Monday, October 05, 2015

Pirate Jamboree

This from the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association:

Pirates to invade Ocracoke!

Chart your course to beautiful Ocracoke Island for the 3rd Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree and a weekend of swashbuckling fun Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Help us celebrate our unique piratical heritage! The centerpiece of the Jamboree is an historically-accurate pirate encampment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, by Blackbeard’s Pirate Crew, an 18-member living history organization from Hampton, VA., on the grounds of the historic Berkley Manor. Dressed in authentic costumes from the 17th and early 18th centuries, pirates will engage the audience with storytelling, sea chanteys, navigation, medicine, and more.

Visitors will see demonstrations of pike drills and vintage black-powder weapons. Activities at the encampment and in the historic Community Square will include bands of roving pirates, a “Scallywag School” for kids, a “Brigands’ Bazaar” featuring pirate-themed wares for sale, and swordplay performances. Two beer gardens will offer Heavy Seas grog—sponsored by The Ocracoke Youth Center across from Community Square, and at ‘SMacNally’s on the docks at the Anchorage Marina. The main event will be the re-enactment of “The Battle at Ocracoke,” taking place at 1 p.m. Saturday on the island’s beautiful harbor, Silver Lake.

Photo by Melinda Fodrie Sutton

Three ships will re-create the last hours of Blackbeard and his crew as Lt. Robert Maynard brings them to battle with cannons blazing. Among the professional pirate crews attending will be Sinbad in his Meka II, the historic skipjack Ada Mae, the Shadow Players, the Beaufort Oars in their sloop The Ranger, the Motley Tones minstrels, and Chris Suttle as Blackbeard.

The Jamboree kicks off Friday with a “Meet the Pirates!” evening of facts and fun. Historian Kevin Duffus will give updates on his pirate research, the “Pirates Follies” will compete for the biggest laughs, and the Motley Tones will sing seafaring and piratical songs! At Ocracoke Community Center starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $5; refreshments will be available.

 Sunday, Nov. 1, will conclude with the pirate march at 10 a.m. to Springer’s Point for a ceremony commemorating the fall of Blackbeard Nov. 22, 1718. Join the pirates for lunch afterward at Howard’s Pub! All visitors are encouraged to get in touch with their inner pirate and wear their best pirate gear.

This is an annual event, held the last weekend in October, leading to the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s demise in 2018.

Public parking is available at the NPS Visitors lot at the south end of the island, 4352 Irvin Garrish Highway. For more information, contact 252-928-6711 or email A complete schedule of events is available at Like us on Facebook for more updates: @ Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke Island.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a reproduction of a 1960s booklet titled The Great Ocracoke Cat Hunt. You can read it here:

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