STEAMPUNK SWASHBUCKLE: Pirates in popular culture used to be of the Douglas Fairbanks, Captain Hook type. Oh, not always, but there was a certain form followed, from the perfectly formed curls that rested upon one's shoulders to the tricornered hat to the ease with which one reached for his saber. But everything evolves and so does the old-school pirate; perhaps the Disney "Pirates of the Caribbean" films had something to do with that, or perhaps it was the many arrr-laden festivals that popped up around the country in the last decade or so. One of the largest, the NorCal Pirate Festival, is a truly come-one-come-all experience, illustrating the zenith of the modern pop culture pirate. In other words, nope, you don't have to dress as Captain Hook to get in; you can be a steampunk swashbuckler, or a punky pirate, or a deco deckhand, or, yep, even a mermaid. If one or all of these things tempts, and you have a dad who likes his pirate movies, we're betting you'll be on the Vallejo Waterfront on Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17.
WHY WE MENTION DAD: That's Father's Day Weekend. So if you're pops isn't into golf or brunch or lunch or the usual dadly things we're told he might like, and he does like his Douglas Fairbanks flicks, Vallejo Waterfront could be your ideal destination. Here's why: A mermaid lagoon and cannon battles and costume-y types talking ye olde talk will fill out the two colorful weekend days. Dress in a ruffled shirt yourself if you like. And here's another reason it could be your ideal Father's Day outing: It's free. Dad, you, mermaids, deckhands, and everyone everywhere likes that particular admission.