Eastern North Carolina Commemorates Blackbeard 300

Jerry Blackwelder

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the reign of Blackbeard, the king of the pirates. After plundering the seas up and down the Carolinas coast, Blackbeard came ashore to Bath to live in the summer of 1718. He lived there only a few months before being killed in a battle on Ocracoke Island.

Now, three centuries later, pirates hold a special fascination for young students. And to fuel their fascination, pirates are once again roaming across eastern North Carolina. Events and festivals are scheduled to give students a glimpse of what real pirate life was like.

Beaufort
Beaufort is a must-see stop for all things Blackbeard. The North Carolina Maritime Museum is the home for the artifacts recovered from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s flagship. More than 200 artifacts are on display. Young students will be enthralled with the music, storytelling, magic shows and dressing like a pirate during the Pirate Invasion August 20-21.

Historic Bath
Bathplace 2018 takes place on May 19 with living history demonstrations in Blackbeard’s adopted home town. The Loose Cannon company of re-enactors detail the real stories from the golden age of piracy. Arts and crafts will also be on display along with artwork from local elementary school students. The Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling display will be on hand March 3-May 31. The site’s first Barbecue Festival, Buccaneers and BBQ, will take place on June 16 and Pirates in the Port is scheduled for July 2.

Greenville
The Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab in Greenville is the first stop for any archives recovered from the wreck of Blackbeard’s ship. Free behind-the-scenes tours of the lab are available. April 21 will be the Lab’s fourth annual open house.

Elizabeth City
April 20 will be Day with a Pirate Friday at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. The day of music and living history includes performances by the Motley Tones. Saturday April 21 will be the Pirate Palooza on the waterfront in Elizabeth City.

Swansboro
Also on April 21 Swansboro will host Pirate Fest with costumed pirates engaging in sword fights and firing weapons, along with musicians and storytellers for a full day of pirate lore.

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