Ahoy, mateys! Come aboard for the second annual City of Oaks Pirate Fest! Building upon the overwhelming success of last year’s festival, this year’s Pirate Fest will be setting sail at Dorothea Dix Park on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visitors can delve into a world of treasures and high seas as regionally known reenactors, musicians, crafters, and other “old salts” take to the park to dabble in piratical mischief and share seafaring history with hands-on activities and live performances. This event is FREE.
Be prepared for a day full of swashbuckling fun for salty sea dogs and young scalawags alike with living history performers, crafts, an interactive pirate ship, and even a costume contest. Throughout the festival, refreshments will be available on-site from local food trucks and mobile taverns.
“The Museum has long been seeking the right opportunity to partner with the City of Raleigh on an event at Dorothea Dix Park,” said Ken Howard, director of the North Carolina Museum of History. “Thanks to the popularity of last year’s event, it was decided that moving Pirate Fest to Dix Park offered the perfect opportunity to partner with the City and to bring this educational and engaging experience to even more North Carolinians.”
The event starts with a literal bang—including a live cannon firing and performance by the Motley Tones pirate band—at 10 a.m. on Dorothea Dix Park’s Big Field. During the day, take advantage of many opportunities to learn about the history of pirates in North Carolina.
Here’s what to expect for the nautical adventure ahead:
- Meet Captain Blackbeard and other professional living history performers from up and down the East Coast, including the Colonial Seaport Foundation, Cannon Crew, and Presenting the Past.
- An interactive pirate ship with tennis ball cannon where little ones can practice their aim.
- Live black powder cannon demonstrations, and other hands-on demonstrations with authentic pirate artifacts.
- Sing sea chanties with pirate bands, including the Motley Tones and Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers.
- Engage in sword fights and games with the Shadow Players Stage Combat Group and The Sword Conservatory.
- Pirate-themed photo opportunities and a costume contest with prizes.
- Partake in some pirate crafts, including face painting, pirate trivia, knot tying and making your own Sea Beastie hat.
- Feasting from local food trucks and mobile taverns.
So, mark your calendars for the City of Oaks Pirate Fest. For a full schedule of all performances and presentations, visit NCMOH-programs.com or call 919-817-7000.
The City of Oaks Pirate Fest is presented by Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, the North Carolina Museum of History and the City of Raleigh; sponsored, in part, by Wegmans and Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown. Media sponsors are CBS17, as well as KIX 102.9 FM, Carolina’s Greatest Hits, The New Pulse 96.9/102.5, and Star 92.9—all affiliates of parent company Curtis Media Group.
About Dorothea Dix Park
Dorothea Dix Park is the site of one of the most exciting new park projects in America. The 308-acre site blends historic architecture and rich landscapes into a unique destination in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina. The effort to create Dorothea Dix Park is a public-private partnership between the City of Raleigh and Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy. The City owns and operates Dorothea Dix Park. The Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists to support the City in its efforts, serve as its philanthropic partner, and help ensure the creation and long-term success of Dorothea Dix Park.
About the NC Museum of History
The North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, fosters a passion for North Carolina history. This museum collects and preserves artifacts of state history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Admission is free. Last year, more than 465,000 people visited the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
About the Smithsonian Affiliations Network
Since 2006, the North Carolina Museum of History has been a Smithsonian Affiliate, part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share Smithsonian resources with the nation. The Smithsonian Affiliations network is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. More information is available at affiliations.si.edu.
About the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries, and natural assets in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums, and Jennette’s Pier, as well as 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported symphonic orchestra, the State Library of North Carolina, the State Archives of North Carolina, the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, along with the state Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, call 919-814-6800 or visit DNCR.nc.gov.