One of the top events of the year along the beaches is the annual John Levique Pirate Days Festival. Free and open to all would be pirates, it celebrates the opening of John's Pass due to the a hurricane way back around 1850. Yes, weather created this fantastic waterway and that is a good reason to let the boats soak each other with giant water cannons! The 3 day festival starts Friday at 7pm and goes until Sunday at 6pm.
There are lots of things going on and you need to check the schedule of events which include the pirate sea battle, dance ball, boat parade, kids treasure hunt, and the costume contests. All the restaurants, shops, and bars are open too.
I like The Pub crawl, where you get a drink at each bar. Go with the Coconut Mojito which uses Admiral Nelson Coconut Rum. On the Boardwalk are lots of pirate themed food, toys, jewelry and merchandise. Very fun times.