OCRACOKE -The North Carolina Ferry System is expecting an influx of scallywags and land lubbers alike for Blackbeard's Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke Island this weekend, and is preparing for the influx by adding extra crews and vessels to handle increased traffic on its popular Hatteras-Ocracoke run.
The inaugural three-day family festival features pirate invasions by land and sea, sea chantey sing-alongs, living history exhibits, and even a pirate funeral. Organizers hope to make the festival an annual October event, culminating in a grand celebration in 2018 marking the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard's demise just off of Ocracoke Island.
On October 26 and 27, the Hatteras-Ocracoke route will maintain its scheduled hourly trips between 5 a.m. and midnight, while additional boats and crews will help alleviate backups by making extra runs during peak travel times.
"We want to help make the Pirate Jamboree a success in any way we can," said Ferry Division Information Officer Tim Hass. "We want visitors and residents to be able to get to and from Ocracoke as quickly and easily as possible, no matter what time of yarrrrr."
The Hatteras-Ocracoke run is the most popular of the Ferry System's seven regular routes, carrying about 700,000 passengers between the islands each year.