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Krewe of Bowlegs prepares to unmask new Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69

The Krewe of Bowlegs in Fort Walton Beach is set to unmask the new Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69 at their annual Pageant and Ball, following a successful Pirate Festival Weekend and 69 years of tradition.
Krewe of Bowlegs prepares to introduce new Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69

The Krewe of Bowlegs in Fort Walton Beach is preparing to unmask the new Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69 (LXIX) this weekend during their annual Pageant and formal Ball, marking the 69th year of the organization.

  • The event will also bid farewell to the outgoing 68th Krewe.

The Krewe of Bowlegs has a rich history dating back to 1955 when Nathan Fleet, a downtown Fort Walton Beach retail merchant, was chosen as the first Captain Billy Bowlegs. Fleet reigned over the Festival and led the pirate “raids,” sparking enthusiasm throughout the Fort Walton Beach business community.

  • The original 1957 Bowlegs Festival souvenir program lists the original Krewe membership as 75 men.

The recent Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival Weekend, held in May, was a resounding success despite some initial weather challenges.

“The weekend did start out with some bad weather, but it opened up around one o’clock and was perfect,” said Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69. “The rest of the day we had a huge turnout. The crowd really showed up in support Saturday. Monday night’s parade had more people than I’ve seen in years come out.”

This weekend, the Krewe will host a Coronation Pageant at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, where the new Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69, along with his Queen, First Mate, Mistress, ten Honor Guard couples, and Children of the Court, will be unmasked. Following the pageant, a private formal Ball will be held for Krewe members and honored guests.

Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69, who has been a member of the Krewe for a while, expressed excitement for the upcoming year.

  • “We’re still working on a lot of the plan for my year, but we’re looking forward to an exciting year in our community,” he said. “I have a lot of past experience that I’ll be able to pull from to make sure that all of our events – local and out of town events – that we represent Fort Walton Beach well.”

The Krewe of Bowlegs has a long-standing tradition of engaging with the community, often visiting schools for book readings and attending FWB Chamber events.

“Who doesn’t like Pirates, right? Again, we’ve been doing this for a long time. 69 years,” noted Capt. Billy Bowlegs 69. “We go to a lot of the local schools. We do a lot of book readings with the children and that just keeps the piracy alive here in our community.”

One Response

  1. Where are the pictures and info on the new Bowlegs 69 Krewe? It’s traditionally bern in Sunday’s paper.

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