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Pirates and Lights: A Saturday Night on the Town


This past Saturday night there was a variety of events happening at the same time. First up there was the annual Pirate Pub Crawl, which has gained in popularity during its three year run. At the same time, something wholly new, unique, and a little bit strange took place in the form of the Light Brigade performance at the Anchorage Museum.
This year the Pirate Pub Crawl really seemed like it was getting its sea-legs (see what I did there?). Organized by the Downtown Anchorage Partnership as a fundraising event for the Alaska Blood Bank, the Pirate Pub Crawl has been quickly embraced by the Anchorage nightlife denizens. This year Value Village was a cosponsor, and judging from the repetition in some of the costumes, sales of their pirate costumes must have done well. Crowd participation was high, and there were definitely some standouts in the crowd. 

These pirate ladies were all too happy to pose for the camera. Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

Aim a camera into a crowd and everyone strikes a pose. Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

But that’s not to say that folks didn’t put an effort in. Clearly, some took it as a creative challenge.


In fact, most of the participating venues were so jam-packed that the Alaska Commons crew didn’t manage to get inside. Lines were slow and out the door at most of the stops on the Pub Crawl Map.

Line outside of Darwin’s Theory. Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

And more long lines outside of Humpy’s. Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

The participants and organizers clearly outdid themselves this year, and the effort was soundly appreciated by the associated (intoxicated) pirate rabble.
Say ARRRR! Photo courtesy of James Shewmake.

Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

There were a few Captain Jack Sparrows running around. Image courtesy of James Shewmake

There were even pirates in drag! Photo courtesy of James Shewmake

But hark! What was happening over at the Anchorage Museum? It seemed that an entirely new, ambitious, and somewhat confusing spectacle was about to take place. A throng of people congregated on the lawn of the Museum awaiting a rare blend of lights, music, and performance art.
The Light Brigade, according to the Anchorage Museum, is “a group of artists exploring how light and its absence affect Northerners.” Using projectors, reflective film, and a brave group of dancers willing to suspend themselves over the edge of the roof of the museum, the Light Brigade put on a never-before-seen show for the assembled crowd on the lawn below. 


There were bright lights, loud music, and people dressed up in white body stockings. It was different. It was a little strange, but there was definitely a great amount of planning and thought put into an avant-garde performance not often displayed for the average Anchortownian to witness. To put it bluntly: their gumption was appreciated whether we understood the message or not.


You never know what you’re going to see on a night out in Anchorage, so be sure to try and see as much as you can. Even if you’re not a fan of crowded bars and drinking, there can still be opportunities to get out around town and see some fun and interesting sights.