HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — For the first time since the start of the pandemic, pirates are set to take over downtown Hampton.

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The annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival returns to Hampton from June 3 to 5 at Mill Point Park. The event features costumed re-enactors, cannon battles, mermaids, music, vendors, lectures and fireworks.

On Friday night, the festival kicks off with a ‘Pirate’s Parlay’ from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mill Point Park. This free party is a family-friendly event featuring a performance by the Clan MacCool Band.

The public is encouraged to show up in their finest piratical attire.

On Saturday, the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and returns on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Events include:

  • Character vessels, include Blackbeard’s sailing ship Adventure, Royal Navy vessels Jane and Ranger, and merchant vessels engaging in battles on the Hampton River Saturday and Sunday.
  • Character actors, dozens of professional pirate re-enactors, and living history interpreters from all points of the compass will be in attendance, along with Helena the Mermaid, Fins and Seashells, Circus Siren Mermaid, and more. 
  • Weekend performers include Mark Miller/Rusty Cutlass, The Brigands, Chaste Treasure, Press Gang, the Natterjacks, and Field Musick Virginia.
  • On Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., scholars Dr. Jamie Goodall, author of “Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars,” and Jeremy Moss, author of “The Life and Tryals of the Gentleman Pirate, Major Stede Bonnet,” will offer free lectures at St. John’s Church, sponsored by the Hampton History Museum.  The Museum will also hold its annual Steam Punk Show Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (also free and open to the public).
  • Fireworks over the Hampton River will be on Saturday, June 4, at 9 p.m.

Traffic Impact

The festival will affect roads and parking in Downtown Hampton.

Eaton Street City Parking Lot (between Eaton and Wine Streets): No parking Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 8 a.m. through Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 10 p.m.

Queen’s Way, from Easton Street to Wine Street: No parking Friday, June 3, 2022 beginning at 8 a.m. through Sunday, June 5 at 10 p.m. Road Closed/All Lanes Friday, June 3, 2022 at 3 p.m. through Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 10 p.m.

Wine Street, from just past Old Point Bank Customer Parking Entrance to Settler’s Landing Road: No parking Friday, June 3, 2022 beginning at 8 a.m. through Sunday, June 5 at 10 p.m. Road Closed/All Lanes Friday, June 3, 2022 at 3 p.m. through Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 10 p.m.

Eaton Street, from Queen’s Way to Eaton Street Parking Lot: No parking Friday, June 3, 2022 beginning at 8 a.m. through Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. Road Closed/All Lanes Friday, June 3, 2022 at 3 p.m. through Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 8 p.m.

Booker T. Washington Bridge on Settler’s Landing Road: Partial and/or all lanes closed intermittently Saturday evening, June 4, 2022 to accommodate Fireworks Show logistics (show begins at 9 p.m.). At 7:30 p.m., traffic will be reduced on the bridge heading into Downtown to one lane (left lane open), and then at 8:30 p.m., all bridge lanes both into and out of Downtown will be closed until 9:15 p.m. while the show is in progress. Please note posted roadside signs and obey police signals for direction.

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