Pirates Storm the Riverfront!

Despite the high heat and threat of walking the plank, thousands gathered on the banks of the Christiana River on Saturday to celebrate Wilmington’s swashbuckling waterfront history at the fifth annual Pirate Festival.

Hosted by the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, the Pirate Festival is a free, family-friendly event with plenty of pirate-themed activities for children to enjoy as the organization preserves and promotes Delaware’s maritime heritage. 

In a sea of pirate-dressed volunteers, kids sprang from station to station, building craft boats, learning to reel sails, designing swords, listening to live music, playing games, and even touring the recreation of the three-masted merchant vessel.


Inside the Copeland Maritime Center, families learned a bit of history of the Riverfront and Delaware’s famous pioneering Tall Ship.  Today’s Kalmar Nyckel was the last ship launched in Wilmington, a city that launched more than 10,000 tall ships.

Buccaneers over 21 enjoyed cold beer, provided by Twin Lakes Brewery. As a fun addition, Twin Lakes offered their own craft Root Beer for the younger patrons. In the midst of cannon-firing, tool-making and colonial cooking demonstrations, families enjoyed food and drinks from other locally based vendors.

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About the Contributor

Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller

Ashley Miller is a rising junior in the University of Vermont Honors College. She is the senior sports editor of her school newspaper, a journalist at The Hinesburg Record (Burlington, VT), and a writer for the National Hemp Association.