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Feast of the Pirates

Strap on that peg leg, put on that eye patch and sit your parrot on your shoulder. It’s time to join the 96th Feast of the Pirates at Belville’s Riverwalk Park, 580 River Road SE, on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 am - 6 pm.

“We be hav'n encampments, cannon fire, sword spar'n, black powder pistols and rifles demos, pirate re-enactors, pirate school, and loads of numerous assorted vendors and grub trucks as well as live music and sea shanties, costume contest fer kids, Most Wanted villain hunt, story tell'n, liv'n history, games and other activities fer kids as well,” said Sheila Schultz-Scherer, an Executive Board Member with Feast of the Pirates.

Feast of the Pirates is organized and hosted by the Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust (WHET), a 501C(4) non-profit organization with a mission to shape and implement a vision for the beautification and balance of the Cape Fear River region and to promote safe and pleasure boating.

“We are the crew responsible for bringing in the Tall Ships to our ports for tours, such as The Pride of Baltimore II, Peacemaker, USCGC Barque Eagle, HMS Bounty, Pirate Ship Meka II, Pirate Ship Raven, The Unicorn, Liberty Clipper, The Prince William, Nao Santa Maria, Niña & Pinta, Lynx Scooner, Amistead Replica, El Galeon and Nao Trinidad,” said Schultz-Scherer. “Many of these have been watched coming in through our Southport waters, most recently the Trinidad. The proceeds we make from these tours are used to put on a full day Feast of the Pirates festival every year in September for families and children for a full fun family outing.”

Schultz-Scherer said the Feast has a long history. “In the past, The Feast of Pirates was a three-day festival held on Wrightsville Beach in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina during the late 1920s. Tourists from all over the region, as many as 28,000, traveled to the Port City. They had the pleasure of watching historical reenactments, boat races, competitions, and various parades. The reenactments ranged from George Washington's ceremonious entrance into the city in 1791, to Blackbeard's march to City Hall. Excessive alcohol consumption and public drunkenness during the 1929 festival, however, caused concern for committee members and other city officials. Nevertheless, it was the Great Depression that put the final nail in the coffin for The Feast of Pirates,” she said. “However, we have revivified "Feast of the Pirates" and brought it to the Brunswick Riverwalk Park on the Cape Fear River in Belville. So now The Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust is host'n a FREE pirate festival fer the whole family to come out and enjoy!”

For more information, including sponsorship and vendor opportunities, visit the Feast of the Pirates website at


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