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710 Settlers Landing Rd, Hampton, VA 23669, USA 757-727-8311
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Pirate_Directory_Blackbeards_Festival_00475Once a year in May, 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. This year the festival has been honored by being named the 3rd best pirate festival in North America by USA Today. The Festival offers a variety of children’s activities, live musical entertainment, fireworks, period vendors, arts and crafts, and much more!

This year’s activities include a number of reenactments from impromptu street skirmishes between pirates and the militia, to full-scale sea battles in the Hampton Harbor, featuring the popular re-enactment of Blackbeard’s final battle. Onlookers can also enjoy the waterfront view where tall ships tower over more than 50 private sail and powerboats all decked out in their own pirate gear.

Pirate_Directory_Blackbeards_Festival_00472A presentation ceremony follows the sea battle, where Lt. Maynard presents Blackbeard's head and defeated crew to Virginia's Governor Spotswood. Visitors can participate in the festivities when they join Blackbeard’s funeral parade, Hampton’s version of Mardi Gras, and share in the booty from his treasure chest.

Plan ahead for this raucous annual festival where you'll land smack-dab in the middle of sword fights, lively music, pirate encampment, children's activities, sea battles and fireworks. It's a way to celebrate Hampton's maritime heritage and relationship with the infamous Blackbeard, one of the fiercest pirates ever known. Plus, there's a grand pirate ball on May 29 where you show off your best period attire.

The History:   
Travel back in time to a period where The Customs House of the bustling seaport of Hampton regulated the export of tobacco to England and the import of manufactured commodities to the colonies. The wealth of the colonies floating around Hampton's waterfront made our city an inviting target for one of the fearsome and successful pirates of the Caribbean, Blackbeard. Blackbeard moved his operation north and with a pardon from the governor of North Carolina assumed the life of a gentleman with his fourteenth wife. Unable to give up the adventurous and notorious lifestyle, he cruised and began relieving ships of their cargos. Blackbeard defended his actions saying he was simply salvaging the abandoned cargo. North Carolina officials accept the dubious explanation in exchange for a portion of the cargo.

Blackbeard resumes his life of terrorizing ships and citizens along the east coast and Chesapeake Bay and in 1718, the most notorious pirate festival is hosted by Blackbeard on the beach at Ocracoke Inlet. Attended by the most notorious pirates and their crews, including Hampton's own William Howard, one of Blackbeard's captains, they feast and drink rum punch spiked with gun powder. Convinced that Blackbeard and other pirates are operating under the protection of North Carolina, Governor Spotswood of Virginia resolves to send an expedition to capture or kill Blackbeard and his crew. Lt. Robert Maynard is picked by Spotswood to lead this expedition.

The two small ships crewed by the Royal Navy and Hamptonians sail from Hampton to find Blackbeard. Lt. Maynard and his crew find Blackbeard and engage in a bloody sea battle. Maynard leads the hand to hand fighting after boarding Blackbeard's ship. During the fight to the death, Blackbeard sustains some twenty five mortal wounds and is slain when his head is severed by Maynard. With losses on both sides, 15 of Blackbeard's crew are taken prisoner. Upon return to Hampton, Lt. Maynard is said to have presented Governor Spotswood with Blackbeard's head, flag and treasure. Governor Spotswood decrees Blackbeard's head be placed on a stake at the entrance to the Hampton River as a warning to all other pirates.

Blackbeard Pirate Festival shared Constable Heartless's post.
Blackbeard Pirate Festival

Thursday April 19th, 2018 - 2:49 pm

www.facebook.com/263708573706331/photos/a.277222892354899.61345.263708573706331/1635863143157527/...Things are really coming together for this year’s Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival! With any huge event there are just so many little things that must be done in order to accomplish the mission. Just one of the little behind-the-scenes duties is to design and acquire wristbands for the official participants. The wristbands have become a favored memento each year for the participating reenactors, boat crews and historic vendors. As this is the 300th anniversary event a distinctive wristband for official musical entertainers and character actors was also designed. The black wristbands are for the reenactors and permit them entry in the historic encampment behind the ropes. The white wristbands are for the official entertainers and character actors. Both armbands also serve as the official participant's meal ticket.

On another note, I would like to acknowledge a job well done on the part of UPS. Even though the armbands were ordered from an American base company they are actually produced in mainland China. The manufacture completed the armbands in record time, packaged them and had them ready to go to UPS at 1:37 AM our time yesterday morning. The United Parcel Service picked them up from the factory in mainland China and place them in my hand at 1:13 PM today. The world is definitely getting smaller and private industry is definitely getting more efficient. It looks like the slow boat from China has been scuttled and replaced with a supersonic transport aircraft. This old pirate is definitely impressed.
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Comment on Facebook

Eric Falkenburg

Devra Brusso lol, we were just talking about this. Lol

I like the second one 👍

Wednesday March 28th, 2018 - 11:37 pm

There is no stopping the Pirates of Blackbeard’s Crew NOW!!!! Blackbeard’s true flag ship the “ADVENTURE” is coming to Hampton! ... See MoreSee Less

There is no stopping the Pirates of Blackbeard’s Crew NOW!!!! Blackbeard’s true flag ship the “ADVENTURE” is coming to Hampton!

Sunday March 25th, 2018 - 3:00 pm

This sketch is what the vessel looks like now even before we finished all of her retrofitting. She is already a sight to behold. But we could still use a little help with the financing to finish her up. This is a huge project for a small group of Pirates but it is happening and happening quickly. ... See MoreSee Less

This sketch is what the vessel looks like now even before we finished all of her retrofitting. She is already a sight to behold. But we could still use a little help with the financing to finish her up. This is a huge project for a small group of Pirates but it is happening and happening quickly.
Blackbeard Pirate Festival updated their cover photo.
Blackbeard Pirate Festival

Saturday March 17th, 2018 - 4:08 pm

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Comment on Facebook

How do we get tickets to the bash and where is it going to be this year

Yes where At?

One of the BEST Festivals Ever!!!!❤❤❤❤

Kai Tomas let's go again! But this time let's get there early enough to see the cool demonstrations, we missed them last year :/

Yes, it's here again! Time to get outfit and swords ready!

Devra Brusso we should really go to the ball this year!

I hope I can find a date! I'll probably go either way!

Aimee Martin are you in?

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Saturday March 17th, 2018 - 3:28 pm

The 2018 Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival will have some of the finest musical entertainment anywhere. There will be musical groups that are old friends and be returning by popular demand and a few newcomers to Hampton. Hampton will truly be the crowning jewel of the piratical events in 2018 for the 300th anniversary celebration of Blackbeard’s last battle! We hope to start announcing the entertainment lineup in mid-April 2018. ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Karen Binta

Blackbeard Pirate Festival shared Constable Heartless's post.
Blackbeard Pirate Festival

Monday January 29th, 2018 - 10:46 pm

It has been 300 years since Blackbeard plundered and pillaged the Virginia coast and the Hampton River in his beloved sailing vessel, the Adventure. The fast, shallow draft "Bermuda" sloops, ketchs and cutters were popular with many pirates and a very common sight in the Hampton River during Blackbeard’s day.

Each year the first weekend in June during the Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival we re-create that long-lost common sight of those marvelous sailing vessels. The ADVENTURE was a gift from Teach's pirate mentor Benjamin Hornigold in 1717, the 10 gun vessel was on all of Blackbeard's exploits.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day Blackbeard’s Crew resurrected the Adventure and made Hampton her homeport. Of course that would mean that the good townsfolk would have to tolerate a few Pirates combing the city docks on a daily or weekly basis and the occasional cannon shot going off just because that’s what pirates do.
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Sunday December 24th, 2017 - 6:54 pm

Hopefully I will have better luck this year! After all of these years I'm thinking that the reward should be decent enough to retire on. ... See MoreSee Less

Hopefully I will have better luck this year! After all of these years Im thinking that the reward should be decent enough to retire on.
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City of Hampton, Virginia

Phone Number 757-727-8311
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Country United States of America
State/Province Virginia
distance: 741 Miles
Address 710 Settlers Landing Rd, Hampton, VA 23669, USA
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