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Historic win in mock invasion, proposal, wedding mark Alexandria Bay’s Pirate Days (VIDEO)


ALEXANDRIA BAY — Following a first-ever victory for the village’s residents against invading pirates, there was room for some swashbuckling romance at Scenic View Park on Saturday afternoon.

After the mock battle, one couple became engaged aboard the invading pirate ship, while another got married a few minutes later on nearby Casino Island.

The villagers’ win during the annual siege is their first in the history of the Bill Johnston’s Pirate Days event, which has been held for decades.

As the pirates landed and appeared to cruise toward yet another victory, the tables turned, as Thomas W. Feinberg, playing the village mayor, pulled his gun on the pirates, and forced their captain, Bill Johnston, played by Terry D. Side, to jump into the St. Lawrence River.

“It was our turn after almost 50 years,” Mr. Feinberg said.

The outcome of the fight was reversed to honor the recently passed Paul A. Wibbe, a village fighter during the mock invasion since the 1960s. The outcome was kept secret up until the day before the event.

Mr. Side said Mr. Wibbe would always tell the conquering pirates, “We’ll win next time” at the end of the annual battle, despite odds worse than the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters.

“This time he won,” Mr. Side said.

Mr. Wibbe also was honored with a 21-gun salute following the battle.

As the battle came to a close, the hundreds who came out for the battle were witnesses to Adam L. Wood’s marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Aurora Mosher. The proposal plan had been brewing since last year, Mr. Wood said.

“She had no clue, which is the best part,” he said.

Through her surprise, Ms. Mosher said yes.

“I can only hope he stole the ring like a real pirate would,” she said later.

Ms. Mosher is the daughter of Elizabeth “B.J.” Mosher, one of the organizers of the invasion, who said she has brought her children to the event since “they’ve been a twinkle in their father’s eyes.”

Mrs. Mosher said she spread the word of the proposal covertly to the crew aboard the ship before her daughter’s arrival home Friday night.

Over on Casino Island, Larry Pryor of Oswego married Kay Loree of Canandaigua, a ceremony witnessed by several pirate volunteers, including Mr. Side.

They became engaged during last year’s event, and with their families unable to travel for a wedding, they decided to bring their ceremony back to the village.

Amid a small group featuring “rogues, scoundrels, roustabouts, privateers and pirates,” the pair jumped the ceremonial sword.

Asked if there were any objections, the pirate guests had a few scripted objections.

“Arr!” they interjected. “We want her; you can’t have her.”

Alas, the ceremony continued, with Mr. Pryor and Ms. Loree affirming they would love, comfort, honor and protect each other, no matter who attempted to board their vessel to wrest their partner away.

“Aye,” they said.

The 10-day Pirates Days event will continue until Aug. 17. For more information about the week, and a full event listing, visit the chamber’s website,

Video of Pirate Days can be viewed at

Pirate Days in Alexandria Bay

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