This year the sanctioned events of the Town of Bath and The Greater Bath Foundation’ commemoration of the Blackbeard Tricentennial will begin with the 3rd Annual Memorial Day Celebration featuring The Embers to be held on May 26, 2018, followed five months later by the history-making Bath Town’s Blackbeard Tricentennial to be held on October 19 & 20.
Friday, October 19th kicks-off the weekend with “An Evening with Blackbeard and Friends,” sponsored by The Greater Bath Foundation, The Blackbeard Society, and The Blackbeard Adventure Alliance. The event will be held at the Historic Turnage Theatre in Washington from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The evening begins with a reception titled, “A Taste of 1718,” and a fascinating exhibit: “The Iconography of Blackbeard—300 Years of Interpretation of the World’s Best Known Pirate.” A program in the theater begins at 8 p.m. featuring the historically funny game show, “Will the Real Blackbeard Stand Up Please?” The evening concludes with a pirate parley: “Was Blackbeard Murdered?—A Discussion of Blackbeard History and Intrigue” featuring historian Kevin Duffus and host Michelle Murillo aka Mary Read. Questions from the audience will be encouraged. Special guests of the evening will be Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood and representatives of the Spotswood Family Association of Virginia. You won’t want to miss the historic but awkward first meeting of the lieutenant governor and and the notorious pirate.
Saturday, October 20th will feature historical, educational, entertaining activities and programming for families and people of all ages. What better way to honor Blackbeard and Bath’s colonial pirate heritage and capture everyone’s imagination than an epic sea battle and siege of the town in the waters off historic Bonner’s Point featuring multiple armed pirate vessels and a shore-based militia who will fire cannons at the marauders in an effort to protect the town. Throughout the day, pirates will roam the streets and living history interpreters will demonstrate life in colonial times in a pirate encampment where the sounds of craftsmen and sword fighters practicing their skills, and the savory smells of roasting meats, fish, and woodsmoke wafting in the air from open fires that will surely take visitors back to another time. Other featured activities include a skydiving Blackbeard, a children’s pirate costume parade and competition, sword fighting demonstrations, colonial-era music, the world’s largest gathering of Blackbeards, a reprisal of “Was Blackbeard Murdered?” by historian Kevin Duffus, and a spectacular evening fireworks display over the very waters where Blackbeard and his Bath men sailed.
Featured Blackbeard Tricentennial participants will include, the Rusty Cutlass Band of Orlando and Disney World, Captain Horatio Sinbad and the Meka II, Steve Whetzel aka The East Carolina Pirate, The Shadow Players Stage Combat Group, Colonial Seaport Foundation of Virginia and their historically-authentic colonial sloop Luna making her North Carolina debut. Also participating will be: Lawrence Campbell of Campbell Cannon and Carriage Works; Michelle Murillo aka Mary Read; Capt. Ben Bunn aka Ben Crooked and North Carolina’s oldest sailing vessel afloat, the skipjack Ada Mae; the Cannon Crew of Beaufort; and the King’s Rangers, a troop of Sea Scouts from Virginia.
The centerpiece of Bath’s Blackbeard 300 Tricentennial will be a unique reunion of descendants of pirates and other individuals who played a part in the Blackbeard story including representatives of the Brooks, Martin, Howard, Salter, Jackson, and Boyd families. Also attending will be descendants of Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Spotswood, Maurice Moore, Capt. Jeremiah Vail, William Bell (whom Blackbeard assaulted in the Pamlico River east of Bath), and Lt. Robert Maynard.
Stay tuned as much more is being planned as Bath Town’s Blackbeard 300 Tricentennial Celebration is expected to make history of its own.
Proceeds from these events will be used to promote the history, tradition, beauty and development of the Town of Bath and the surrounding areas through beautification projects, tourism and special projects/events as may be needed by the town. The Greater Bath Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) and if requested, you may receive a tax acknowledgement at the end of the year.