Pirate Fest concludes, spotlighting security concerns

Boynton Beach, Fla. – The highly anticipated Pirate Fest in Boynton Beach concluded on Sunday, marking its biggest turnout in the history of the event. Attendees, like Cristina Damas and her family, expressed their enthusiasm for the festival, highlighting the abundance of activities available for children.

The festival had faced challenges in recent years, with its cancellation in 2022 and limitations imposed during the pandemic. However, this year’s event managed to overcome those obstacles and draw a remarkable crowd. Nonetheless, the recent fatal shootings in Maine and Florida had some attendees concerned about safety.

During an interview with WPTV reporter Joel Lopez, Damas was asked about any safety concerns she may have had attending a public event like Pirate Fest. She responded affirmatively, acknowledging the importance of considering safety measures, especially since her children are only 6 and 4 years old.

Despite these concerns, the festival organizers took significant precautions to ensure the safety of all attendees. The presence of a considerable number of police officers and security personnel provided a sense of reassurance for Damas and others. Additionally, Pirate Fest enforced a strict no-weapons policy, although props like swords were permitted if securely fastened to costumes or sheathed.

Boynton Beach Commissioner Thomas Turkin emphasized the extensive coordination between the police and fire departments to guarantee a successful and secure event. Turkin further revealed that the Boynton Beach Police Department is currently at its highest staffing level in two decades. This increased presence not only enhances public safety but also fosters stronger trust between law enforcement and the community.

Lopez inquired about the significance of this police presence for parents like Stan Damas. Stan echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that in today’s world, such security measures are vital for the well-being of families and children.

City officials confirmed that attendance at Pirate Fest reached record numbers, with thousands of people participating in the festivities. They also reassured the community that Pirate Fest will return in 2024, promising an even grander event. The city is fully committed to prioritizing the safety of families and children, regardless of the occasion, according to Turkin.

The success of Pirate Fest serves as a testament to the resilience of the Boynton Beach community and its dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees. With plans already underway for next year’s event, residents can eagerly anticipate another unforgettable Pirate Fest in the years to come.

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