Blackbeard Pirate Festival returns to Hampton for 18th year

HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival is returning for another year of fun!

The festival, which was named one of the top five pirate festivals in North America by USA Today, celebrates Hampton’s maritime heritage by commemorating the demise of Blackbeard the Pirate.

Pirates sailed the coastal waters of Virginia and North Carolina in the later part of the 1600s and early 1700s. The pirates terrorized the waterways and unsuspecting ships and captured tobacco and other goods.

Blackbeard, whose real name was Captain Edward Teach, died in a violent sea battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard in 1718. His severed head was impaled on a pole near the mouth of Hampton Creek, now known as Blackbeard’s Point.

The event begins on June 2 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Historic Post Office in Downtown Hampton with the Grand Pirates Bash. Creative black tie or period attire and enforced for the ball. Tickets for the ball are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 757-727-6348 or in person at Hampton Parks & Recreation on the 5th floor of Hampton City Hall.

Starting June 3, attendees will be able to interact with Blackbeard, played by first-person interpreter Ben Cherry, and more than 100 other authentically costumed pirate re-enactors. There will also be a re-enactment of the classic sea battle between Lt. Maynard and Blackbeard, featuring two full scale ships.

Visitors can participate in Blackbeard’s funeral procession and share in the booty from the treasure chest.

There will also be a children’s area with colonial games, pirate face-painting, strolling fairies, digging for treasure and more at Carousel Park along Settler’s Landing Road.

Here is the festival itinerary:

Friday, June 2

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.            18th annual Grand Pirates Bash with Rusty Cutlass & Brigands at The Historic Post Office

Saturday, June 3

10:00 a.m.                               Opening of Festival at Battery Point (Field Musick Virginia Fife and Drum Corps)

10:00 a.m.                               Wishery Entertainment Pirate Fairies in the children’s area throughout the day.

10:30 a.m.                               Blackbeard Stage (Motley Tones)

11:00 a.m.                               Gov. Spotswood Stage (“Black Caesar” African-American History)

11:00 a.m.                               Bunch of Grapes Tavern (The Crimson Pirates)

11:30 a.m.                               Pirate Sea Battle – Merchant Vessel Seizure (Rusty Cutlass)***

12:00 p.m.                               Blackbeard Stage (Ship’s Company Chanteymen)

12:30 p.m.                               Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Brigands)

1:00 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (The Crimson Pirates)

1:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (House of Cadarn)

2:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Brigands)

2:30 p.m.                                 Pirate Sea Battle – Blackbeard’s Last Battle (Rusty Cutlass)***

3:00 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (Motley Tones)

3:15 p.m.                                 Dockside Reception (Field Musick Virginia Fife and Drum Corps)

3:30 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (Ship’s Company Chanteymen)

4:00 p.m.                                 Trial and Treasure (Field Musick Virginia Fife and Drum Corps)

4:30 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (The Press Gang)

5:00 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (House of Cadarn)

5:30 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Ship’s Company Chanteymen)

6:00 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (The Crimson Pirates)

6:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (The Press Gang)

7:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Brigands)

8:00 p.m.                                 Pub Sing Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Rusty Cutlass) / (Motley Tones)

9:00 p.m.                                 FIREWORKS / Cannon Fire at Battery Point

***Battle Narration

Sunday, June 4

11:00 a.m.                               Gov. Spotswood Stage (“Black Caesar” African-American History)

11:30 a.m.                               Memorial Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Field Musick Virginia Fife and Drum Corps)

12:00 p.m.                               Opening Cannon Fire at Battery Point

12:00 p.m.                               Wishery Entertainment Pirate Fairies in the children’s area throughout the day.

12:00 p.m.                               Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Rusty Cutlass)

12:30 p.m.                               Pirate Sea Battle All Boats in the Water for Attack On Hampton

12:30 p.m.                               Blackbeard Stage (Motley Tones)

1:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Brigands)

1:30 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (The Press Gang)

1:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (The Crimson Pirates)

2:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Ship’s Company Chanteymen)

2:30 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (The Crimson Pirates)

2:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (House of Cadarn)

3:00 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (Motley Tones)

3:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (The Press Gang)

4:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Brigands)

4:30 p.m.                                 Gov. Spotswood Stage (The Crimson Pirates)

5:00 p.m.                                 Bunch of Grapes Tavern (Rusty Cutlass)

5:30 p.m.                                 Blackbeard Stage (Ship’s Company Chanteymen)

6:00 p.m.                                 Closing Cannon Fire at Battery Point