The Beaufort Pirate Invasion, Inc. is an event that has been happening in Carteret County for many years. It has always drawn a lot of interest to the seafaring ways of pirates, sailing ships, and the mystic of treasures left behind in our waters. 

Being a coastal community with a reputation of pirate activity since the early 1700’s, and the recent discovery of Blackbeard’s ship “The Queen Anne’s Revenge”, it seems only natural and fitting that it is the place to tell the story of an actual invasion that occurred here in 1747.

On June 14, 1747, Spanish privateers (privately owned warships with a government sponsored license to attack enemy shipping) from St. Augustine entered Beaufort harbor and successfully made off with several small ships. At the time, In spite of a militia of 13 men who were posted in town to protect the area.

Appearing to be an easy prey the Spanish privateer’s decided to return two months later on August 26th, with the intention of taking the town. Major Enoch Ward and fifty-eight militiamen responded but were driven from the town. The citizens fled leaving behind everything for the privateers to pillage.

Three days later Colonel Thomas Lovick and Major Ward had scoured the country side and collected more men to march with them into a  counterattack ultimately driving the Spanish out. It is said that without the help of close to 100 farmers and locals, the militia may not have prevailed.

Local folklore suggests that several Spaniards died and were buried in the Old Burying Grounds, also known as Queen Anne's Cemetry.

The rest of the story unfolds on the waterfront of Beaufort during the annual re-enactment of this very invasion. The Beaufort Pirate Invasion is centered around a pirate encampment located on the Beaufort Historical Grounds and the Invasion by the sea. Each year,  over 150 pirate re-enactors dress in historical costumes from the 17th and early 18th centuries and roam throughout town creating a piratical presence. The Beaufort Pirate Invasion is an annual event created to highlight this unique historical event.

Commemorative Poster Prints
COLLECT THEM ALL: Limited Edition numbered 18x24 prints available at Beaufort Trading Company at 252-504-3209.

Pirate Artist Michael Noles, designer of the Blackbeard's Booty Rum labels & this years’ poster designer for The Beaufort Pirate Invasion, is a Ringling School of Art graduate located in Sarasota Fl. There he received his BA in fine art & then continued his schooling at the University of Gainesville where he received his MA.

Michael Noles has worked as a designer & consultant in the theme park industry for many decades, and as to date has held a Sr. Art director & designer consultant contract with Walt Disney World, Orlando for 34yrs. His partial client list includes Walt Disney-Florida-France, Universal Studio's, Orlando, Ringling Clown College-Japan, Six Flags over Georgia & Macy's- New York.

Michael's personal works of art have shown & sold around the world. Disney commissioned him to create a bronze Ring Master Mickey that was presented to King Renier of Monaco. His "High Sea's Collection" has hung at the Custom's House Museum, Key West, Fl. Historical Museum, Orlando, Fl. Mel Fisher Museum, Key West. & the Old Port Exchange, Portland, Maine.

For the last three years, Michael has had the privilege of being hosted by the Maritime Museum along with their wonderful staff in Beaufort. "It was my honor to be asked by Capt. Sinbad & the festival board to design this year’s poster Boarder's Away"! I don't always work in color, as those of you who have collected my personal prints over the years know, it was a great deal of fun to do. I will be showing & selling my "High Sea's collection during the festival inside the Maritime Museum again this year, I do hope you will drop by take a look & say Ahoy!




Come for dinner, enjoy the music and live auction at
A Night In Tortuga. 



2015 Featured Artist

Featured artist from Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Each year we seek talented artist who have a special interest in Beaufort and Maritme history.  This year Chris Kennedy contacted us with his interest in painting a pirate scene that brought both Beaufort and our pirate heritage to the forefront. He has been working for several months on this project and has now completed the 2015 Commemorative Painting. The painting will be unveiled and auctioned off to the hightest bidder over the reserve on April 18th, 2015 at The Night In Tortuga. Don't miss the opportunity to see this beautiful painting and get in on the bidding. Tickets for A Night In Tortuga can be purchased on line (see above).

Chris's Bio:

C.H. Kennedy grew up in the Union Chapel community, near Pembroke, NC. Chris realized his artistic ability at an early age, winning his first official art contest in Kindergarten. Throughout his school years, he won numerous local and State art competitions, including the prestigious Gold Key Scholastic award for the State of NC. Chris began painting around 1999 and subsequently, has had several one-man shows throughout NC and has been commissioned by the State of NC, UNC-Chapel Hill, and entities throughout NC. Kennedy has worked with multiple organizations where his original artwork has been auctioned off to raise money for various events and causes. He has sold artwork to individuals all over the country. Chris is married with two children and he currently resides in Fuquay-Varina, NC.

Chris became interested in the coast at an early age when he and his father would go fishing off the Coast of NC. He and his family vacationed several times a year along the coast. Once he had his own family, Kennedy and his wife visited Beaufort on their anniversary and fell in love with the town's beauty. "It's easy to see why anyone would have an attraction to the Beaufort area, the coast and wildlife appeals to the outdoors person, the historic homes and pirate lure attracts the history lovers, and there are several local restaurants that have some of the best food on the coast, the list goes on and on".

When asked how he picked the content for his painting, Chris replied: "I wanted to create an intimate setting that only the Captain, the First Mate, and Quartermaster were privy to... The moonlight in the background adds a sense of mysticism to the painting. I wanted the characters to look like pirates, but I didn't want that look to be too heavy-handed, that's why only one of the characters has a typical pirate hat. I feel like the small elements of the painting taken as a whole help illustrate the idea that these are pirates and they are plotting to invade the town of Beaufort. There are several intentionally subtle details about this piece that one might not immediately notice, but after looking at it for a few minutes, or viewing it a second or third time, these things might all of a sudden become apparent. Ultimately I wanted to portray the plotting of the Beaufort Invasion, it just seemed appropriate, considering the festival/celebration that this piece was created for and I think it turned out well."

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