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Yo, ho, ho and a barrel of fun

Pirate festival a hit in El Dorado Hills
By: Don Chaddock The Telegraph
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Under stormy skies the Dauntless sailed into port at the El Dorado Hills Library and Serrano Visitors Center on Saturday. Hundreds of families toured the Dauntless, a mock privateering vessel focusing on maritime education, while musicians entertained the crowds. Other demonstrations included sword fighting, trebuchet firings, cannon firings and storytelling. “I think it’s awesome,” said Debbie Bowers, of El Dorado Hills. “It’s a great way for the kids to learn.” Her 2-year-old daughter, Isabella, ran around the grounds near the pond, watching all the activity. “I think she’s having a blast,” she said. “She’s still trying to recover from the bird trying to sit on her arm though.” The bird is a rescued parrot named Precious the Parrot Pirate, according to her owner, Crazy Arden Flynt. Children posed for photos with the parrot as it perched on their arms. “She was abused when she was younger,” said Flynt. “Now she gives kisses to children and sits on their shoulders.” The Dauntless is a non-profit organization that goes to schools, fairs and libraries, educating children and adults on naval history, according o Erik Andresen, who plays the part of 1st Lt. McCarthy. “This is a very nice event,” Andresen said. “This is the first year we’ve been here at this location. It evolved from a summer reading program at the library the last two years.” The event’s current incarnation sported food, vendors, music and more. “These are some of the best re-enactment groups in Northern California focusing on maritime education,” Andresen said. He wasn’t bothered by the rumbling thunder or occasional lightning strike visible on the horizon. “I love the weather,” he said. “Aye, the storms are coming.” Jason Last, 4, of Folsom tried his hand at launching a mini-trebuchet, a catapult-like device. He hurled an orange a good 40 feet. “It was fun,” he said. “I liked it.” His dad, Jim, said the festival was a great family event. “This is my first time here,” he said. “It’s really nice. The kids have a lot to do. I just wish it would stop raining.” Cailin Seaton played a mercenary at the festival. “It’s a good turn out, in spite of the weather,” she said. “The kids are so enthusiastic and having a grand time.” Mark Smith played the part of the ship’s purser and explained to the children that the cannons on the ship weren’t meant to send their targets to Davy Jones’ locker. “We don’t want to sink the ships,” Smith said. “As the business manager for the ship, I get to sell the other ship, the cargo, everything. If we sink it, it’s all gone. We want to board and take what’s on it off. And, maybe get the crew to work for us.” --- DAUNTLESS PRIVATEERS What: Re-enactment group of the Sacramento Historical Maritime Educational Organization will be at the Folsom Renaissance Faire Oct. 18-19 at the Folsom City Lions Park. Info: dauntlessprivateers.org