OBX and Elizabeth City July 4th Celebrations
No holiday quite encompasses the feeling of summer fun like Independence Day! Whether you are a local homeowner or you’re just visiting, there are dozens of ways to celebrate this July 4th here in the Outer Banks and Elizabeth City area. From grand fireworks shows and live music to seafood feasts and backyard barbecues, there is a celebration style for everyone! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Watch the Fireworks
Whether you are on the Outer Banks or in Elizabeth City you might want to check out a local firework display over the water! Just imagine sitting back in an Adirondack chair from your oceanview deck or lounging out on the beach as the waves crash the sand and an incredible display of flashing lights blast in the sky. Although most large personal firework displays are illegal across Eastern NC, there are several public displays you can check out:
Elizabeth City Independence Day Fireworks: Beginning at 9:00 PM on Friday, July 1st (200 South Water St. Elizabeth City, NC 27909). Following the First Friday ArtWalk celebration, enjoy a dazzling firework display from the Waterfront Park! Fireworks can be seen along the water or from the Museum of the Albemarle’s front green.
Historic Corolla Park Fireworks: Beginning at dusk on Monday, July 4th (1100 Hunt Club Dr. Corolla, NC 27927). Following the town’s Independence Day Celebration, view the largest firework show in Currituck County! This event is free and open to the public, but parking is expected to fill up quickly.
Kill Devil Hills Fireworks: Beginning at 9:15 PM on Monday, July 4th (2111 N Virginia Dare Trl. Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948). Located around milepost 7, visitors should secure a spot on the nearby beaches to view this firework show that will be set off Avalon Pier. Try to secure a spot early because parking along the nearby beach accesses fill up fast.
Nags Head Fireworks: Beginning 9:25 PM and running until around 10:00 PM on Monday, July 4th (3335 S Virginia Dare Trl. Nags Head, NC 27959). Located around milepost 11.5, the Nags Head Pier will host its annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular! Come out for a huge firework display for Nags Head residents and visitors alike. Pick a spot on the beach and prepare for an evening of fireworks and fun!
Town of Manteo Fireworks: Beginning at 9:30 PM/dusk on Monday, July 4th (1 Festival Park Manteo, NC 27954). Following the town’s Independence Day concert, the town will host an awesome fireworks display over the Roanoke Sound at Manteo waterfront.
Avon Fishing Pier Fireworks: Beginning at 9:00 PM on Monday, July 4th (41001 Hwy 12 Avon, NC 27915). Head out to the beach or camp out on your oceanside home’s tallest deck for spectacular fireworks launched off the Avon Pier by PYROTECNICO. Parking at the pier is limited so, if possible, come early or plan to walk or bike to the beach. There is also a public beach access located on the North and South ends of Avon if you don’t mind being a mile or so from the action. The local radio station, Hatteras 101.5 FM, will also provide pre-show highlights and a short history lesson before the show!
Ocracoke Island Independence Day Fireworks: Beginning at 9:15 PM on Saturday, July 2nd ( ). Following a live music celebration, head down to the NPS docks at the ferry terminal for an astounding firework show! The parking lot will be closed for the show, so biking or walking is highly preferred. The fireworks should be visible from your decks and along Silver Lake Harbor.
Check Out a Local Event
Since most of us get a long 3-day weekend, this is the perfect weekend for celebrating! Although fireworks are great, you may be looking for daytime events that are a little quieter, especially for young children and your furkids. If you plan on skipping the fireworks but still want to celebrate, consider stopping by one of these fun Elizabeth City and Outer Banks Independence Day events!
Elizabeth City Independence Day Celebration: Beginning at 4:00 PM on Friday, July 1st (200 South Water St. Elizabeth City, NC 27909). Come out to Elizabeth City’s monthly art celebration for local artwork, artist demos, live music, dinner and drinks at a local restaurant or food truck, face painting, magicians, and tons more! This event is free and open to the public and will be fun for the whole family concluding with fireworks over the waterfront!
Historic Corolla Park Independence Day Celebration: Beginning at 5:00 PM and concluding with the fireworks show on Monday, July 4th (1100 Hunt Club Dr. Corolla, NC 27927). Stop by the Historic Corolla Park for live music by The Black and Blue Experience Band and family-friendly activities! Parking is free and open to the public beginning at 3:00 PM. There will be several vendors on site for food purchases including Mr. Joes Fun Food, Fork’et Me Not, On the Spot Creamery, and the OBX Popcorn Shoppe. Dogs are welcome on leashes!
Town of Duck 4th of July Parade: Beginning at 9:00 AM on Monday July 4th (1200 Duck Rd. Duck, NC 27949). Nothing shouts “holiday” like a good parade! Come out to the Town of Duck for its annual one-mile 4th of July Parade that begins on Scarborough Lane and ends on Pamela Court (winding through Duck’s back roads). At the conclusion of the parade, a community celebration will follow with live music and refreshments! Plus, parade participant awards will be announced at the event! Duck Road will remain clear for traffic flow.
Kill Devil Hills Freedom 5K: Beginning at 7:30 am to 9:30 AM on Monday, July 4th (102 Town Hall Dr. Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948). Come out for a 5K / 1 Mile & Little Kids Fun Run. Registration closes at 7:20 AM on the 4th if there are any spaces remaining.
Manteo Independence Day Concert: Beginning at 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Monday, July 4th (1 Festival Park Manteo, NC 27954) at the Roanoke Island Festival Park. What better way to celebrate the holiday than with live music by 80s cover band, The Deloreans, and the 82nd Airborne Division Band & Chorus!? This event is free & open to the public.
Ocracoke Island Independence Day Celebration: Beginning at 6PM on Saturday, July 2nd and running through Monday, July 4th (various locations). If you’re on Ocracoke Island for the weekend, you’ll love all of the 4th of July activities! Beginning Saturday, enjoy live patriotic music before an awesome firework display at the NPS docks! You can also enjoy an island-wide scavenger hunt and square dance on Sunday followed by a sand sculpture contest, parade, storytelling and community beach fire on Monday!
Enjoy Great Food
While some people love the sparklers and the parties, other people prefer the abundance of delicious treats that accompany a summer holiday! This 4th of July, consider celebrating with some delicious food!
Grab Lunch at a Local Restaurant: If the whole family is off work and together for once, you probably don't want to miss out on family time by working in the kitchen. Instead, consider letting the professionals do the cooking by supporting a local restaurant! From local seafood to delicious international fare, you are certain to find a restaurant that will satisfy everyone's palette. Just remember that Eastern NC has seen a record number of visitors lately so be sure to make a reservation if possible or avoid busy mealtimes if you don't want to wait in long lines. Patience, friendliness, and a nice tip will also be greatly appreciated by all of those staff members who will be working hard to serve you!
Plan a Backyard Barbecue: Whether you live nearby or you're just here on vacation, hosting a backyard barbecue is the perfect way to gather with friends, family and neighbors! Be sure to grab some typical American-fare favorites like hot dogs, burgers, watermelon, and other fresh garden veggies! For something a little more fancy, consider marinating some chicken in your favorite sauce or grilling your favorite cut of steak. This is a great opportunity to have fun with your menu! Consider hor d'oeuvres you can put in patriotic containers or maybe gather a display of red, white, and blue fruits in the shape of a flag. No matter what you plan to serve, be sure to hit up the grocery stores early to make sure you get your first pick at the items you need to complete your menu. Be sure to have cold drinks available for all of your guests (the weather can feel like a scorcher with the local humidity) and don't forget the decorations!
Why Red, White & Blue?
Have you ever wondered why Red, White, and Blue were the official symbols of Independence Day and the American Flag? Although the look has changed over the last few centuries, the modern American Flag features 13 horizontal stripes (representing the original 13 colonies that had been established by July 1776) and 50 stars (representing each of our 50 states). The colors for the flag were very specifically chosen with each color representing a certain traditional value. Red represents hardiness and valor, white represents purity and innocent and finally, blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
Happy Independence Day!!