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 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.