Blackbeard Pirate Jamboree returns to Ocracoke for 2021 with post-pandemic and post-Dorian changes
By Joy Crist, Island Free Press
After being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and canceled in 2019 due to Hurricane Dorian, Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree will return to Ocracoke in October 2021.
The Jamboree commemorates the last days of Blackbeard the Pirate, who was killed off Ocracoke on November 22, 1718. The event traditionally features authentic colonial encampments, sword fights, music, lectures , artifacts, reenactments, and more, but organizers say that while the festivities and fun atmosphere will return, this year’s two-day festival will also feature some changes in a post-pandemic and post-Dorian island landscape. .
“Ocracoke Island, like everyone else, is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the island is also recovering from the devastating flooding from Hurricane Dorian in 2019,” the update said. “So the Blackbeard Pirate Jamboree will take place on October 29 and 30, but will be reduced this year.”
“This year, too, the festival will focus more on colonial history and life and family fun. Festival goers will be invited to eat and drink at one of Ocracoke’s many restaurants.
The events of October will begin on Friday evening with the screening of the 1968 film “The ghost of Blackbeard”, A family film with“Rocky Horror Picture Show-Type shouting out of movie lines, followed by a discussion with historian Kevin Duffus on “Pirates and Fake News in 1718”.
Saturday will once again feature a colonial village on the grounds of Berkley Manor, as well as a number of local artisan vendors. Throughout the day, pirates and colonial reenactors will filter through the village of Ocracoke and interact with visitors to the island.
Other events will include a pirate ship invasion at Silver Lake (one of the festival’s annual highlights), boarding reenactments, a pirate parade, sword fighting demonstrations, sea chants and several historical conferences.
The event will end at 4 p.m. on October 30 with a one-hour memorial service for the crews of Blackbeard and Lieutenant Robert Maynard, another tradition of the annual event.
For more information on Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree, visit the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlackbeardsPirateJamboree/.