Yarr, It's the Blackbeard Pirate Festival

By Carissa DiMargo
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:48 PM EDT
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Yarr, It's the Blackbeard Pirate Festival

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day isn't until September, but a hasty road trip can ease your sadness. The Blackbeard Pirate Festival invades Hampton, Va. in July, with pirate reenactors in historically accurate garb. None of those Long John Silver's employee uniforms for them!

The pirate fest gets its basis in historical fact due to the wealth of the colonies along Hampton's waterfront -- they "made our city an inviting target" for Blackbeard the pirate, says the event's website. "Blackbeard moved his operation north and with a pardon from the governor of North Carolina assumed the life of a gentleman with his fourteenth wife. Unable to give up the adventurous and notorious lifestyle, he cruised and began relieving ships of their cargos."

Blackbeard defended his actions saying he was simply salvaging the abandoned cargo. North Carolina officials accept the dubious explanation in exchange for a portion of the cargo

The fest's reenactments will range from impromptu street skirmishes between pirates and the militia to full-scale sea battles in Hampton Harbor. Saturday night features fireworks and musical guest Blue Oyster Cult. Because you should fear pirates, not the Reaper.

Friday, July 9: noon-5 p.m.
Saturday, July 10: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; fireworks 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 11: noon-6 p.m.

See complete schedule of events here.

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