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Home > Blog > July 2015 > Pirates Invade Bald Head Island

Pirates Invade Bald Head Island

Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pirates Arrr Coming

Each year in August, pirates invade Bald Head Island and take over, declaring their loyalty to the island with good reason. In the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates ruled the waters off the coast of North Carolina and the Village of BHI was a favorite refuge and base for the buccaneers. Many pirates would stop here to replenish their provisions and bury their booty. Infamous pirates Stede Bonnet and Edward Teach (Blackbeard) made it their hideout and today, streets on the island are named after them.

Bald Head Island history doesn’t stop with pirate legends. In the mid-19th century, a Civil War fort was built on the island. It’s also home to the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, Old Baldy, which gives the best panoramic views of the island. It is 108 steps and 5 landings up, standing at 110 feet high. Smith Island Museum is near the base of the lighthouse where you can learn more about the lighthouse keepers, pirates, and maritime history.

Bald Head Island’s annual pirate event will be July 31st through August 2nd starting with a Scalawag School on Friday to teach walking and talking like pirates. There will also be a block party, a Pirate Combat Cruise, and a duck race among many other fun events. New this year is sailing on the Skipjack ADA MAE. Built in 1915, it’s the only surviving working sail vessel built in NC. The Jolly Roger Revolt is another new addition where pirates will storm and pillage the Shoals Club. A pirate party would be incomplete without hidden treasure! An island-wide treasure hunt will take place Friday evening. Proceeds will benefit the Old Baldy Foundation, which helps maintain the historic lighthouse. Some events sell out so make your reservations early and prepare for the pirates!