Bowlegs celebrates capture of Fort Walton Beach with 66th annual parade

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FORT WALTON BEACH — Thousands of people lined Eglin Parkway Monday evening to catch some pirate loot and help Capt. Billy Bowlegs and his merry band of pirates celebrate their takeover of the city.

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Margaret Butler and Tykerria Coleman collect some pirate loot during Monday night's Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade in Fort Walton Beach.
Margaret Butler and Tykerria Coleman collect some pirate loot during Monday night's Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade in Fort Walton Beach.

About 45 entries, including walkers and floats, made the 1.3-mile journey from First Street north on Eglin to the U-Haul Moving and Storage and left a trail of beads, candy, coins and smiles.

The parade marked the conclusion of the 66th annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival, which began with this past weekend's pirate invasion of the city at the Fort Walton Landing.

Capt. Billy Bowlegs LVI Gary McMorrow and Queen Whitney Smith wave to people during Monday night's Torchlight Parade along Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.
Capt. Billy Bowlegs LVI Gary McMorrow and Queen Whitney Smith wave to people during Monday night's Torchlight Parade along Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.

Bringing up the rear of Monday night's parade was Capt. Billy Bowlegs LVI Gary McMorrow, Queen Whitney Smith and the rest of the pirate krewe aboard the Blackhawk float.

Winners of the 2022 Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade are the Panhandle United Roller Derby in the Walkers category, Neale Orthodonics in the Truck category, AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar in the Float category, and the Krewe of Karibbean in the Krewe category.

“We would like to thank Step One Automotive Group for their support as well as all of the organizations and business that participated in making this year’s parade the fun, successful event it was," said Ted Corcoran, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Click here to see more photos from Monday night's parade.

This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: 2022 Billy Bowlegs pirate parade takes over Fort Walton Beach streets