If you want to celebrate July Fourth, area towns have you covered before, during and after the holiday.
Here’s a look at some of the celebrations going on around the Triangle.
Friday, July 3
▪ Garner’s annual celebration takes place at Lake Benson Park (921 Buffaloe Road) starting at 5 p.m. There’s a kids’ zone with inflatables, games and crafts, plus music from the band SoulPlay and from the N.C. Symphony. Fireworks follow the symphony performance. Picnics are welcome, but no alcoholic beverages, grills, glass containers or pets. Free. Info: garnernc.gov.
▪ Fuquay-Varina’s Independence Day celebration starts at 6 p.m. at South Park (900 S. Main St.). A concert by Spare Change is at 7 and fireworks begin at sundown. More at fuquay-varina.org.
▪ Morrisville’s free celebration with fireworks, food trucks, music and bounce houses is 6:30-10 p.m. at Morrisville Community Park fields (1520 Morrisville Parkway). Bring blankets, chairs and snacks, but no glass containers, coolers or alcohol allowed. More at nando.com/1fy.
▪ The Cary Town Band’s 28th annual Patriotic Celebration, “In Times of Peace,” is at 7:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center (101 Dry Ave.). Admission is free. Details at carytownband.org.
▪ Wake Forest starts its two-day celebration with fireworks at Wake Forest High School (420 W. Stadium Drive). There’s live music before fireworks. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and admission is $5 per person (children 6 and under admitted free).
Saturday, July 4
▪ The State Capitol celebration in downtown Raleigh (1 Edenton St.) takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for the fifth year, an outdoor naturalization ceremony for approximately 30 new citizens will take place at noon on the Capitol steps. The event offers a variety of musical performances, military displays, carriage rides and several hands-on and play activities for kids. Performances by the Raleigh Concert Band, the Star Catchers vocal ensemble and bluegrass favorite Ash Breeze. Food vendors will be located on the Capitol grounds. After the naturalization ceremony, the traditional “Salute to Independence” will feature a reading of “The Declaration of Independence,” followed by the placement of floral tributes to mark the 1775-1781 War for Independence and the successive wars. Also, a children’s parade from the square through Bicentennial Plaza will precede the annual ringing of the replica Liberty Bell by the Sons of the American Revolution at 2 p.m. More info at nchistoricsites.org/capitol or by calling 919-733-4994.
▪ Starting at noon, Raleigh’s giant downtown celebration – dubbed The Works – will blanket Fayetteville Street with live music, Cirque de Vol street performers, a King BMX Stunt Show, various eating contests, food and art vendors, a beer and wine tent, rides and games for the kids and much more. Fireworks, which start around 9:30 p.m., will light up over The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and also over Red Hat Amphitheater. And it’s all free. Check out the schedule and map at nando.com/1fb.
▪ An Independence Day Olde Time Celebration runs 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fred G. Bond Metro Park (801 High House Road) in Cary. There will be a fishing tournament, a parade, doughnut-eating contests, watermelon seed spitting, lakeside Olympics, a water balloon toss and sidewalk decorating. More on Cary celebrations at nando.com/1fz.
▪ There are two Independence Day parades to check out in Durham. The Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood parade, which starts at 10 a.m., has been a tradition since 1950. Decorated bikes, trikes, wagons, strollers and people on foot follow a route escorted by police motorcycles and a fire truck. It starts at Oakland Avenue and Club Boulevard and ends at Oval Park with a party featuring songs and lemonade. Over at Durham Central Park (501 Foster St.), decorate bikes, big wheels, wagons and strollers starting at 9:30 a.m. for a parade that begins at 10:30.
▪ Hillsborough will hold a celebration on the lawn of the Old Orange County Courthouse (S. Churton St.) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include a parade, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, food trucks and live music.
▪ Apex’s Olde Fashioned Fourth of July event starts at 9 a.m. in downtown Apex. Children 12 and younger can take part in Uncle Sam’s Parade of Wheels down Salem Street. Children can decorate bikes, wagons or non-motorized vehicles in patriotic colors. Helmets are required. The parade starts at the corner of Salem and Chatham streets at noon. Festivities end with the Apex Fire Department’s splashdown. Go to apexnc.org.
▪ In Carrboro, the fun starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Weaver Street Market (101 E. Weaver St.) with live music, a bike/wagon decorating station and a patriotic costume contest. At 10:50 a.m., a parade from Weaver Street Market leads folks to the Town Hall for a kids’ zone, games, food and live music. Free. More info at nando.com/1f-.
▪ The lineup for the Wake Forest Children’s Parade starts at 10 a.m. at the intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue. The parade begins at 10:30. At 11, kids can make crafts (like a patriotic magnet) or play games (like sack races) at a party at R.H. Forrest Field (123 W. Owen Ave.). The parade and party are both free. Get more info on all the Wake Forest plans at wakeforestnc.gov/july4.aspx.
▪ A celebration with music, performances and family activities takes place 3-10 p.m. at Koka Booth Amphitheatre (8003 Regency Parkway) in Cary. Gates open at 3 p.m. with kids’ activities and Ferris wheel rides. There also will be magicians, face painting, a scavenger hunt and watermelon-eating contests. A Cary Town Band concert is at 5:45 p.m. and an N.C. Symphony concert is at 7:30. Fireworks follow the concert. Admission is free, but four-seat reserved tables are $160, which includes free parking and other refreshments. Tarps, blankets, chairs and picnics are allowed within venue gates; pets, staking and tents are not permitted. Preferred parking tickets are available for $10 in advance at etix.com. More info at boothamphitheatre.com.
▪ Clayton’s annual celebration at Municipal Park (325 McCullers Drive) promises free watermelon and ice cream (but bring cash for food trucks and vendors), plus games, competitions and live music. Most activities are free but a few things require tickets. The fun starts at 4 p.m. and fireworks are slated to begin at dark. More at townofclaytonnc.org.
▪ Durham’s fireworks will happen at the Bulls baseball game, which begins at 6:05 p.m. Tickets are required for the game, but gates will open for free general admission at the end of the seventh inning for those just wanting to enjoy the fireworks at the end of the game. For more info call 919-956-BULL. If it rains, fireworks will happen after Sunday’s game.
▪ Benson celebrates with live music, classic cars and more in the Benson Singing Grove (400 E. Main St.) starting at 3 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. on Hwy 301 near Carlie C’s IGA. Info at nando.com/1g0.
▪ The celebration at the Knightdale Station Park (810 N. First Ave.) begins at 5 p.m. and ends after the fireworks (which are scheduled to go off around 9:15 and last about 20 minutes). In addition to fireworks, enjoy family activities, food trucks and vendors, hot air balloons and live music from The Embers. Admission is free, but bring cash for vendors. Details at nando.com/1g1.
▪ Chapel Hill’s celebration includes a watermelon-eating contest, live music from Transit Vocal Band, games, face-painting and of course, fireworks. It takes place at Kenan Stadium on the UNC campus. Donations of $1 per person or $5 per family at the entrance gates are encouraged. It starts at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:30 sharp. More at nando.com/1g2.
Sunday, July 5
▪ Holly Springs has its Independence Day festival at 5 p.m. at Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park (2401 Grigsby Ave.). The event features crafts, children’s activities, a cornhole tournament, food, music and inflatables. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m. Sparklers are not allowed. More at hollyspringsnc.us.