Pirates invade downtown Wilmington this weekend

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The Feast of the Pirates will include a host of events, including a costume contest and re-enactments. Photo courtesy WHET.
The Feast of the Pirates will include a host of events, including a costume contest and re-enactments. Photo courtesy WHET.

A little stormy weather can’t keep seafaring rapscallions down.

Hurricane Joaquin might have kept the rowdy scallywags at bay last month, but they’re heading back to the Cape Fear, ready to take over downtown Wilmington.

Want to go?

When: Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Port City Marina, 10 Harnett St.

Cost: Free, with food and beverages available for purchase.

Extra, for adults: A “Feast of the Pirates Parrrty” at 7 p.m. Saturday; $35 per person or $60 per couple gets catered dinner, cash bar and activities including live music and an adult pirate costume contest with prizes.

Originally set for Riverfest weekend in early October, the Invasion of the Pirates will happen instead this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15, at the newly opened Port City Marina, 10 Harnett St.

For many years, Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust (WHET) has staged the event but decided this year to turn it up a notch and throw a bash that gives tribute to the Feast of the Pirates celebrations that took place in Wilmington during the 1920s.

WHET, a local non-profit that works to improve the waterfront, is the organization that brought the Spanish tall ship, El Galeon, to dock in Wilmington for tours in August. The visit attracted over 10,000 visitors, WHET member Dick Heiser noted, and helped raised funds that will be used to the enhance public dock and Visitors Center restrooms.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the replica pirate ship, The Meka, that was set to sail in for the Invasion of the Pirates in October will not be coming to the rescheduled event.

Feast of the Pirates will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the marina. The free, all-ages event also includes a staged pirate invasion, re-enactment and treasure hunt. Vendors and a beer garden will be onsite.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the big tent opens up to of-age privateers only with the Feast of the Pirates Parrrty. There’ll be a catered dinner buffet and a cash bar with beer and wine, as well as an adult pirate costume contest and live music. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple.

Click here to order tickets in advance and for more information.