10th Annual PirateFest kicks off Friday in uptown Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Happening Friday, the 10th Annual PirateFest kicks off in uptown Greenville.

Swashbucklers are getting ready to take over!

Some new additions this year mean there are changes you need to know.

If you plan on heading uptown today, be prepared for parking changes.

Enjoy “Free Ride Day” on the City’s GREAT buses on Saturday, April 9.

Parking is available throughout the Uptown district, including the Municipal parking deck and on ECU’s lots along East Reade Circle. Please note that there will be no enforcement on Saturday, April 9th. An uptown parking map is attached and can always be accessed at uptowngreenville.com/park.

Five Points Plaza closed down Thursday and will be closed through Saturday. Other parking lots uptown will shut down early Friday morning. More details here.

There are many new features this year, including the addition of a 145-foot tall Ferris wheel.

Uptown Greenville Director Bianca Shoneman said that means extra safety measures are in place.

“Our police department has been very proactive in analyzing street patterns,” explained Bianca Shoneman, Dir., Uptown Greenville. “So we’ll have some additional street closures in the uptown district as a result of the Ferris wheel and the expanded carnival environment. But it’s all to ensure the safety of our pirate-goers.”

For the 10th anniversary, they’re stepping up entertainment with a free concert from Grammy-nominated band Smash Mouth. You probably know them for their 90’s hits, including All Star.

Business will boom for uptown throughout the weekend.

Some businesses like Catalog Connection, UBE, and Emerge Art Gallery are holding special sales to attract festival goers.

Area restaurants said they’re preparing for a surge of customers.

“We bring 30,000 people to a 9 by 6 area and we invite them to shop and enjoy themselves,” added Shoneman. “So our food vendors that come from the outside are one source, but also our permanent merchants are going to see an added economic benefit because of the influx of so many visitors to the uptown district.”

Not only are loyal pirates supporting local businesses this weekend, they’re also uniting to pay tribute to the late Dave Mirra. Protown BMX riders will honor Mirra’s memory by performing on bikes with gold pedals. More details here.

For a full list of this year’s activities click here.

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