Pirate culture runs deep in Greenville-Pitt County! Eastern NC’s Inner and Outer Banks and secluded waterways were once a haven for pirates during the early 1700s during the Golden Age of piracy. The infamous pirate Blackbeard had a house and lived just down the Tar-Pamlico River in Bath.
Explore the history and science behind Blackbeard and the treasures of his flagship at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Laboratory at East Carolina University's West Research Campus. The Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered in Beaufort Inlet where it was purposefully careened by Blackbeard to avoid capture by the royal government and is currently being excavated there and being transported to Greenville for preservation and archiving before various artifacts are put on display at various museums and exhibits. You can reserve a spot on their monthly tours the first Tuesday of the month!
This buccaneer backstory is the reason why East Carolina University’s mascot is Pee Dee the Pirate and Greenville is the heart of Pirate Nation! As you navigate around the area you will find Royal Purple and Old Gold colors, pirate flags, skull and crossbones, and a hearty crew of Pirate fans wherever you look. ECU Pirate Football fans converge at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturdays in the fall for legendary tailgates (we’ve never lost one) and to cheer on our team and will throw up their crossed arms to symbolize the skull and crossbones flag and cry ‘NO QUARTER” in the third quarter of the game to signify that true Pirates never surrender and will keep fighting to the end.
Pirate Nation loves to party! The whole crew comes together on Friday nights before every ECU Pirate Football game for Freeboot Friday at Five Points Plaza, a community nighttime pep rally featuring live music, food trucks, craft beer and wine vendors, kids games and activities, and appearances by ECU officials, coaches, teams, dancers, and cheerleaders throughout the season!
Pirate Fest is Greenville’s signature festival! Held the second weekend in April each year on the banks of the Tar River in Uptown Greenville, this two-day event draws over 35,000 people to parlay and partake of lots of grub and grog, groove to live music concerts on the Town Common, shop the wares of hundreds of arts & crafts vendors, meet mermaids, sing sea chanteys with roaming pirate bands, and more!
We are a friendly crew here in Pirate Nation and always welcome more hands on deck!