Singing pirate with guitar, cape cod pirate festival
Photo courtesy of Cape Cod Pirate Festival

Ahoy mates! One o’ me favorite events o’ the year be right around the corner—the Cape Cod Pirate Festival! It will be held on June 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Joshua Sears Memorial Field in South Yarmouth. Gather yer family an’ ‘ave a wonderful voyage!

Cape Cod Pirate Festival Guide

2024 is the fourth year the Festival will be held. My family has attended since year 1!

4 year old girl in a pirate hat holding the wheel of a playground sized pirate ship, cape cod pirate festival
4-year-old Elise enjoying Cape Cod Pirate Fest 2021

The layout includes four stages of entertainment, food and beverage tents and trucks, “pirates market” vendors, games (like axe throwing), Kids Cove, abundant photo opportunities, costumed staff and attendees, black powder and cannon demonstrations, and so much more.

The festival takes over the whole outdoor area, so there is space to wander between activities. You can hear the performer you’re watching even if there’s another performance at the same time on the other side of the festival grounds.

How long you stay is up to family attention spans, but I would suggest planning to stay for at least two hours if possible.

Suggestions for attending

  • Buy tickets online before you head over.
  • Bring cash—not all vendors accept credit cards.
  • It’s fun for the whole family, so enjoy dressing up and going with it!
  • Yes, you can bring in food for your child who only eats one thing, but don’t bring a whole picnic.
  • Remember sun protection.
  • Enjoy the entertainment. There is a lot to choose from with aerialists, singers, and sword “fighting.”
  • There’s beer and wine available, along with non-alcoholic beverages and food. Since the festival takes up the entire field, you can purchase a beverage and roam the festival site at your leisure.
  • Always wanted to try your hand at axe throwing? Go for it in the games area.
Female aerialist in hoop dressed as a pirate, cape cod pirate festival
Baechtold and Abel photo courtesy of Cape Cod Pirate Festival

New for 2024

  • New location at Joshua Sears Memorial Field (where the Yarmouth Seaside Festival is held)
  • Food vendors include:
    • Veterans Lunch Box—BBQ Smashburgers, loaded fries, chicken tenders, garden salads, walking tacos, strawberry shortcake, and more
    • Pinku Mochi Donut
    • Bubble Bee Milk Tea
    • Cookie Confections
    • Old Tom’s Tavern—beer, wine, and cocktails
  • Kids Cove! Presented by the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. Puppet shows, comedic cutlass-wielders, and build your own spyglass.
  • STEM-inspired challenges. These include the Raingutter Regatta: picture it—a narrow channel, miniature ships, and wind in their sails. Young sailors’ll blow into their straws, racin’ their vessels to glory. May Neptune favor the swiftest! Also, Morse Code and Signal Flag puzzles: learn all about communication on the high seas! Decode signal flag messages, and make your own Morse Code friendship bracelet.
  • X Marks the Spot: As one of the stops on the X Treasure Hunt, you can try your hand here at code breakin’ and code makin.’ Follow the trail, decipher the riddles, and ye might just find a chest of doubloons or a map to buried secrets.
  • Cape Cod Pirate Festival participates in the Card to Culture program, a collaboration between Mass Cultural Council and the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, and the Massachusetts Health Connector, by offering $10 adult admission tickets to the Festival. Accompanying children will be allowed in free. (Proof of program participation is required.)
female child dressed as a pirate with face paint on - smiling while in a replica pirate jail and holding on to the bars
Photo courtesy of Cape Cod Pirate Festival

Why attend?

My family enjoys the fact that the Festival offers fun for all ages—grandparents and toddlers will all have a great time. It’s a family-friendly event, so you don’t have to worry that it could be too intense. And you’ll be in merry company, having a wonderful day and keeping the spirit of Cape Cod’s pirate heritage alive.

Female in her 30s dressed as a pirate with red bandana, hoop earrings, and red nautical shirt
This is what I wore to Cape Cod Pirate Festival in 2021.

End with a laugh

Here’s my favorite local pirate joke, but I warn you it’s “dad joke” of eye roll-inducing quality!
What does a Bostonian pirate say? Ahhhhh
(Because we drop our “r”s.)

Hope to see your family at the Cape Cod Pirate Festival!

Danielle Kempe
Danielle is a lifelong MA resident - and proud of her “wicked strong” accent. She grew up on the North Shore but now lives on the South Shore, splitting her time between Upper Cape Cod & Marshfield. Danielle has 2 children - Elise and Ethan. Elise was born in 2017 and as of 2023 she’s 5 years old. She is also Autistic. Ethan is a new baby born April of 2023. Her family of 4 (husband, David) loves visiting Mass Audubon sites across MA and is always up for a fun adventure. Danielle is neurodivergent and works as a nonprofit fundraising professional. You can find her shuttling her kids between activities, being silly, lost in a good book - and sneaking in writing when she gets a chance.

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