"The movies have kind of brought pirates to the forefront, and we wanted to do something fun and different than the regular gala," said Charlene Nelson, Executive Director of the Davis Arts Council.
A pirate ship christened the Black Betty stretched across the front of the gala's dining hall, with palm trees and ship rigging made of light adorning the rest of the walls. A closer look showed a flock of parrots circling overhead, colorful wings outstretched.
Beneath them, treasure chests full of movies, tickets, exercise equipment and other donated gifts lined one wall of the gala, baskets awaiting the raffle tickets of interested bidders.
Soon after, a band of fourth-grade pirates from Layton Elementary came to show off their harmonica-playing skills and knowledge of pirate songs. The students received their harmonicas through the arts council's Blues in the Schools program.
At 7 p.m., guests were ushered to their tables so that Kevin Ireland, known as Captain Bluebeard the Pirate King for the evening, took command of his ship and the audience. He was missing a treasure map, and as the bread course was served he started throwing dinner guests into a specially-constructed brig in the hopes of earning some ransom.
"It was wonderful," said Hill Air Force Base General Kevin Sullivan, who was the brig's first prisoner. "The food was exceptional. (former Layton City Mayor) Jerry Stevenson brought me a roll."
The Pirate Band, complete with drums, a saxophone and an accordion, entertained guests with jokes and a variety of rock-tinged pirate songs as the various courses were served.
All of the pirates got into the act, dancing around the tables and even inspiring the guests themselves to clap along to the music. Later, a rival band of pirates arrived and had to perform a dance before they could join the crew already on board the Black Betty.
Of course, more ransoms were necessary, with the next couple winning themselves out of the brig by offering up a variety of auction items for sale, including a stay in a Wyoming cabin, 1940s opera-length pearls, and two Southwest Airlines tickets to Los Angeles, as well as hotel accommodations and two Disneyland tickets.
The money earned at the gala will go to support a variety of art council events during the upcoming season, including plays, the summer concert series, and Arts in the Park for children.
Kent Hansen, the gala's Captain Scurvy as well as Marketing and Development Director for the Davis Arts Council, said that the money will also help local arts continue to blossom.
"We're putting together new ideas all the time so we can grow and provide more to the community," said Hansen. "We want to give them more and more all the time, because the community deserves it."