There’s Nothing Better Than This Epic Festival In North Carolina
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a pirate? Roaming the seas in wild abandon in search of the loot…and perhaps running into one of the most feared pirates of all: Blackbeard. While we’ll never truly see what one of Blackbeard’s infamous three-day Ocracoke parties were like, or how it felt for colonists to encounter pirates on the sea (and sometimes have a full-out battle) Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke gets you pretty close.
Described as a 'pirate Halloween,' the annual two-day event takes place the last weekend of October. It coincides perfectly with cool fall weather and a spooky feel in the air. While Blackbeard was born in England and typically raided ships in the Caribbean and Mexico, he had a particular love for North Carolina (can you blame him?). Blackbeard ran his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, aground near present-day Beaufort (some say as a purposeful strategy) and frequented up and down the coast, even getting pardoned by Governor Charles Eden (mainly per Eden's own malicious intent). Yet the pirate, whose real name was Edward Teach, still met his demise not far from Teach's Hole in Ocracoke.
Visitors are encouraged to adorn their best pirate gear to fit in, but it's not required. The flawless recreation of a 17th and 18th century pirate encampment lets visitors see what life was truly like as a pirate. The event also includes a visit from Captain Horatio Sinbad. The historically accurate encampment transports you straight to a bustling pirate community and a simple yet rougher time. Many Blackbeard enthusiasts know half of his battle was in theatrics, dressing in all black with several pistols strapped to his chest. Perhaps his most daunting trick was tying slow-burning fuses in his hair and beard, encompassing him in a constant fog and lending the appearance he was the Devil who walked straight out of hell. Many simply surrendered instead of trying to fight.
While many who attend the event surely believe they were a pirate in their past lives, newbies and even coincidental visitors are encouraged to get involved. Events include a Scallywag School for kids, Strolling Minstrels, sword fights, black powder demonstrations, beer gardens and The Pirate Bazaar. While Edward Teach threw some crazy parties on Ocracoke, this nod to Blackbeard and North Carolina's deep pirate history is a memorable event.
Of course though, the main event is a three-ship pirate battle on Silver Lake Harbor and recreation of Blackbeard's last stand. Staying true to his legacy, Blackbeard went down fighting in a hand-to-hand battle on the deck of his ship. When Blackbeard finally died, he was found with five bullet wounds and 20 sword lacerations on his body. His head was cut off to present as bounty and his body thrown overboard. Legend has it the body swam around the ship three times before sinking. Today, some believe Blackbeard's body might be buried somewhere on Ocracoke. Mysteriously enough, his head went missing in London in the 1800s.
A memorial is then held to celebrate one of the most feared and famous pirates ever. The Pirate Jamboree is perfect for not just pirate lovers, but history buffs and those looking for a wildly unique way to spend their Halloween weekend.
What a unique event! This sounds amazing and like such a unique way to spend Halloween. Have you ever attended? Have any fun facts about Blackbeard you want to add?
For more information,
While Ocracoke has plenty of pirate history, that’s not the only spooky thing lingering here. North Carolina’s most isolated town
is also perhaps its most haunted.
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