PirateFest brings costumed swashbucklers, Plain White T's to Greenville

Pirate re-enactor Steve Whetzel poses with a young pirate at Greenville's 2017 PirateFest. (Photo by 252Buzz)

Buccaneers of all ages will converge on the banks of the Tar River in Greenville for the 12th annual PirateFest April 13-14.

The spring festival celebrating the area's swashbuckling history begins Friday, April 13 with carnival rides and free live music.

On Saturday, April 14, the celebration continues along Evans Street from Fifth to First streets and on the Town Common in the Uptown district.

Costumed pirates provide living history demonstrations and mingle with festival-goers.

Events include a Parade of Pirates and pirate costume contest, fine arts and crafts for sale, food vendors, BMX bike stunt shows, an inflatable pirate ship for children, a fossil dig and free kayak rides on the Tar River.

The festival ends with a free concert by American rock band Plain White T's, whose hits include "Hey There Delilah" and "Rhythm of Love."

Organized by Uptown Greenville, Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge and The City of Greenville, PirateFest showcases the best of the region, from art to food to recreational activities.

PirateFest 2018 schedule

Friday, April 13

5 p.m.: Pirates arrive

5-8 p.m.: Free Buccaneer Bash concert with Crucial Fiya, corner of Fourth and Evans Street

5-8 p.m.; Wristband Night at the Carnival at Five Points Plaza (Pre-sale wristbands are $15 online; wristband pickup is at 5 p.m. April 15 at Emerge, 404 Evans St. You must present proof of purchase. Wristbands are ONLY valid April 13. No refunds, this is a rain or shine event.)

Saturday, April 14

10 a.m.: Festival opens

10 a.m.-8 p.m.: Carnival rides at Five Points Plaza

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Pirate Encampment (Town Common)

Pirate Acts:

11 a.m.: Black Powder demonstration

11:30 a.m.: Shadow Players Pirate Show

11:40 a.m.: Motley Tones: Main Stage

Noon: Sword Conservatory

Noon: Living History

12:30 p.m.: Black Powder Demonstration

1:30 p.m.: Shadow Players Pirate Show

1:30 p.m.: Living History

2 p.m.: Black Powder Demonstration

2:30 p.m.: Sword Conservatory

3 p.m.: Shadow Players Pirate Show

Main Stage (Fourth and Evans streets)

10 a.m.: Pirate Parade and Costume Contest

10:30 a.m.: Motley Tones

11:10 a.m.: Belvoir Eagles Dance Club

11:25 a.m.: NC Academy of Dance Arts

11:40 a.m.: Motley Tones

12:15 p.m.: Christie Hill

12:45 p.m.: Turkish Music Chorus

1:20 p.m.: Band of Jo’s

2 p.m.: Caroline Dare

3:45 p.m.: Mother Notes

5:45 p.m.: Zen Pirates

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: BMX Stunt Shows

International Ports of Call Concert Stage (Town Common)

3:30-5 p.m.: Signal Fire

5-7 p.m.: Plain White T's

Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, is a former staff writer for The Daily Reflector, where she was editor of Her... magazine and Greenville: Life in the East and several other niche publications. Email her at