When I was eight years old and in third grade I distinctly remember my dad taking me to see the very first installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise - "The Curse of the Black Pearl." It was totally awesome. I had high expectations for the film going in, and I remember walking out of the theater being pretty ecstatic about what I had just seen.

I was especially enthusiastic about the main character - Captain Jack Sparrow, played by the one and only Johnny Depp (I'm still a little salty about his dismissal from the franchise.) I was so in love with the film that I decided at the ripe old age of eight that I wanted to be a pirate when I grew up.

Of course, that didn't exactly pan out for obvious reasons. When my mom explained to me that pirates didn't really exist anymore (and that it wasn't exactly a respectable occupation) I decided to be the next closest thing to a pirate - which apparently is a guitar player.

Although my hopes of ever being a pirate are pretty much diminished, I'm still a fan of the culture. I even have an official Jack Sparrow captain's hat from Disney that I wear as a drinking hat on the weekends.

Needless to say I'm excited to bust out the ol' drinkin' hat at the annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival. As usual, it's taking place in Shakopee. It will kick off on August 17th and last every weekend through September 29th. Tickets are available for purchase online now.

Get the 'Loon Extra' Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest Minnesota & rock news in your inbox a couple times a week. If we're not awesome, drop us like a hot potato.