The History of MPF
The Michigan Pirate Festival began in 2007 with a small group of pirates and re-enactors who wanted to share a vision of what "might have been" during the Golden Age of Piracy. One of those pirates was taken prisoner by the King's Militia and his brethren rallied to his aid. Pirates stormed the beach facing cannon fire and the muskets of the militia in a great battle that marked a turning point for the brethren. The King's Militia was overwhelmed and eventually agreed to enter into an alliance with the brethren that has proved beneficial to both sides.
Since that time, every summer the Brethren of the Great Lakes has produced a family oriented weekend festival that has included swashbucklers of all types, a pirate marketplace, and numerous activities for children.
2008 marked the year that the brethren joined forces with the Loutit District Library in Grand Haven to promote historical education, reading, and community involvement in an exciting and adventure filled way that has become the backbone of the festival.
The festival added a week of fun, entertaining, and educational programs including a discussion series devoted to showing how real pirates lived, played, and plied their trade for good and ill from the Buccaneer Wars to the American Revolution. Pirate re-enactors sailed into Grand Haven's waterfront, fired real cannons and muskets, and wandered the streets of the city bringing all of the adventure of the Golden Age of Pirates with them.
In 2012 the brethren once again added more history, more adventure, and more excitement by moving to Harbor Island for the weekend festivities. The festival became a grand celebration of the spirit that makes the pirates of yore so captivating to people of all ages and shattered all previous attendance records, both during the week and on the weekend.