Child on boat in pirate outfit at previous Poker Run event on Lake Lanier

Previous Poker Run event

If it’s July, it’s time for the annual Pirates of Lanier Poker Run, which raises money for children’s charities. This year’s event – the 12th annual – takes place on July 16-17 and is headquartered at Margaritaville and Lanier Islands.

“We’re expecting to reach more than 300 boats this year,” said Dale Ozaki, president of Lanier Partners, the group that organizes the event each year. “Most of the boaters register in the last couple of weeks, and we’re hoping to have a great event. While the majority of the participants are local, a number of boaters from across the Southeast are coming to support us as well.”

The event raises money for several charities including Camp Twin Lakes, Camp Sunshine, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier and Edmondson Telford Child Advocacy Center. Over its history, the organization has donated more than $1 million to support these local child-focused entities.

Here’s the schedule for this year’s event:

Friday, July 17

  • Noon to 3 p.m. – Cheeseburger on Paradise Beach with lunch by Lanier Islands; plus the annual stereo competition, sponsored by AVC Marine
  • 6 to 10 p.m. – Welcome Party & Captain’s Safety Meeting at the Harbor Landing Tent with dinner by Lanier Islands. The meeting will also be live-streamed.

Saturday, July 18

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – The Main Event with six cards stops at Holiday Marina, Lazy Days at Holiday Marina, Safe Harbor Aqualand Marina, Gainesville Marina, Port Royale Marina and Habersham Point.
  • 5 to 9 p.m. – Card playing at Landshark Landing
  • 9 p.m. – Awards ceremony for the best hands of the day, music by the Fly Betty Band
  • 10 p.m. – Fireworks

“Participants can stop for lunch on Saturday at the lake’s restaurants, and we encourage them to do so,” Ozaki said. “People are so glad to be back on the water, and the Poker Run is such a worthwhile event. It’s family-oriented and a great way to celebrate summer.”

For more information or to register, visit