OBX Pirate Festival

Ahoy, Matey! It is time to arm up, grab your gear, and set sail on the high seas.

Every year in mid-August, the Outer Banks gets a little rowdier for a weekend for the OBX Pirate Festival in Nags Head.

This huge event brings out all the crowds for great food and fun activities – oh, and maybe a bit of pillaging and ransacking. Below is our guide to the Pirate Festival, including what to expect, and where and when it takes place. So, pull on your eye patch, give Polly a cracker, and read on for a “lawless” weekend at this family-friendly event.

OBX Pirate Festival || NC Outer Banks Vacation Rentals || Cola Vaughan Realty

The Pirates Are in Town!

The Pirate Festival is an annual invasion of local pirates dressed in full garb and ready to entertain.

For the Pirate Festival, the shops at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing will be filled to the brim with looting, bandana-wearing pirates. They are ready for impromptu kids’ activities, and they are well-stocked with treats and goodies. The festival will sell any new pirates an eye patch, a toy parrot, a fake peg leg, a compass, and a bunch of other cool items that embody the pirate life.

Visitors are encouraged to dress up and participate. Most of the retailers in Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, the shopping area where the festival takes place, will be participating in the fun. Grab a tasty after-lunch treat at the Fudgery. Or, walk a few doors over and check out the cool – literally – Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, which is especially nice on those hot summer afternoons.

Jockey’s Ridge complex often hosts live music, sunset events, and more for the community. It is a wonderful place to become acquainted with downtown, stock up on beach gear to take back to Outer Banks vacation rentals, grab a souvenir, and find some fun things to do for the afternoon. From June to September, visitors can enjoy free music nightly.

As for shopping, you got quite a few places to go. Stop on it at the Natural Life Boutique for some healthy eats, Silver Line Jewelry for a gift for that special someone, and the Kitty Hawk Surf Company for beach and surf gear, handmade soaps, and crafts.

The Pirate Encampment

Though you may find some pirates invading the local realtors with goodies all weekend, the main festival event is the pirate encampment.

Blackbeard himself is expected to appear in a life-like 18th-century pirate encampment. History will come to life as he teaches pirate practices and looting techniques in his very own school for scallywags. Be sure to bring your kids so they can spend the day learning the ever-valuable pirate code. Blackbeard’s crew will take the young pirate recruits through this boisterous living history encampment.

Before or after the kids’ activities, grab special pirate-themed lunch offered by local restaurants – but get there in good time because the pirate meals are limited.

Event Details

The event takes place at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, which is located at 3933 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head, NC. The event in 2018 spans two days, from August 15 to 16. Festivities are expected to begin at 10 a.m. and continue on until late afternoon.

Admission is completely free for both children and adults.

Nags Head has a long history of pirate lore, and you and your family can learn all about it at the OBX Pirate Festival this summer. This is a great family-friendly event, perfect for those days when you need a break from the sun and sand. Choose your Outer Banks vacation rental to make sure your accommodations are the cherry on top of an already great vacation. Get a list of Outer Banks vacation rentals, hand-picked to meet your needs and interests.


Cola Vaughan Realty
PO Box 1375 • Nags Head, NC 27959
Phone: 252.573.2811
Email Inquiries To: vacations@obxcola.com