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What is the purpose of the Blackwater Pyrates?

The purpose of the Blackwater Pyrates is to serve and pillage the community through; River Clean-Ups, Boater Safety & Maritime Preservation while having fun in the process. This adult group supports numerous initiatives in the area of Milton and Bagdad. Founded in 2006, the Blackwater Pyrate Crew has become an integral part of our community, the City of Milton and the Blackwater River Basin. The Blackwater Pyrates promote river cleanup, boater safety and maritime history. 


What else do they do?


The Blackwater Pyrates are also involved in an array of other activities throughout the year. Some examples are: participation in the Pirates of the Lost Treasure Mardi Gras Flotilla, an annual historical presentation lecture with the subject matter revolving around the Blackwater River and our community, participation in the annual Riverwalk Arts Festival, an annual new member meet and greet, spring and fall river cleanups, Skull Island Retreat, annual Boater Safety Week, including boater safety courses, several summer lighted boat parades, the Great Mill Town Duck Race, Pensacola Beach Blue Angel Cruise, Destin Crawl, Pirates Cove Attack, World’s Worst Sail Boat Race Ever (WWSRE), Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, and Christmas Caroling with the Pyrates.

How do I join the Blackwater Pyrates?

Go to and download the membership application and mail it to: Blackwater Pyrates P.O. Box 751, Bagdad, FL 32530. Enclose a check for $50 per application. Only persons over the age of 21 are permitted to join.

But I do not own a boat.  Can I still join the Blackwater Pyrates?


There is no requirement to own a boat to be a Pyrate.  We do ask that you have a passion for the Blackwater River and our three mission statements (Boater Safety, Maritime History and River Cleanup).  Furthermore, most of the Pyrate events have a surplus of available seating on member boats.  You just have to have a willingness to get out and help.  Additional, questions can be sent to  

How do the Blackwater Pyrates fund their missions?

The Blackwater Pyrates are a non-profit organization therefore, we hold a duck race on the 4th of July on the Blackwater River in Milton FL. There are up to 6000 ducks in the race. The members adopt out the ducks for $5 each. The winner of the race receives $1,500, 2nd place wins $750 and third place wins $250. 

When is the duck race?
The Great Milltown Duck Race is held on the 4th of July at approximately 5:00PM.

Where does the duck race take place?

The race starts at the Hwy. 90 bridge in downtown Milton on the beautiful Blackwater River. The race can be viewed in its entirety from the shore and boardwalk.

How does the duck race work?

The Racing Ducks are loaded into a front-end loader and dumped in the river from the 90 bridge, once the ducks hit the water, the current helps them make their way into the track that we have set up. The track is in a “V” shape (ropes strung with noodles) that feeds down to a chute.

What does the winner get?

The first racing duck to exit the chute is the winner and the adopter wins 1st place or $1,500.

Where does the money go from all the adopted ducks?

The money raised goes to the Blackwater Pyrates to help us in our above missions. It is our only fundraiser that helps us do all the things we do for our community throughout the year.

How many ducks race?

Up to 5000... or, currently between 4,000 and 5,000.

How do you know all of the racing ducks will be in the race?

The Blackwater Pyrates conduct an inventory of the racing ducks annually to make sure all ducks are present and any damaged ducks are replaced.

Do I need to be present at the duck race to win?

No, just provide your name and phone number when you adopt a duck and we will contact you if you win.

What is the difference in racing ducks and souvenir/token ducks?

Racing ducks are specifically designed to race in the water. They are all numbered and collected at end of race to be stored for next year’s race. The souvenir/token ducks are smaller and are given to anyone that adopts a racing duck. They are usually adorned as some kind of character.

What about duck race corporate sponsorships?

We have different level sponsorships available. Send an email to the Pyrates at if your business is interested in a sponsorship.

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