The 2011 Blackbeard Pirate Festival

The was the official site for the annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival. Go to: www.hampton.gov/2008/Blackbeard-Festival to find information for the current Blackbeard Pirate Festival or go to their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/blackbeardfestival/.

I first attended the festival when I was in Virginia consulting with Satya Rangarajan regarding a project that my company was undertaking. With more than 20 years of experience in managing enterprise technology platforms including running a global development organization developing commercial software lines, he seemed like the perfect person who might lend some insight into what we were attempting to do in the healthcare marketplace. I planned to attend business meetings for several days during my trip to Virginia and then spend a week of vacation with my kids and wife. The Blackbeard Pirate Festival was on our bucket list of things to do. My meeting with Satya Rangarajan was a success which took a load of stress off my mission to find solutions to several issues, and the rest of the week enjoying all that Virginia has to offer was a likewise success. We have returned now for two more Blackbeard Pirate Festivals. My kids were so delighted when I recreated the festival's old website after purchasing the expired domain. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing it for something that had nothing in common with the original Blackbeard Pirate Festival website.

The content below is from the site's archived pages. so enjoy a nostalgic stroll back to the 2011 festival news.


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. 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.

A 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.

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.

The 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!

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, including Kalmar Nyckel, tower over more than 50 private sail and powerboats all decked out in their own pirate gear.

A 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.

Blackbeard's Crew

If you are a history buff, you want to look into John Glass and his authentic living history group, Blackbeard's Crew. They fight with swords, shoot guns, recreate battles and are immersed in Hampton's pirate history. But as with all good things there is a catch...authentic pirates have to dress completely authentically, from the buckles on your shoes to your tricorn hat.


 

Schedule for the 2011 Festival

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hour

Station

Duty

5 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, the Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack - Captain Jack’s scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew!!

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of pirates and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

5:30 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

House of Cadarn – Stacy Cassidy and
Roger Collins perform early American sea chantey.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Bawdy Anne’s Buccaneers - Experience life as a cabin boy (or girl!) as it would be on a real pirate ship. Learn sword drills and skills you would need to be the powder monkey of the crew!

6:30 p.m.

Blackbeard Stage

Michael Clark Band – A blend of R&B,
Blues, Soul, Rock, Jazz, and Funk.

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

York River Symphony – A variety of classical, pirate-themed favorites

 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hour

Station

Duty

10:00 a.m.

Waterfront

Official welcome by Mayor Ward – 
Address by Governor Spotswood.
Cannon salute with the soothing sounds of Bagpipes.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack- Captain Jack’s scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew!

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of pirates and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

10:15 a.m.

Bunch of Grapes

TAVERN TALK 
Citizens at the local tavern discuss 
their concerns about the increasing threat to the town from Blackbeard and his crew. When two suspected members of his crew are discovered listening in, the discussion becomes a brawl.

10:30 a.m.

Pirate Hunters Camp

Motley Tones - Songs of the sea and 
traditional favorites sung in perfect tones by this motley crew.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Cliff Long - An interactive, family-friendly puppet show featuring original tunes and classic songs from the Golden Age of Piracy

11:00 a.m

Battery Point

Bawdy Buccaneers - Songs of piracy and mayhem

 

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other historical games played by sailors and pirates throughout history.

 

Blackbeard Stage

Sojorn – Soothing sounds of beach music and Jimmy Buffett

 

Bunch of Grapes

Stephen Christoff - Pirate folklore and traditional songs of the sea

11:30 a.m.

Waterfront

Merchant Vessel Seizure - A hapless
merchant vessel is overtaken and seized by Blackbeard and his crew. An infuriated Royal Governor dispatches Lt. Maynard to Ocracoke to Capture Blackbeard.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Clan MacCool - Chanteys & jigs every 
pirate should know

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

House of Cadarn – Stacy Cassidy and
Roger Collins perform early American sea chanteys.

 

Wee Port

Chantey Workshop - Learn to work like a real pirate! Aspiring pirates learn to use a capstan, deck pump and haul on lines to the sound of sea chanteys used by sailors to accomplish different types of work.

12:00 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Shadow Players – Sword-fighting pirates entertain with razor-sharp wit.

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents 
Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment

 

Blackbeard Stage

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, the Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

12:30 p.m.

Waterfront

Waterfront skirmish between Pirates and the Royal Navy.

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Calico Jenny – A lively take on the women of the sea, from mermaids to pirates to jilted lovers on the lookout for revenge.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

C Shells - Three-time parent’s choice award winners, Cindy Kays & Shelly Potter, perform children’s sea chanteys and interactive songs.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Darcy Nair - Pirate folklore and traditional songs of the sea

 

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other historical games played by sailors and pirates throughout history.

1:00 p.m.

Battery Point

Motley Tones - songs of the sea and traditional favorites sung in perfect tones by this motley crew.

 

Blackbeard Stage

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, the Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

 

Wee Port

Picaroon School of Piracy & Privateering – Learn to walk, talk, swing a cutlass, and use a musket like pirates.

1:30 p.m.

Waterfront

Sea Battle- Blackbeard’s Last Fight. – Lt. Maynard finds Blackbeard in Teaches Hole, Ocracoke N.C., and attacks. A fierce battle ensues resulting in Blackbeard’s demise

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Robin Welch - Pirate folklore and deckhand songs for the aspiring pirate

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack - Captain Jack’s scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of pirates and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

1:45 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes

Tavern Dockside Procession and the Trial of Blackbeard’s Crew. - Lt. Maynard returns aboard the Sloop Jane with Blackbeard’s treasure and his crew members. Upon docking, he meets Capt. Brand and together they parade the prisoners through the gathering crowd to their trial at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern. After the trial, Blackbeard’s Treasure is shared with the citizens

2:00 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

Bawdy Anne’s Buccaneers – Experience life as a cabin boy (or girl!) as it would be on a real pirate ship. Learn sword drills & skills you would need to be the powder monkey of the crew!

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Cliff Long - An interactive, family-friendly puppet show featuring original tunes and classic songs from the Golden Age of Piracy.

 

Blackbeard Stage

Ocean Breeze Band – Music from the West Coast Surf, East Coast Beach & everything in between.

2:30 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

Stephen Christoff - Pirate folklore and 
traditional songs of the sea

 

Wee Port

Picaroon School of Piracy & Privateering – Learn to walk, talk, swing a cutlass, and use a musket like pirates.

3:00 p.m.

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Bawdy Buccaneers - Songs of piracy and mayhem

3:30 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Shadow Players – Sword-fighting pirates entertain with razor-sharp wit.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of
pirates and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

 

Battery Point

Darcy Nair - Pirate folklore and traditional songs of the sea

 

Carousel Park

THE PRESS GANG 
How did the Royal Navy get crew from 
Hampton?

4:00 p.m.

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack - Captain Jack’s scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew!

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Calico Jenny – A lively take on the women of the sea, from mermaids to pirates to jilted lovers on the lookout for revenge.

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, the Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

 

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other historical games played by sailors and pirates throughout history.

4:30 p.m.

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Cliff Long - An interactive, family-friendly puppet show featuring original tunes & classic songs from the Golden Age of Piracy.

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents 
Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey
 – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment.

 

Blackbeard Stage

Ken McNeil Duo – From the Beatles to James Taylor, music every pirate will appreciate.

 

Wee Port

Picaroon School of Piracy & Privateering – Learn to walk, talk, swing a cutlass, and use a musket like pirates.

5:00 p.m.

Queens Way

Mistaken Identity - Two local wenches 
have an unpleasant disagreement over
a man at Marker 20.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Pep the Juggling Pirate – A magical mixture of comedy, juggling and balancing acts, sure to thrill buccaneers of all ages.

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Shadow Players – Sword-fighting pirates entertain with razor-sharp wit.

5:30 p.m.

Battery Point

Motley Tones - Songs of the sea and traditional favorites sung in perfect tones by this motley crew.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

C Shells - Three-time parent’s choice award winners, Cindy Kays& Shelly Potter, perform children’s sea chanteys and interactive songs.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Bawdy Anne’s Buccaneers – Experience life as a cabin boy (or girl!) as it would be on a real pirate ship. Learn sword drills & skills you would need to be the powder monkey of the crew!

6:00 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Clan MacCool - Chanteys & jigs every 
pirate should know

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

House of Cadarn – Stacy Cassidy and
Roger Collins perform early American sea chanteys.

6:30p.m.

Blackbeard Stage

B2B – A mix of Jimmy Buffett 
and beach music to sooth the soul of a savage pirate.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Bawdy Buccaneers - Songs of piracy and mayhem

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents 
Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey
 – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment

7:00 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

Calico Jenny – A lively take on the women of the sea, from mermaids to pirates to jilted lovers on the lookout for revenge.

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, The Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

8:00 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Pub Sing - All hands to the Pub for a
chantey sing along with some of the 
festival’s most musical pirates.

9 p.m.

Pirate Cove

Blackbeard’s Return &
Fireworks –

9:30 p.m.

 

Saturday Summer Street Fest 
continues on Queensway.

11 p.m.

Festival Grounds close

 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hour

Station

Duty

12 p.m.

 

Festival Opens

 

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Robin Welch - Pirate folklore and deckhand songs for the aspiring pirate

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of pirates and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack- Captain Jack’s scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew!

 

Blackbeard Stage

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, The Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment.

 

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other historical games played by sailors and pirates throughout history.

12:30 p.m.

Little Swashbuckler Stage

C Shells - Three-time parent’s
choice award winners Cindy Kays and 
Shelly Potter perform children’s sea
chanteys & interactive songs.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Bawdy Anne’s Buccaneers – Experience life as a cabin boy (or girl!) as it would be on a real pirate ship. Learn sword drills & skills you would need to be the powder monkey of the crew!

 

Wee Port

Chantey Workshop - Learn to work like a real pirate! Aspiring pirates learn to use a capstan, deck pump and haul on lines to the sound of sea chanteys used by sailors to accomplish different types of work.

12:45 p.m.

Waterfront

Pirates Strike Back - Several pirate ships invade Hampton Harbor to seek revenge for Blackbeard’s demise. The locals defend as best they can.

1:00 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Calico Jenny – A lively take on the women of the sea, from mermaids to pirates to jilted lovers on the lookout for revenge.

 

Battery Point

Darcy Nair - Pirate folklore and traditional songs of the sea

1:30 p.m.

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle 
Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other 
historical games played by sailors and 
pirates throughout history

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Bawdy Buccaneers - Songs of piracy and mayhem

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Jocelyn Bumwell - Hear lively tales of pirates, and mythical, magical stories of the sea.

 

Blackbeard Stage

Robbie House and Billy Etheridge - The soothing sounds of Jimmy Buffet,oldies, rock favorites and more.

2:00 pm

Pirate Hunter Camp

Robin Welch - Pirate folklore and deckhand songs for the aspiring pirate.

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents 
Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey
 – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment.

 

Wee Port

Picaroon School of Piracy & Privateering – Learn to walk, talk, swing a cutlass, and use a musket like pirates.

2:30 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Clan MacCool - Chanteys & jigs every 
pirate should know

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Meet Captain Jack- Captain Jack be scouring the seven seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! See if you can make the crew!

 

Battery Point

Robin Welch - pirate folklore and deckhand songs for the aspiring pirate

3:00 p.m.

Carousel Park

THE PRESS GANG 
How did the Royal Navy get crew from 
Hampton.

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

C Shells - Three-time parent’s
choice award winners, Cindy Kays & 
Shelly Potter, perform children’s sea
chanteys & interactive songs.

 

Pirate Hunter Camp

Calico Jenny – A lively take on the women of the sea, from mermaids to pirates to jilted lovers on the lookout for revenge.

 

Wee Port

Pirate Pastime - Try yer hand at Scuttle Hatch, Cricket, Cards, Dice and other historical games played by sailors and pirates throughout history.

3:30 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

The Brigands - Hailing from New York, the Brigands perform songs, sea chanteys, and nautical tunes from 1650-1750.

 

Battery Point

Bloodthirsty Barabara presents 
Bloodthirsty Birds of Prey
 – the impact of the hawk, raven and owl on pirate life and the environment

 

Wee Port

Chantey Workshop - Learn to work like a real pirate! Aspiring pirates learn to use a capstan, deck pump and haul on lines to the sound of sea chanteys used by sailors to accomplish different types of work.

 

Blackbeard Stage

HM Johnson Band – A mix of R&B, Blues, Classic Rock and Reggae

4:00 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

Darcy Nair - Pirate folklore and traditional songs of the sea

 

Little Swashbuckler Stage

Bawdy Buccaneers - Songs of piracy and mayhem

4:30 p.m.

Bunch of Grapes Tavern

Pub Sing – All hands to the Pub for a 
chantey sing-along with some of the 
festival’s most musical pirates.

5:00 p.m.

Pirate Hunter Camp

House of Cadarn – Stacy Cassidy and
Roger Collins perform early American sea chanteys.

6:00 p.m.

Festival grounds close

 

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