Loose Cannon Company reenactors

Loose Cannon Company reenactors pose for a photo with Chris and Pat Bechtler of Crazy Horse Marina (center) on Sunday, July 17, as part of Pirate Days.

The Smith Mountain Eagle caught up with P.J. Nagel, “The Commodore” of Smith Mountain Lake Pirate Days, following this year’s series of events. It was an exciting year for the Pirate Days, as the return to normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic brought out thousands of people for three days of fun and festivities. 

Nagel was pleased with the turnout throughout the Pirate Days weekend. 

“We had a near capacity crowd Friday night at Mango’s for the Pirate’s Ball. We had a packed patio and dock’s at Jake’s Place on Saturday with an extended wait to be seated,” Nagel explained last week. “We had a sold out crowd at the Pancake’s and Pirates breakfast that was organized by The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce on Saturday morning. We had a packed restaurant and patio at Drifter’s on both Saturday and Sunday, and we had record attendance at Crazy Horse Marina from both boats and foot traffic. Attendees started showing up at Crazy Horse around 9:30 a.m., and at its peak, we have estimated that there were as many as 4,500 people on the property. The estimated total head count for the day is probably closer to 7,000."

This year’s Pirate Days had to make a few changes from years past, notably to comply with a new state law regarding the use of water balloons. Due to an awareness campaign ahead of the weekend and vigilant watches over the various sites, there were no water balloon infractions at this year’s Pirate Days.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. If subscribed, view the rest of the story in the e-edition version at www.smithmountaineagle.com/eedition. If not subscribed, pick up a print edition or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services.

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