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Seafair Pirates make difficult decision on annual Alki landing

With Seafair canceling its major events for the summer, there was a question as to whether the Seafair Pirates would follow suit with their famous annual landing at Alki Beach.

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Seafair Pirate President Kieth Titus reached out to me last week when he heard us discussing the annual landing at Alki and whether it would happen this year. The fun and somewhat risque landing of the Pirates in “Moby Duck” is a tradition that kicks off a lot of the Seafair festivities.

“We’re the goodwill ambassadors and community-involvement Pirate Kings of the Northwest,” he said. “Our landing is a huge part of our tradition, and we consider it a gift to the people of the Northwest.”

Titus told me a week ago he was going to get the pirates together for one of their most difficult meetings ever.

“We found an island, remotely far away from everyone else because, you know, we deal with scurvy,” Titus joked. “We know how to social distance.”

It was at this meeting where the crew was faced with a tough choice: whether to cancel their signature event of the year, the famous landing at Alki.

“To walk up the beach, separated from each other and the community would not only be a wasteful, but sad time,” Titus said while slightly choking up. “No sword fights with the little kids. No pictures with your favorite pirate. No high-fives. Sorry, neighbors, but we just can’t do it. No way. The health and safety of the community is first.”

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Underneath his rough and tough exterior, Pirate Keith is really upset about the decision. The joy in the kids’ faces is what he’ll miss the most.

“To see that one little kid smile his bottom off and just be so happy and so proud,” he said. “It’s cool stuff.”

Keith said the pirates will be back with an even bigger landing in 2021, and he hopes to have some small events over the summer, if it makes sense.

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