Lake Wylie residents hope new event floats

news@lakewyliepilot.comDecember 25, 2012 

— If it’s adventure you’re looking for in 2013, some of your Lake Wylie mateys know just the thing. In fact, a group of about 42 area residents met Friday at T-Bones on the Lake to begin making plans.

Steele Creek resident Mark Mathiason, an avid boater who used to run River Hills Yacht Club, is the force behind what he hopes will grow to be a signature summertime event on Lake Wylie, and he needs all hands on deck.

“We’re going to have a big pirate parade,” he said. “Right now, we need volunteers.”

Mathiason said everyone in attendance Friday gave the project the thumbs up and plan to stay involved.

“It’s on,” Mathiason said.

Mathiason’s plan sprang from seeing the more than 100-year-old annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Fla. Call the “Border Battle,” two pirate ships will meet on the main channel of Lake Wylie.

His original plan was for the pirates “to storm the city” and have a parade down S.C. 49. However, due to permit approval issues, instead, the group decided it might be better to have battles at various locations on the lake, like Red Fez and marinas, where land dwellers can watch.

But one of the main ingredients in the plan is to actually build two 80-by-40 feet pirate ships, complete with crows nest and captain’s galley, at T-Bones on the Lake.

Mathiason called it a “Herculean effort.”

There also will be entertainment and vendors.

“We’re going to focus on children and charity,” he said of fundraising.

What he needs now is crew, aka volunteers, for different committees and all age groups.

Al Hernandez of Lake Wylie, who has known Mathiason for more than 20 years, jumped in to help.

“I thought it sounded like a pretty neat thing for us to do,” Hernandez said of the idea.

Hernandez said there are close to 20 committees needing volunteers.

“The more, the merrier,” he said, adding they are working on domain naming for online promotions.

The main thing, he said, is what it’s for.

“We definitely want it to benefit somebody or something in our area,” Hernandez said.

To join in planning the pirate battle, call 704-400-2838 or email

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