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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pirate Invasion Returns to the Crystal Coast Town of Beaufort

Avast ye, landlubbers! The waterfront town of Beaufort is battening down the hatches on Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11 in preparation for the infamous pirate attacks by land and by sea.

During the annual Beaufort Pirate Invasion, these nefarious buccaneers intend to pillage, plunder, and do all those things that pirates do. They're even looking for some lads and lasses to recruit, so beware!

Beaufort has a history dotted with pirate encounters. One of the most notorious, Blackbeard himself, trolled the local waters of the Beaufort Inlet. The wreckage of what is believed to be Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, has recently been discovered in these waters and thousand of artifacts have been recovered. Many of these artifacts are on display in Beaufort at the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

The history of the Beaufort Pirate Invasion is an interesting one. It initially occurred on June 14, 1747. Several privately owned Spanish warships with a government sponsored license to attack enemy shipping (also known as privateers) entered Beaufort's harbor and made off with several smaller ships. Since there were only 13 men posted to protect the town, the Spanish escaped with ease. 

Two months later, the Spanish privateers returned with the intent to take the town of Beaufort. With more than 58 militia men under the direction of Major Enoch Ward, these men attempted to thwart the privateers' invasion but ended up being driven from the town. The citizens fled and left everything behind, allowing the privateers to pillage and plunder the town without resistance. 

Three days later, Colonel Thomas Lovick and Major Ward gathered more men for a counterattack, finally driving the Spanish out. The story goes that without the assistance of close to 100 local townspeople and farmers, the militia may not have succeeded in the counterattack. Legend has it that several Spaniards died and were then buried in the Old Burying Grounds in Beaufort, also known as Queen Anne's Cemetery. The annual Beaufort Pirate Invasion highlights the events of this historic time.

During this two-day invasion, be on guard for roaming pirates, impromptu sword fights, and  lots of grog swilling. Prepare for pirate processions, encampments, sword-fighting shows, sword dancing, pirates on trial, and so much more. The schedule of events provides full details, times, and locations of all the scandalous adventures to be had.

Other highlights include the Buccaneer Revue, the Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle O' Run, and the Parley on the Waterfront. Featured Invasion artist Donna Nyzio will be on-hand, as well.

Just a few words of advice before embarking on this adventure. First, it may be wise to brush up on some pirate lingo. Second, it would be best for you to take up lodging in a different town (just in case). Finally, if anyone invites you to experience Davy Jones' Locker—run.... run for your life! Arrrrr!

Have you experienced (and survived) the Beaufort Pirate Invasion firsthand? Tell us about about your adventures, or misadventures, in our comment section. Ahoy, mateys!

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