Autumn view of Silver Lake. Photo: C. Leinbach
Autumn view of Silver Lake. Photo: C. Leinbach

Updated Oct. 27, 2016

For Ocracoke news, click here.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew’s visit to Ocracoke which brought the worst flooding on the island in recent memory, the organizers of the Blackbeard Pirate Jamboree scheduled for the weekend of October decided to cancel the event.

The decision to cancel this years jamboree was a very difficult one, said Daphne Bennink, committee chair.  

“The  boards unanimous decision was based on several factors,” she said.  “Hurricane Matthew cost the board a critical period of planning time which could not be recovered. Concerns regarding the flooding river basins in our surrounding area and those potential impacts on our visitor demographics factored in.

“There is an important cost involved in hosting this event. We did not feel it was in the best interest of the event to move forward with so many handicaps involved. We have dealt with similar adversity before and have come back strong. Our focus now is on a stronger event for October 2017.”

This decision was made when islanders were in the process of assessing the damage, which was substantial and visible in the amount of debris, both household goods and vegetation that can be seen on the sides of the roads throughout the village.

Yet, the resilience of the community has kicked in and islanders are encouraging visitors to venture to Ocracoke in October and November, which typically are two mild fall months.

Laurie and Sean Death, owners of the Ocracoke Bar & Grille, have hired the popular Motley Tones pirate singing group Friday and Saturday nights.

Since this is the weekend of Halloween–a popular holiday on Ocracoke–several other events will go on.

Friday, Oct. 28:

  • Freakin’ Firkin Keg Tapping (old-fashioned beer barrel) at 3 p.m. at Zillie’s Island Pantry.
  • Ocracoke School Carnival in the gym starting at 3:30 p.m. with a costume parade for kids followed by carnival games, bouncy houses, food, “cake walk,” a movie in the school Commons Room for kids; “Quiz-O” for adults.  Lasts until about 9 p.m.
  • A “spook walk” in the front yard of the Magic Bean Coffee Bazaar, School Road.
  • The Motley Tones, 7 to 10 p.m. in the Ocracoke Bar & Grille

Saturday, Oct. 29:

  • Some local artist vendors on the Books to Be Red lawn
  • The drawing the raffle winner for a custom-designed golf cart (for the benefit of Ocracoke Youth Center) will be held at 3 p.m. at SmacNally’s.
  • Several activities in Community Square from 4 to 6 p.m.:
    Trick-or-treating at the shops in the Square

    Rum Gagger: stories and songs with Fiddler Dave and Capt. Robb on the dock of the Wilma Lee.
    Chicken dinner and bake sale by the Ocracoke School fourth and fifth-grade classes to raise money for their school trip
  • The Motley Tones, 7 to 10 p.m. in the Ocracoke Bar & Grille
  • Gaffer’s Sports Pub will host their annual Halloween party with live music and a costume contest with a “Famous Horror Movie Monster” theme, and 80s cover band Raygun Ruby will play at the Howard’s Pub for their costume party. Both Halloween celebrations are on Saturday night where revelers walk back and forth to check out each other’s costumes at each venue. Pirates and wenches are welcome.

For details on all of Ocracoke Island events, visit

October is one of the most pleasant months of the year on the island. Ten days out, no bad weather is forecast. Most of the restaurants and stores will be open for business.

Patty Plyer, manager of the Ocracoke Fish House, said there is plenty of fresh local fish available, thanks in part to a decision by Superior Court Judge John Jolly Jr., who issued an order preventing the Division of Marine Fisheries from instituting the Oct. 16 closure for southern flounder.

The Pirate Jamboree has had its challenges and wags are scoring it as a tied event: Hurricanes 3, Pirates 3. The first two attempts were canceled due to the arrivals of hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012).

After three successful events (2013, 2014 and 2015), the one in 2014 did have a nasty Saturday night with winds up to 50 mph but occurred after the activities, it seemed the event gained audience each year.

This year, Hurricane Matthew began brewing in the Caribbean in late September and grew stronger.

Then the commercial fishermen didn’t like the looks of a tropical storm forming in the southern Caribbean and pulled their pound nets. Their ominous concerns proved to be correct well before it developed into a devastating and, at one time, a Category 5 hurricane.

Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree is an annual event, held the last weekend in October.

Next year’s Jamboree will be Oct. 27 to 29. The 2018 event Oct. 26 to 28 will commemorate the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s demise.

Previous articleHelp available for Hyde residents affected by Hurricane Matthew
Next articleOCBA candidates night tonight