Blackbeard Pirate Festival
Once a year visitors from all over the country enjoy the sights and sounds of 18th century Hampton overrun by pirates. Hampton’s waterfront comes alive with dozens of pirate re-enactors, costumed in historically accurate garb, who transform today’s Hampton into the busy seaport of yesterday. Led by Blackbeard the pirate himself, re-enactors help visitors step back in time and re-live the history and legends of 1718 Hampton. The festival offers a variety of children’s activities, live musical entertainment, fireworks, period vendors, arts and crafts, and much more!
2022 Blackbeard Festival
Blackbeard's crew will once again invade downtown Hampton June 3-5, setting up an educational encampment in Mill Point Park, complete with costumed re-enactors, cannon battles, mermaids, music, vendors, lectures, and fireworks. The festival, which has been named the 3rd best pirate festival in North America by USA Today, has been on hiatus for the past two years.
There will be a preview on Friday, June 3, with a “Pirate’s Parlay” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is a free, outdoor, family-friendly event within the encampment in Mill Point Park. Clan MacCool Band performs on the Mill Point Stage, where the public is encouraged to sing along, dance, and wear their finest piratical attire. This replaces the customary ticketed Pirates Bash.
The main festival will be held Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
- Character vessels, include Blackbeard’s sailing ship Adventure, Royal Navy vessels Jane and Ranger, and merchant vessels engaging in battles on the Hampton River Saturday and Sunday.
- Character actors, dozens of professional pirate re-enactors, and living history interpreters from all points of the compass will be in attendance, along with Helena the Mermaid, Fins and Seashells, Circus Siren Mermaid, and more.
- Weekend performers include Mark Miller/Rusty Cutlass, The Brigands, Chaste Treasure, Press Gang, the Natterjacks, and Field Musick Virginia.
- On Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., scholars Dr. Jamie Goodall, author of "Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars," and Jeremy Moss, author of "The Life and Tryals of the Gentleman Pirate, Major Stede Bonnet," will offer free lectures at St. John’s Church, sponsored by the Hampton History Museum. The Museum will also hold its annual Steam Punk Show Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (also free and open to the public).
- Fireworks over the Hampton River will be on Saturday, June 4, at 9 p.m.
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