Step back in time with the sights and sounds of the 17th century as Beaufort comes to life with sword fighting, cannon firing, a pirate hanging and so much more Aug. 7-8.
It was a harrowing day when Spanish Privateers came ashore to take the town of Beaufort. The town watched on helplessly as the privateers sailed into the harbor with mischief and mayhem on their minds. Unable to defend themselves against the greedy pirates who pillaged and plundered through the town, Beaufort was soon in the hands of the rogue pirates.
This did not set well with the villagers and Major Enoch Ward and his militia of 58 men. They attempted to stop the ransacking and looting to no avail. Major Ward, however, refused to relinquish his duties and donned the hat of a hero. He scoured the countryside, raising alarms and spirits, garnering followers and farmers-turned-soldiers to protect his little town. Within three days, Ward had gathered 100 farmers and locals and armed them with whatever weapons they could find. Major Ward, leading alongside Col. Thomas Lorick, returned to Beaufort with his hodgepodge militia and dispelled the unwelcome visitors from the town. According to legend, several Spaniards were killed in the scuffle, their ghosts left to wander the streets of Beaufort. Soon, the citizens returned to their homes, but never to forget the Beaufort Pirate Invasion and their unlikely heroes, heroes that are still celebrated.
It has been 268 years since this historical event and yet on the second weekend in August The Beaufort Pirate Invasion draws a large crowd of reenactors, pirates, buccaneers and scallywags of all ages to Carteret County to witness the retelling of the tale. On Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8 you can celebrate Beaufort’s victory as the seaport comes alive with living history demonstrations, sword fighting, cannon firing and black powder weapons displays, as well as a mock trial, and much more.
The event features a multitude of activities for all ages to enjoy, such as musical entertainment, magic shows, children’s costume contests, storytelling, period encampments and vendors. Aspiring young pirates can enjoy spontaneous shenanigans as nefarious characters roam the streets and shops, engaging in mock battles, bursting into song and posing for pictures. Signature events include the famous Buccaneer Revue, a barbecue dinner and pirate talent show, which takes place from 5:30-8:30pm on Friday, Aug. 7. At 8am on Saturday, Aug. 8, the 1-mile/5K jog (or walk), aptly called the Yo, Ho, Ho, & A Bottle o’ Run hits the streets. Registration for both of these events is available online. The invasion comes to close with Saturday night’s event, Parley on the Waterfront. Celebrate the end of the invasion and a return to peace and prosperity to Beaufort with an evening of live music, grog and good cheer from 6-10pm at The Dockhouse. Admission for this event is free.
The weekendt closes with the Parley on the Waterfront where the town celebrates its victory with an evening of live music, grog and good cheer to mark the end of the Invasion and to return Beaufort to peace and prosperity. Put Aug. 7-8 on your calendar for a fun and entertaining pirate experience. For information about signature events, visit www.beaufortpirateinvasion.com.