Pirate Days at John's Pass Village, Held Every June

It all started on September 25, 1848, when the Great Tampa Hurricane -possibly the most intense hurricane ever to hiut the area blew through that fateful afternoon. With winds reaching 135 mph, the storm made landfall near Clearwater with a radius of maximum winds about 15 miles. And it was that storm that John Levique, the poor Frenchman who found freedom on a pirate ship and happiness in Madeira Beach, ventured into. After a career of pirating Levique was able to amass a chest filled with pieces of eight and Spanish doubloons. He hid his treasure in his hideout-an unnamed and isolated island that would become Madeira Beach. He planned to dig up his treasure, then sail away to New Orleans and retire. As Levique made his way back he waited for the storm to run its course. The next morning Levique realized the storm had ripped the isolated island in half, rendering his treasure map useless. It is said that he was the first navigator of John's Pass, earning the new waterway his name in commemoration. Today, John's Pass separates Madeira Beach and Treasure Island.