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Pirate Days offering Portage Lakes fun

7/10/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

New Franklin brothers Brody, at left, and Aiden Browning dressed like pirates at last year’s Pirates Days.
Photo: Lew Stamp
NEW FRANKLIN — Pirates will capture the Portage Lakes area July 18-20, with most events taking place at Portage Lakes State Park.

The Portage Lakes Pirate Days, presented by the Portage Lakes Kiwanis, will include a fundraiser and one and a half days of pirate-themed, family-oriented activities.

“We have really grown the number of activities we are offering this year,” said Dana Roderick, one of the event organizers. “We wanted to give kids and families a fun day to enjoy together in the park.”

This fourth annual event will begin July 18 at 6 p.m. with a reverse raffle/silent auction at Prime 93, located at 4315 Manchester Road.

The event will include dinner with draft beer or wine, a reverse raffle and an opportunity to bid on auction items such as a Heritage Teddy Bear, art instructions, art, overnight stays at The Villas of Gervasi Vineyard in Canton and The Whimsical Pig Bed and Breakfast at Wolf Creek in Norton, themed gift baskets and more, according to event organizers.

The cost is $35 for dinner and drinks; $100 for dinner, drinks and a reverse raffle ticket; and $345 for a table for eight that includes dinner, drinks and one reverse raffle ticket. The raffle prize is a minimum of $1,000, according to event organizers.

Pirate Days moves into full gear the next day, July 19. From 8 to 11 a.m., the Goodyear Yacht Club, located at 3665 S. Main St., will present an all-you-can-eat Pirate Pancake Breakfast. Blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes, ham, juice and coffee will cost $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 10. The breakfast is free for younger children.

The Portage Lakes Disc Golf Association will present a tournament and disc golf clinic at the disc golf course located in Portage Lakes State Park. The tournament is free for novices and $5 for the general division, which includes first-, second- and third-place prizes of $100 plus 40 percent of  entry fees, $60 plus 20 percent of entry fees and $40 plus 20 percent of entry fees, respectively. Registration will be at 9:30 a.m., and participants will tee off immediately afterward.

Roderick said a variety of free pirate-themed activities also will be offered at Portage Lakes State Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the beach. Children will be able to hunt for treasure, ride a pirate ship, walk the plank, make a pirate ship and hat and more.

Five decorated pontoon boats operated by pirates will offer free rides on board a pirate ship to “Treasure Island,” where children will find a capsized catamaran and cannons shooting blanks.

The PNC Treasure Hunt, for children younger than 9, will give children an opportunity to search for gold coins that can be turned in for prizes. Girl Scouts also will offer a letterbox treasure hunt for children ages 9 and older.

Children who come dressed as a pirate can enter the Secret Sisters Kids Costume Contest from 1 to 2 p.m. to win prizes.

In addition, the Portage Lakes Branch Library will have a tent with crafts and offer books to read about pirates. The library staff will run a riddle walk down the path to the boat ride. Children also can visit a campfire to hear pirate tales read by New Franklin Mayor Al Bollas and Chuck Seeley dressed as pirates.

Also, a number of concessions stands will sell snacks and other items, and Pirate Days T-shits will be sold for $8 for children and adults in sizes small to large, and $10 for extra large and extra-extra large.

Some of the activities that day also will include demonstrations and displays presented by Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection (GASP), Ohio Dock Dogs, the Ohio Historical Barn Society (build a barn) and Akron Children’s Hospital (Safe House).

Other activities will include face painting, tattoos, pirate frosting play, a rope bridge presented by Boy Scouts and a bounce house courtesy of Camp Y-Noah in Green.

In addition, the Upper Deck, 357 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Road, will host a Hot Dog Eating Contest at 6 p.m. Registration will be open until 4 p.m.

On July 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the beach at Portage Lakes State Park, a Safe Kids Coalition Life Jacket Exchange will take place. Area residents can bring a child and a used life jacket, and a team of volunteers will fit the child with a new life jacket for the summer season.

Also during that time at the beach, visitors can ride around the lake in a “pink dragon,” courtesy of the Dragon Dream Team.

For additional information, visit www.facebook.com/PortageLakesKiwanisPiratesDays.

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