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HAMPTON - Put on your eye patch and use your best swashbuckling accent this weekend for the 13th annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival in downtown Hampton.

It starts Friday night with the Blackbeard Ball. Hours are 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 and noon-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.

Officials expect 50,000 people, as well as Blackbeard and his crew and 100 authentically-costumed pirate re-enactors as they fill the streets of America's oldest continuous English-speaking settlement.

Activities include a swarm of extemporized street skirmishes between pirates and militia (costumed interpreters), a replica of Blackbeard's pirate camp, the trial and escape of William Howard - one of Blackbeard's fellow pirates with ties to Hampton, an epic sea battle, the Pride of Baltimore II tall ship, fireworks, and more!

Some streets will be closed during the festival -- Queensway from Mill Point Park to King Street closed at daybreak Friday; Eaton Street from Queensway to Mill Point Drive will close at 5:00 a.m. Saturday. Both streets will reopen Sunday, June 3 at 9 p.m.

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