Fourth of July activities abound this weekend with parades, concerts, family festivals and, of course, fireworks. It’s all the red, white and blue you can handle, from downtown to Wake Forest and beyond. Whether you’re a history buff looking for a quiet weekend or ready to party, there’s something for everyone. Here are our picks:
Downtown Raleigh: You’ll want to arrive early to take in everything the city has on offer at The ‘Works, its annual celebration on and around Fayetteville Street. Admission is free, and the gates open at noon on Friday.
Check out 20 bands on three stages, an art sale, food vendors, a beer garden and children’s activities. Contests for hot-dog chowing, watermelon seed spitting and ice cream eating round out the listings. Bands will play beginning around noon on two Fayetteville Street stages. The gates open at Red Hat Ampitheater at 5 p.m.
If you’re attending just to catch the fireworks, officials recommend you arrive by 8 p.m. for the 9:30 p.m. show.
Officials also are warning that the parking decks closest to Fayetteville Street are likely to be packed by late afternoon, so latecomers should check for parking north and east of the city center. $5 to park all day, pay at entry. For more details, raleighnc.gov.
The State Capitol : Enjoy an afternoon of food, music, children’s activities, including a parade, and historical and military displays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.
An outdoor naturalization ceremony for new citizens will take place at noon on the Capitol steps, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Take a tour of Raleigh’s historic landmarks on a narrated trolley ride that departs from the grounds.
Admission is free. For more details, nchistoricsites.org/capitol/.
Wake Forest: This northern Wake County town is serious about is Fourth festivities. A two-day celebration begins Thursday with a night of picnics and fireworks at Wake Forest High School, 420 W. Stadium Dr.
The gates open at 5:30 p.m., and The Band of Oz starts playing at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5, children 6 and under are free.
Keep the fun going on Friday with the children’s parade and arts and games in the park. Kids can hop on their bikes or settle into a wagon as they make their way from the intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue to Holding Park, 133 W. Owen Ave. An afternoon of games – from sack races to a pie-eating contest – and arts and crafts follows. The day’s activities are free and no registration is required.
More: Celebrate an old-fashioned Independence Day at the Joel Lane House, 160 South St. Mary’s Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Costumed docents will answer questions and re-enactors will demonstrate aspects of colonial life. Brier Creek has a fireworks display planned for Friday night at dark. The show will be visible from the parking lots of both Brier Creek Commons and Brierdale Shopping Center, on Brier Creek Parkway, west of Glenwood Avenue.