Carteret County - Strong storms are in the forecast for Saturday and part of Sunday. This could bring heavy downpours and lightning across three festivals this weekend. The Pirate Invasion down in Beaufort kicked off Friday. Participants say rain wont stop them from having a good time. They say they are used to pop up showers.
"It has rained before, and it's one of the things you deal with on the coast," says Noilly Platt.
Noilly is a dock liaison in Beaufort during the invasion. She says rain rarely keeps people away.
"There is a lot of things to do inside, there's shops here there's restaurants here there's lots of things to do so if it rains and you can't be in the parade or on the boardwalk, there's lots to do in Beaufort," says Platt.
Katie Clay and Devon Geeney say they love the Pirate Festival. They've been finding ways to cope with the rain.
"It was raining very hard so we saw everyone in the general store with ponchos and umbrella so we decided to get some and then when we came out it stopped raining completely," says Clay.
But Clay says they won't mess around if the storms get strong. When asked if they would go inside at the first flash of lightning, Clay quickly responds "Yes! Just for safety for sure!"
Lightning shouldn't be taken lightly. On Sunday, August 5th ten people were struck at a NASCAR event in Pennsylvania. If you can hear thunder, you are in danger of being struck by lightning. Lightning can strike up to ten miles away from its parent storm. The difficulty with festivals is the noise. Often, festivities make it difficult to hear approaching thunder, or see an incoming storm.
Crew members of the Schooner WOLF sailed in today for the Pirate Invasion.
"We specialize in festivals we have a passenger ship so we can take up to 40 people sailing," says crew member Julie McEnroe.
McEnroe says they always keep a close eye on the weather, especially with passengers on board.
"We don't take our passengers out in bad weather, we want to keep it that way," says McEnroe.
Overall, awareness is the key to staying safe and having fun this weekend. The Shrimp Fest in the town of Plymouth and the Dragon Boat Race in Oriental will also be held this weekend.
All three events will see scattered showers, but festival goers should have no problems if they stay alert to changes in the weather.