Pirates celebrate summer vacation

Pirates celebrate summer vacation
Nine-month-old Oakley Melbourne won his age group's pirate costume contest, but he wasn't happy – it was nap time. - Tom Vaught | Sun

The Anna Maria Island Privateers celebrated Snooks Adams Kid’s Day as usual on the first Saturday after the school summer break in a new location, Anna Maria City Pier Park.

snooks adams twins
These twins were having twice the fun. – Tom Vaught | Sun

The shade from the sails gave ample protection from the sun and the Privateers’ ship, the Skullywag, served as a stage for the pirate costume contest. There were hot dogs, chips and cookies, and games including the rat toss with rubber rats, a treasure hunt and water gun fights.

snooks adams hot dog
The kids enjoyed hot dogs, chips, soda and cookies courtesy of the Anna Maria Island Privateers during the Snooks Adams Kids Day festivities. Tom Vaught | Sun

The event began in 1954 when Anna Maria Island’s first police chief, Snooks Adams, helped students celebrate the first day of summer vacation with a cookout on Coquina Beach. Over time, the celebration evolved into an annual event that was assisted by the local Lion’s Club and local residents as the event grew in size.

In 1980, Snooks turned over hosting duties for the annual Kids Day start to summer celebration to the Anna Maria Island Privateers. The Island’s pirates continue the tradition every year on the first Saturday after school ends for the summer. Adams died on April 27, 2010, at the age of 92.