Being invaded by marauding pirates is hardly ever a good thing. But this weekend's Anna Maria Island Privateers Pirate Invasion is an exception.
In fact, it's a cause for celebration.
The annual faux-invasion brings people to the island three full days of food, music and activities for kids and families.
This year's invasion is slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Among the planned attractions and festivities for this year's invasion are a masquerade ball Friday night, strolling entertainers, a children's area, arts and crafts, treasure hunts, story telling, period enactors, pirate sack races and live entertainment from some of the area's most popular bands.
The band lineup begins Saturday, when Big Daddy, Kettle of Fish, the Lauren Mitchell Band and the Steve Arvey Band will be on stage.
Sunday's music schedule includes the Patti B Band and Kim Betts & the Gamble Creek Band. Popular local entertainer Chris Grumley will emcee that day's music.
If you're into watching the actual invasion, you'll want to be at City Pier at the east end of Pine Avenue on Anna Maria at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
It's all free, except for Friday's Grande Pirate Masquerade Ball, which is $40 per person. (Pirate regalia and formal wear are encouraged.)
Details: Nov. 1-3, Coquina Beach. Hours: Noon-5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: Free. Information: www.pirateinvasion.org.
-- Marty Clear