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Ocracoke’s 2020 Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree canceled

The Ocracoke Civic & Business Association has canceled the 2020 Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke due to concerns with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The board acknowledged that this multi-day festival, scheduled for the last weekend in October, brings revenue to the island, but the challenges of conducting the kind of quality event the public is used to, coupled with adhering to COVID-19 safety concerns, prompted this action taken Aug. 10.

“With so many unknowns, this was a tough choice to make,” said Bob Chestnut, speaking for the board. “We cannot justify putting the public, our participants or volunteers at risk, and we are doing what we feel is right for the festival and the island.”

The Jamboree commemorates the last days of Blackbeard the pirate who was killed off Ocracoke on Nov. 22, 1718. The event features authentic Colonial encampments, sword fights, music, lectures, artifacts, a reenactment of Blackbeard’s last stand, a memorial service for all the men lost in that battle and more.

The last Jamboree was held in 2018, commemorating the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s demise. Last year’s event was canceled due to damage island-wide from Hurricane Dorian.

Photos and videos from prior year events are available online at Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree Facebook page. Dates for next year’s event will be announced at a later time.

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