Swashbucklers take over Greenville for PirateFest

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Swashbucklers are taking over uptown Greenville for 11th annual PirateFest.

The event, held Friday and Saturday, attracts people from all over the east coast to Uptown Greenville

Attendees are encouraged to deck themselves out in pirate gear from eye patches to peg legs.

The festival features live music including a Prince tribute band and  DJ’s. It will have activities all weekend long for all ages.The event is bringing food, games, and rides to the Uptown area.

PirateFest will also be the kickoff event for allowing alcoholic beverages at the Town Common.

Sales of alcohol will be limited to beer and wine and only in the Town Common area.

The zone where alcohol is allowed is fenced off and there will be security as well as ID checks.

No alcohol will be permitted outside of the zone.

“It allows us to be competitive with other cities,” says Andrew Schmidt, executive director for the Greenville-Pitt County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Most other cities have some type of policy in place where you can have alcohol at a sanctioned event with insurance and the proper permits and that allows us to allow certain other events to come.”

Schmidt also said there won’t really be a difference in the festival because of the alcohol sales and if anything it would allow people that are attending the concerts to enjoy the music with a beverage.

Uptown Greenville employees said they are confident PirateFest not only brings fun but an opportunity to let the city show off.

“PirateFest brings about 30,000 people to the Uptown district and it’s a great time for Uptown to show off the half a billion dollars of investment happening in the Uptown district right now,” says Meredith Hawke, events branding director for Uptown Greenville.

Greenville Area Transit is offering free rides to those looking to head to Uptown for the event.

The GREAT system will travel along its normal routes but will waive the $1 fee.

Greenville transportation officials say with the added traffic and parking restrictions, they are offering a great solution and hope their free-ride day will have long term benefits for the system.

Greenville Transit manager Lamont Jackson said his goal is to “limit congestion in the city but also to increase our ridership…so they can have a ride to and from work and not have to worry about congestion or traffic and can get to work with a few less stresses.”

Jackson said with more than 30,000 people expected at PirateFest over the weekend, they hope to lessen the traffic burden.

The event run Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and then starts up Saturday at 10 p.m. The full schedule is below:

Major Musical Acts:
Friday, April 7th, 5-8pm
Purple Masquerade: A Prince Tribute Band
On the Rose’s lot on the corner of 4th and Evans Street!

SATURDAY INTERNATIONAL PORTS OF CALL STAGE (Town Common)
10:00-11:00: “Play for Peace”, musical act presented by East Carolina University
3:00-5:00pm: Rebekah Todd and Odyssey
5:00-7:00pm: Rusted Root

CARNIVAL RIDES (Five Points Plaza)
Friday: 5pm-9pm
Saturday: 10am-7pm


SATURDAY Pirate Encampment (Town Common)
10:00am: Festival Opening, ECU Marching Pirates, “Play for Peace”
11:00am Black Powder Demonstration
11:30am Shadow Players Pirate Show
12:00pm Sword Conservatory
12:00pm Little Pirate School: Encampment Stage
12:30pm Black Powder Demonstration
1:00pm Motley Tones: Encampment Stage
1:30pm Shadow Players Pirate Show
1:30pm Little Pirate School: Encampment Stage
2:00pm Black Powder Demonstration
2:30pm Sword Conservatory
3:00pm Shadow Players Pirate Show

*Rules and Regulations pertaining to weapons in the Pirate Costume Contest:
Only contracted crews are allowed to wield functional black powder weapons and edged weapons.
Weapons MUST BE SHEATHED or HOLSTERED all times. This includes firearms, swords, daggers and all edged weapons.
No ‘NAKED BLADES’ will be allowed on town property.
Only contracted crews are allowed to draw weapons for demonstration purposes.
Black powder weapons will only be fired in the safety zone by contracted crews after a safety inspection.
Violators will be asked to leave the premises or stow their weapons in a safe location.

SATURDAY MAIN STAGE (4th & Evans)
10:40am: Motley Tones
11:00am: Suavemente
11:15am: Indian Association
11:45am: NC Academy of Dance Arts
12:10pm: Turkish Music Chorus
12:40pm: Blue Voyage Turkish Pop Music
1:30pm: Psylo Joe
5:15pm: Skullduggery

SATURDAY INTERNATIONAL PORTS OF CALL STAGE (Town Common)
HEADLINER: RUSTED ROOT, 5:00-7:00pm
Opener: Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey

SATURDAY BMX STUNT SHOWS
11:00am, 1:00pm, & 3:00pm

SATURDAY MERMAID SHOWS
11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm

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