Six months before he was killed at Ocracoke Inlet, and not long after brazenly blockading the town of Charleston for almost a week, the infamous pirate Blackbeard lost his flagship Queen Anne's Revenge—an English ship captured first by the French and then by the pirates—in the Beaufort Inlet. Almost 300 years later, artifacts from his ship are on display at the North Carolina Museum of History.
Saturday's Celebrate NC History Festival marks the opening of the second installment of the ambitious and impressive permanent exhibition The Story of North Carolina. Part One opened in April; the new Part Two continues the story of the state and the incredible changes it underwent from the antebellum era—when Raleigh had barely 5,000 residents—through the civil rights movement, which included the famous 1960 sit-in at the Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter and the 1957 sit-in at Durham's Royal Ice Cream Company. There are life-size re-creations, such as an American Indian dwelling, an early 20th-century textile mill weaving room and a replica of the 1903 Wright flyer. Audience members can also participate through interactive maps and hands-on activities such as "milking" a replica of a cow and carrying buckets of water in a simulation of archaic farmhouse chores.
Saturday's free festival features music from the Red Clay Ramblers and others, storytellers, dance groups, antique vehicles (including a 1929 Cheerwine truck that will distribute free Cheerwine samples) and more. —Meg Stein