13th Annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival

Whether you’re a history buff or have kids who love pirates, this is sure to be a fun event. On June 1 Blackbeard and his crew will invade downtown Hampton, VA during the 13th annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival! Interact with Blackbeard (personified by first-person interpreter Ben Cherry) and more than 100 other authentically costumed pirate re-enactors as they run rampant on the streets of America’s oldest continuous English-speaking settlement. Living history and family fun go hand-in-hand as Hampton reenacts and celebrates the demise of Blackbeard, one of the fiercest pirates ever known while enjoying live entertainment, pirate encampments, children’s activities, sea battles, fireworks, and more.During the event Hampton hosts Tall Ship, the Pride of Baltimore II which was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor. The original Pride of Baltimore was tragically sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986 taking her captain and three crew members down with her. Both ships were built in the Inner Harbor as reproductions of 1812-era topsail schooners, the type of vessels that helped America win the War of 1812 and finally secure its freedom. This event will also mark the bicentennial of war and the Star-Spangled Banner. Since her commissioning, Pride II has sailed nearly 200,000 miles, and visited over 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe, and Asia. The Pride of Baltimore II will be available for free tours throughout Blackbeard weekend.

While the Blackbeard Festival will conclude on June 3, the Tall Ships will be in port until June 12 when they begin their departure procession alongside of navy warships to head from Hampton Roads to Maryland.

For more information, go to www.opsail2012virginia.com.

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