Pirate Festival Comes to Kismet

I caught the 11:10 a.m. ferry from Bay Shore on Aug. 1, and headed to Kismet for the annual pirate festival benefiting Northwell Health’s Bohlsen Family Emergency Department at Southside Hospital. The boat was packed with pirates young and old dressed in hats, bandannas and some sporting swords. As we approached the ferry landing, strains of “A pirate’s life for me” could be heard over the speakers.

The event kicked off at noon with Chairperson Patricia Diesu welcoming visitors and announcing that the proceeds would be donated in memory of Joyce Cole. Joyce, whose family owned the Saltaire Market in the 1960s, and who with her husband, Larry, owned Kismet Inn and Marina, passed away in May.

It was then time for the Pirate and Mermaid Costume Parade. Kids in costumes, some walking, some pulled in decorated wagons, marched behind the band, made up of students from East Islip High School and directed by Chris Neske, who were participating for the second year. After parading through town and around the streets, awards were given out by Larry Cole and his daughter Jeanene Crawson. The best Junior Pirate was awarded to Kai; Best Mermaid went to a bevy of beauties; and Best Pirate and Best Wench went to Mike and Ellen Mooney. In addition to the awards, the winners received ice cream courtesy of Kismet Market.

I had the opportunity to speak with Patricia Diesu who explained that all the businesses in Kismet participated in the Pirate Festival, along with many of the community members. Patricia and her husband, Dwayne, were the event chairs. Other committee members included Jean Cacciabaudo, MD; Susie Imbert; Jane and Tim Mooney; and Marijane Voltz, along with many sub-committee members who all came together to make this day a success.

The Festival was filled with events for all ages. Kids took part in a treasure hunt as well as pirate tennis, pirate school, and pirate yoga. For the adults, there were rum and spirit tastings, courtesy of West Islip Wines and Liquors; wine tastings by Beach and Vine; a Chinese auction, with a large selection of donated items from bikes to baskets filled with gift certificates, lottery tickets and more; a live auction; and a Super Raffle. The Rum Runner Competition, hosted by Surf’s Out, challenged bartenders from several restaurants to create a rum drink in three minutes, which were then judged. You could “board” the Northwell Health ship and “Ask the Doc.”

The sun was shining, spirits were high and the pirates were abundant as community members and visitors alike came together for a great cause.