The Big Field
Programs + Events

City of Oaks Pirate Fest

City of Oaks Pirate Fest logo

Ahoy, mateys! Come aboard for the City of Oaks Pirate Fest!

Learn about the history of pirates in North Carolina at the City of Oaks Pirate Fest. New for 2019, the City of Oaks Pirate Fest is commandeering Dorothea Dix Park for even more swashbuckling fun.

Salty sea dogs and young scalawags alike will:

  • Meet Captain Blackbeard
  • Engage in Sword Fights
  • Sing Sea Chanties
  • Explore a Pirate Ship
  • Play Swashbuckling Games
  • Feast  & Drink at Mobile Taverns
  • Participate in a Costume Contest*
  • Experience Cannon Fire
  • Enjoy Pirate Crafts, Listen to a Notorious Pirate Band ...and More!

City of Oaks Pirate Fest is presented by Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, the North Carolina Museum of History and the City of Raleigh.


This event is FREE. Tickets are not required for entry. Registering helps us gauge the amount of visitors that will be at the festival. 


Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

NOISE ADVISORY: During the event there will be several loud booms as we fire cannons. The cannon fire will happen at approximately 10:00 am, 2:30 pm, and 5:15 pm.

More Pirate Fun
Following a day of swords, ships and sailors at City of Oaks Pirate Fest on Saturday, September 14, enjoy an evening under the stars with a free outdoor Movie at Dix Park: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl starting at 6:30 pm.


Location: The Big Field at Dix Park, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603

Large Scale Event Entrance and Parking map

Know Before You Go

If we need to postpone, cancel or relocate the event due to inclement weather, we will communicate through Eventbrite (Please RSVP) and post on Facebook.

The event area is in the Big Field at Dorothea Dix Park. The address of the field is roughly 101 Blair Drive.

Please use the following two entrances to access on-site event parking: 

  • Hunt Drive off Western Boulevard
  • Blair Drive off Centennial Parkway

Walking will be necessary in and around the event area. Please note, portions of the event have uneven surfaces. Closed-toe shoes are recommended. 

Parking + Ride Share
On-site parking lots that are more than a ¼ mile from the event area will have a shuttle option.

For those arriving with persons with limited mobility and require accessibility drop-off, enter at Goode Street off Lake Wheeler Road. Follow signage and event staff to drop-off location. 

Due to the high volume of people and limited parking, please carpool if possible.

Use 101 Blair Drive address for ride share drop-off + pick-up. Follow signs and event staff to location.

Food + Water + Restrooms
While we encourage you to enjoy the food and beverage vendors, you may also bring in your own food and non-alcoholic drinks.

You are encouraged to bring water bottles. Refill stations will be available. 

Port-a-johns will be the only restrooms available. ADA accessible facilities will be included.

Dogs + Pets
No pets will be allowed in the event area.

Please note, no weapons are allowed as part of the costume/garb of event attendees at Dorothea Dix Park. City of Raleigh code prohibits the open carry of firearms or possession of other weapons on park property. Official event vendors and performers have permits to carry and demonstrate weapons at City of Oaks Pirate Fest.


Dorothea Dix Park continues to work to be accessible and welcoming for visitors with disabilities and limited mobility. Accessible Parking with reserved spaces are available in all lots on campus. Handicap accessible port-a-johns are located at the Big Field and Flowers Field. Portions of Dorothea Dix Park, including some areas where programs and events occur, have uneven surfaces are not ADA accessible at this time.

Planning a visit to Dix Park and have questions about accessibility? Contact Joseph Voska, Programs and Operations Supervisor, at 919-996-6688 or