Outer Banks fireworks displays will light up the night sky

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Watching the annual July 4 Outer Banks fireworks spectacles with family members and close friends can be a lot of fun.

In addition to fireworks, the Fourth of July is commonly associated with parades, barbecues and picnics.

The date is, however, actually a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by our Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. That document declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire. It was the beginning of a new nation, the United States of America.

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Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870 and then changed it to a paid federal holiday in 1938.

During the past 243 years, the day has been celebrated in a number of different ways.

In 1777, Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary with 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews and fireworks. In 1778, General George Washington was report to have marked the day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.

Although there may not be many 13-gun salutes these days, fireworks displays remain a favorite summer activity that peaks on the fourth.

This year you can take in an aerial display at any of three northern beach locations, Roanoke Island, Hatteras Island or Ocracoke Island. Looking at the options from north to south they include:
– Whalehead Club in Corolla
– Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills
– Nags Head Fishing Pier in Nags Head
– Manteo Waterfront in Manteo
– Avon Fishing Pier in Avon
– Ocracoke Island

Some tips from Nags Head Police Chief Phil Webster that can apply to any fireworks display include:
1. Exercise an abundance of pre-planning on where you will watch a display.
2. Have plenty of patience because there will be traffic jams.
3. Do not park on the multi-use path.
4. Avoid parking on private property unless authorized.
5. If police need to initiate a traffic control plan, follow the officer’s directions.
6. Always move out of the way for emergency vehicles.

This 26th Annual Festival of Fireworks takes place July 4th from 3 to 9 p.m. at Historic Corolla Park, 1100 Club Road in Corolla.

Celebrate America’s independence with free live music, food vendors, a cornhole tournament, watermelon eating contest and children’s games capped with a fireworks display at dusk. Sponsored by Currituck Outer Banks Travel and Tourism with free admission and parking. No alcohol or on-street parking permitted and the Corolla Park boat ramp will be closed. Call 252-435-2947 or visit www.VisitCurrituck.com/Events for additional details.

The annual Town of Kill Devil Hills Family Fireworks Event is at dark on July 4 at Avalon Pier, 2111 Virginia Dare Trail (milepost 6), in Kill Devil Hills. Fireworks will be able to be viewed from all areas of the Kill Devils Hills oceanfront, so pack a snack, bring a chair, unroll a blanket, get some sand between your toes and have a dazzling good time. Rain date for the event is Friday, July 5.

The Town of Nags Head’s annual Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular is scheduled to begin at 9:25 p.m. on the oceanfront Nags Head Fishing Pier located at milepost 11.5 on NC Route 12 (South Virginia Dare Trail) in Nags Head. The fireworks display will last about 20 minutes with a rain date set for July 5.

Parking in Nags Head at and near the fireworks display site will be directed by the Nags Head Police Department. Those attending the show are encouraged to park east of U.S. Highway 158/S. Croatan Highway. Those choosing to park west of U.S. Highway 158/S. Croatan Highway should use extreme caution while attempting to cross this heavily traveled roadway.

Vehicles blocking driveways or presenting a traffic hazard before, during or immediately following this event will be towed. Spectators are encouraged to use the public beach accesses as pathways to the oceanfront. Stay off the environmentally-sensitive dunes and do not use the private property of others, such as private gazebos or decks, to view the fireworks without the property owner’s permission.

Only authorized town and emergency vehicles will be allowed on the oceanfront beaches.

The following public beach accesses are recommended for access to the beach for fireworks viewing:

South of Nags Head Fishing Pier
– Curlew Street
– Hollowell Street
– Conch Street

North of Nags Head Fishing Pier
– Bladen Street
– Bittern Street
– Bonnett Street
– Barnes Street
– Blackman Street

Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the west side of U.S. 158 is another ideal spot for viewing the Nags Head fireworks and you may be able to see displays in other areas. The park will be open late July 4 to accommodate visitors.

At the conclusion of the fireworks, spectators, pedestrians and vehicular traffic exiting the area will be directed and controlled by Nags Head police officers.

The Town of Manteo July 4th Independence Day Celebration begins at 3 p.m. on the Manteo Waterfront with a wacky hat contest, decorated bike contest, apple pie contest and music followed by a fireworks show after the sun goes down. Rain date is July 5. For more information, call the Town of Manteo at 252-473-2133 or visit townofmanteo.com.

The annual Independence Day celebration in Avon on Hatteras Island is scheduled to begin around 9:15 p.m. at the Avon Fishing Pier, 41001 NC Hwy 12 in Avon. The free fireworks display is permitted by and in cooperation with the National Park Service from a launch site at the end of the Avon Pier and expected to last about 20 minutes.

Festivities surrounding the Ocracoke Island Independence Day Celebration are not limited to a single day. Kicking off the excitement July 3 is the famous Ocracoke Square Dance and a fireworks show over beautiful Silver Lake. The fun continues July 4 with a full day of activities that include a sand sculpture contest, a traditional hometown parade followed by an evening glow-in-the-dark laser effects show and dance party. Festivities conclude July 5 with a community beach bonfire finale.



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