Kevin Duffus has the real story on Blackbeard.

Kevin Duffus has the real story on Blackbeard.


Join us for Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke Island, NC, Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2015!

Please note that this schedule is subject to change, especially for weather. 

Please visit for updates!

Friday, Oct. 30 – Meet the Pirates!
Join us for an evening with the pirates!

Location: Ocracoke Community Center Admission $5
Beer, wine, and refreshments available.

7-10pm: Meet The Pirates!

7:15pm: “Blackbeard: Revisited” Kevin Duffus, North Carolina’s Historian of the Year, updates on his stunning new research on the ever evolving story of Black Beard and his Crew.

7:30pm: “The Pirate Follies!”

Laugh until you cry as the Pirate Crews compete against one another with rollicking skits, stories, and tall tales. You get to be the judge as there can only be one winner!

9:00 pm: The Motley Tones: Rollicking Good Music and Fun

The Motley Tones

The Motley Tones

Your piracy education continues with the Motley Tones. Hailing from the famous sea port of Raleigh, they have no shortage of seafaring and piracy songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Well, the 1760s, 1770s and 1780s. Their harmonious renditions of songs of love, and travel and the sea will help set the mood for the fabulous weekend of piracy ahead. Don’t be shy—you will want to sing and laugh along. And if not, in the true spirit of piracy, they are sure to insist on it!

Saturday, Oct. 31 10 am-5 pm– A whole day and night of fun! Yo ho!

Daytime events are located around historic Silver Lake Harbor

Rain locations TBA

Festival Information, programs and T-Shirts at Community Square

10 amThe King’s Rangers Muster!
Location: The King’s Rangers Encampment at Wahab House Dockside

10am-5pm: The Pirate Encampment at The Berkley Manor :
See what life was really like during the 18th Century – Living history exhibits, tavern games and pirate skits. Also, one of the largest private collections of historical pirate artifacts
Location: The Pirate Encampment Berkley Manor Yard

10am-5pm: Militia Encampment — Interactive Living History exhibits: 

Authentic cooking.

Authentic cooking.

 10am-5pm: Brigands Bazaar at the Wahab House
A marketplace of seafaring fine arts, wares, hearty grub, jamboree T-shirts and the place to get your Festival Information and Maps

11am-5pm: View the Pirate Ships:
“The Meka II”, “The Ada Mae” and a Coast Guard Cutter at the NPS Docks;  “The Ranger” at the Wahab House Docks


11am : The Shadow Players
Swashbuckling excitement with the Shadow Players Stage Combat Group….Swords! Whips! Laughter! Experience up close and personal swordplay in an interactive show for the whole family!
Location: The Community Square Stage

11am-5pm: Roving 18th Century Minstrels, Pirates and Street Vendors
Just as it was in the 18th Century- you might see The Oyster Lady or the Fishmonger hawking their wares; while song breaks out down the street. Beware if you’re wearing your pirate gear – The Militia will be hunting escaped pirates!
11:30am-5pm: The Pirate Encampment Beer Garden, Sponsored by SMacNally’s:
Enjoy Good food and Libations at SMacNally’s, across from the Wahab House. There’ll be Pirates about, and don’t forget to bring your official Jamboree Mug for special savings!

11:30am : Meet Black Beard!
It’s only fair that he gets to tell his side of the story! Plus, Swordplay and Fun
Location: The Community Square Stage

Noon: “What Was Blackbeard Doing at Ocracoke?” Author and Historian, Kevin Duffus
When the notorious Blackbeard, arguably the world’s most famous pirate, was cornered and killed near Ocracoke’s Springer’s Point, he was in the company of just 20 men and the only treasure found in his possession was some sugar, cocoa, cotton, and a mysterious letter. It was late November and winter was approaching rapidly. Why was Blackbeard lingering at Ocracoke? What was he waiting for? Blackbeard historian Kevin Duffus answers these questions and more.
Location: The Community Square Stage

1pm: The Battle at Ocracoke!
At 1 pm, Saturday, see for yourself the fierce ship to ship Battle of Ocracoke that determined Black Beard’s final fate. Cannons roar as Three Ships re-create that fateful day
Location: Great Views all around Silver Lake and NPS Docks

Blackbeard fights off an attack by Lt. Robert Maynard at the 2014 Battle of Silver Lake.

Blackbeard fights off an attack by Lt. Robert Maynard at the 2014 Battle of Silver Lake.

2:30pm : Scallywag School for Kids — for aspiring Young Pirates!
A chance for your kids to channel their “inner pirate,” with 18th-century seamanship demonstrations, 18th-century games, and naval weapons and tactics. A great chance to interact with the Pirates!
Location: Pirate Encampment: Berkley Manor Yard

3pm : The Motley Tones:
Fun for the whole family! The Motley Tones will delight you with their dulcet harmonies and witty piratical humor. Sea shanties, pub songs, love songs and sailor songs—they carry out an oral historical tradition of telling stories through song up and down the East coast.
Location: The Community Square Stage

3pm: Pirate Craft Fun!
Come create fun pirate crafts on the front porch of the Ocracoke Preservation Society. Stop by for a chance to see Ocracoke Island’s rich history
Location: Ocracoke Preservation Society

3 to 5 pm Ocracoke Village Trick or Treat!
Visiting children are welcome to don their costumes and join the local young’uns for the island traditional Trick or Treat trek around the Lighthouse Road loop. And yes, it’s really that early and will be completely over by dark. Ask for more information at the Pirate Jamboree Information Tent in the Community Square.

5 pm: The Shadow Players, Sponsored by The Ocracoke Oyster Company:
Swashbuckling excitement with the Shadow Players Stage Combat Group….Swords! Whips! Laughter! Experience up close and personal swordplay in an interactive show for the whole family!’
Location: The Ocracoke Oyster Company

The Shadow Players will demonstrate sword fights on the grounds of the Ocracoke Oyster Co.

The Shadow Players will demonstrate sword fights on the grounds of the Ocracoke Oyster Co.

6-9pm: The Bawdy Beer Garden, Sponsored by The Ocracoke Oyster Company:
Relax, kick back, and enjoy some great beer and food, and be entertained by the Motley Tones and pirate friends. A vivacious and informal round-robin exchange of bawdy songs that date back hundreds of years is sure to make you blush. This show is rated “I” for “Innuendo,” which is PG-17 for you 21st-century types. So, put the little scallywags to bed first!
Location: The Ocracoke Oyster Company

Sunday, Nov. 1
10am – Noon: Springer’s Point Memorial Service for those killed in Blackbeard’s Last Battle
Join with us as the Pirate and Militia Crews march to beautiful Springer’s Point to honor those who perished on that fateful day. The Militia’s Cannons will kick off the March as we head to Springer’s Point. Please feel free to join in at any point along the route. At Springer’s Point, listen as the eulogy is read and the hymns are sung. Watch as the wreath is laid on the Sea, while the Pirate Ships fire a cannon salute from just off-shore.

Blackbeard memorial at Springer's Point.

Blackbeard memorial at Springer’s Point.

Location: Start the March at the Pirate Encampment

Noon-1:30pm: Lunch with the Pirates
Join us in closing out the Festival at a rousing lunch with the pirates. Your chance to sit down with our pirate crews and enjoy a great meal..
Location: Howard’s Pub

Chris Suttle is Blackbeard.

Chris Suttle is Blackbeard at the Pirate Lunch at Howard’s Pub

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Blackbeard fights off an attack by Lt. Robert Maynard at the 2014 Battle of Silver Lake.

Blackbeard fights off an attack by Lt. Robert Maynard at the 2014 Battle of Silver Lake.

Sept. 7, 2015

This year’s Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke Island will be Halloween weekend–Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

This is a family-friendly event with lots of swashbuckling fun both on land and on the water!

Make this your family’s Halloween destination.  Bring the kids and your costumes. Lots of fun events are in the works.

Friday evening Oct. 30
The event kicks off Friday evening Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Center where visitors can “meet the pirates,” have a swig of grog and join in “Pirate Follies” along with author-historian Kevin Duffus.

Halloween Day, Oct. 31, will be the big day!
Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun and access your inner pirate!
The centerpiece of the Jamboree is a historically accurate pirate encampment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on the grounds of the Berkley Center by Blackbeard’s Pirate Crew, an 18-member living history organization from Hampton, VA.
Dressed in authentic clothing from the 17th and early 18th centuries, pirates will engage visitors with storytelling, sea chanteys, navigation, seamanship, medicine and more. Kids of all ages can attend the “Scallywag School,” learn navigation by the stars and more.
Visitors will see demonstrations of vintage black powder weapons and partake in hearty seafarers’ grub and grog.
Throughout the day in several locations in the village, there will be sword fights, roving minstrels, historical talks and more for all ages.
The main event will be the re-enactment of “The Battle at Ocracoke,” taking place at 1 p.m. on the island’s beautiful harbor, Silver Lake. Three ships will re-create the last hours of Blackbeard and his crew as Lt. Robert Maynard brings them to battle with cannons blazing.
Among the professional pirate crews attending will be Sinbad in his Meka II, historic skipjack the Ada Mae, the Shadow Players, the Beaufort Oars in their sloop The Ranger, the Motley Tones minstrels and Chris Suttle as Blackbeard.
A “Brigands Bazaar” on the Wahab House yard will feature pirate-themed wares for sale–books about Blackbeard, clothing, artwork, pottery and more.

Public parking is available at the NPS Visitors lot at the south end of the island, 4352 Irvin Garrish Highway.  Public restrooms are available at the NPS Visitor’s Center and in Community Square.

So, get cookin’ on your  pirate costumes.
Kids can join in islander kids trick or treating along Lighthouse Road from 4 to 5:30 p.m.  then make your way to the Ocracoke Oyster Company, 875 Irvin Garrish Hwy., for a stage combat performance by the fabulous Shadow Players.  The Bawdy Beer Garden with the ever-fabulous Motely Tones continues at the Ocracoke Oyster Company after that.
Sunday, Nov. 1, will conclude with the Pirate March at 10 a.m. to Springer’s Point for a ceremony commemorating the fall of Blackbeard offshore on Nov. 22, 1718.  Pirates and visitors gather outside the encampment at the Berkley Center for the march to the water’s edge.

Join the pirates after the memorial for Lunch at Howard’s Pub at noon before you set sail back home!

Activity details are still being finalized, but check in at

Pirate Jamboree Poster 2015

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Yancey Covington, left, and Steve Whetzel, at the 2013 Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke.

Steve Whetzel, who portrays Mantise Sevalle as a member of the Shadow Players, a stage combat group from Greenville, was recently featured in a New York Times sports story about the East Carolina University Pirates.
Whetzel, along with the entire troop of Players, will be part of the Second Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree this coming Friday, Oct. 31 to Sunday, Nov. 2, on Ocracoke.   They will demonstrate swashbuckling sword fighting and combat. Experience up close and personal swordplay in an interactive show for the whole family. 
The kick off event “Meet the Pirates,” will start at 7 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Center with a game show of myths and facts about Blackbeard, with Kevin Duffs as game-show host.  The rollicking Motley Tones will follow with a concert and sing-along at 8:30. $10 donation at the door also covers alcohol and other refreshments.
Saturday’s events start at 10 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m. village wide, and Sunday concludes with the annual remembrance of Blackbeard’s demise with the march to Springer’s Point, starting at 10 .m. at Blackbeard’s Lodge, then Lunch with the Pirates at noon in Howard’s Pub. Read the New York Times story about Steve Whetzel here 

Steve Whetzel as Mantise Sevalle, a "pirate" with the Shadow Players Stage Combat Group, rings a chime for each of the fallen members of Blackbeard's crew during the memorial Sunday morning during Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree.


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A historic marker near the National Park Service docks authenticates Blackbeard’s demise on Ocracoke.


The real Blackbeard will be revealed but the popular myth will be in full display at the First Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke Island, N.C., Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2015.

Ocracoke was a favorite hiding place of Edward Teach, or, Blackbeard.  This is where Lt. Robert Maynard finally located the pirate in 1718. After a ship-board battle of swords, Maynard severed the pirate’s head then took it to Hampton, Va., on the bowsprit his boat.
Various pirate reenactors are gearing up to travel to Ocracoke because of the historical significance here for Blackbeard.
“The pirate crews are excited about coming here because this is a place with authentic Blackbeard history,” says Chip Stevens, owner of Blackbeard’s Lodge and one of the event organizers.
Event-goers will hear information that may change their perception about the nefarious pirate.
Historian-author Kevin Duffus of Raleigh, who has spent years researching the real Blackbeard, will share “myths and facts” during the weekend.
“Blackbeard’s history has been badly distorted,” explains the author of “The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate.”

Duffus will kick off the event Friday evening at 7 in the Ocracoke Community Center where attendees can also meet the pirates.
Local business owners are looking forward to the fun.
“This is one of the best family events we’ve had in a long time that celebrates history,” says Sue Pentz, co-owner of the Harborside Motel in the heart of the village and the pirate action. “It’s a fun event for all ages.”

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How to get to Ocracoke

To get to Ocracoke by car you need to ride the ferry from either Hatteras, Swan Quarter or Cedar Island. The Hatteras ferry is free and crossing take about 1 hour. The Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries charge a $15 fee each way and reservations are strongly suggested either online at, or by calling: 1-800-BYFERRY. The current ferry schedule for early fall are here: THIS SCHEDULE WILL CHANGE AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER. Please check back at …


Ahoy! Ocracoke Island, NC, welcomes you to Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree

Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2015 Ocracoke Island, North Carolina Chart your course to beautiful Ocracoke Island for a special Halloween treat this year with Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree and a weekend of swashbuckling fun Oct 30 to Nov. 1. Proud of its rich pirate heritage, the island will celebrate the last days of Blackbeard. See the posts below for details about this weekend. This is an annual event sponsored by the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association on the last weekend …