayfront Park so they got permission to move it to City Pier Park, and they utilized the sail shades to their advantage. There were games to play, bubbles to chase, buried booty to unearth and a pirate’s lunch of hot dogs, chips, pizza and soda to enjoy. Some of the kids wore pirate outfits, and a few of them got prizes for best effort.
The Holmes Beach Police Department was well represented with Chief Bill Tokajer, Anna Maria Elementary School Resource Officer Josh Fleischer, Sgt. Vern McGowan and Det. Brian Hall manning a tent and passing out brochures and goodies.
The Privateers were pleased with their new location and said they would try to get it again, according to one member.
“The county charged us a lot of money to use Bayfront Park, and we’re a non-profit group,” said Privateer Roque Pastorius. “The money we saved will go toward scholarships.”