Pillage and plunder your way through the coastal seaport city of Hampton, Virginia from June 2-4, 2017 during the Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival.
Hampton’s waterfront comes alive with dozens of pirate re-enactors celebrate the city’s maritime history. Costumed in historically accurate garb, the re-enactors commemorate the demise of the city’s most infamous visitor, Captain Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard the Pirate.
During the late 1600s and early 1700s, pirates roamed the coastal waters of Virginia and North Carolina in search of ships laden with tobacco and other cargo. The marauders terrorized waterways and captured goods, sailors and ships. Blackbeard was the most terrifying of these outlaws.
After years of wreaking havoc on Virginia’s shores, Blackbeard was killed in a violent sea battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard in 1718. His head was impaled upon a pole near the mouth of Hampton Creek, now known as Blackbeard’s Point, to reminder people that piracy would not be tolerated in Virginia.
Beginning June 3, nearly 50,000 seafaring attendees, as well as Blackbeard and his crew, will invade downtown Hampton. More than 100 other costumed pirate re-enactors will also wander the streets of America’s oldest continuous English-speaking settlement.
Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival Events
Grand Pirates Bash
The festivities kick off Friday night at the annual Grand Pirates Ball, where a creative black tie or period attire is highly recommended. This recreation of Blackbeard’s Party at Okracoke features a bounty of food, adult beverages and live music. Tickets start from $35.
Saturday’s activities include a number of organized street skirmishes between costumed pirates and militia. A replica of Blackbeard’s pirate camp, complete with living history interpreters is also open to the public.
Don’t miss the re-enactment of the classic sea battle between Lt. Maynard and Blackbeard in two full-scale replica vessels in the Hampton Harbor. At its conclusion, Blackbeard’s severed head is presented to Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood (1710-1722). Visitors can participate in the festivities during Blackbeard’s funeral parade, Hampton’s own version of Mardi.
Several tall ships also call on the harbor during the event, making for great images as they sail alongside local powerboats and sailing vessels decked out in honor of the event.
Young Matey’s Picaroon Camp
Kids will enjoy the children’s play area where they can create pirate crafts and play swashbuckling games.
June 2-4, 2017
Hampton Blackbeard Festival