Set Sail for the Outer Banks Pirate Festival

Ahoy, there mateys! Are ye ready for the Outer Banks Pirate Festival? Find Blackbeard’s crew encamped at Kitty Hawk Kites, in Nags Head, as they search for treasure and a few new members for their pirate crew.

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Do ye have what it takes to prevail in Scallywag School and become a certified member of Blackbeard’s crew? Get ready to uncover more information about the pirate festival, famous North Carolina pirates, and more hidden gems of the OBX!

Outer Banks Pirate Festival


Wednesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 8, 2024


Kitty Hawk Kites

3933 S. Croatan Hwy

MP 12.5

Nags Head, NC

What to Expect at the Outer Banks Pirate Festival

pirate flagBe prepared to learn about the vast history of our historical scallywags at the Outer Banks Pirate Festival. Young swashbucklers can participate in Scallywag School. This unique training camp is offered in 30-minute slots and allows participants to get a certificate.

To reserve your treasured spot in Scallywag School, you can register online for one of the 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, or 3:00 pm slots on either Wednesday or Thursday. Registration opens one month before the event, and spots fill up fast! Does your mini-matey have what it takes to be a part of Blackbeard’s crew?

The sea lovers in your party will love the opportunity to take a photo with a mermaid from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm (free, no registration required).

Please note that activities are subject to change and can be weather-dependent. For questions or more information, email

Outer Banks Pirate History

During the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates were frequent visitors to the shores of the Outer Banks. Famous pirates, such as Blackbeach, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack, Stede Bonnet, and Black Bellemy, are just a few who terrorized merchant ships along the coast. Their treasure was in the form of gold and other valuable cargo. It is even believed that “land pirates” would lure unexpecting vessels inland with lights atop the tallest dunes, leaving the ship run aground in the shallow shoals. The “land pirates” would raid the ship, make the crew walk the planks, loot anything of value, and then burn the ship.

Ocracoke Island, further south on the Outer Banks, was a preferred hideout for Edward Thatch, aka Blackbeard. He met his fate in 1718 near Ocracoke, but not before he hosted the largest gathering of pirates to ever assemble in North America. The pirates danced, drank, ate, and made merry on the sound-side beaches of Ocracoke until the food and drink ran out.

Stay in Nags Head

nags head beach vacation rentalWhen visiting the Outer Banks, you have so many amazing attractions and events right outside your door. Vacation rental homes in Nags Head are the perfect home base for those who want to make the most of the Outer Banks Pirate Festival. A beach vacation home in Duck is another excellent option. No matter where you stay on the OBX, fun is always nearby! The vacation rental professionals at Paramount Destinations are waiting to help you plan your next great OBX getaway.



More Kid-Friendly, Fun, and Educational Experiences

There are so many incredible things to do during your OBX getaway. If you want to infuse a few fun and educational activities into your itinerary, visit the Wright Brothers Memorial or take a Wild Horse Tour. You may also be interested in searching for OBX hidden gems. These prized attractions, such as the NC Black History Tour or Jockey’s Ridge State Park, are bounties you don’t want to miss. Which gem of an attraction will you add to your treasure chest first?

Yo ho ho!! Weigh anchor and hoist the main sail. It’s time to set sail for the treasured Outer Banks of North Carolina.