Find a fun-filled celebration with history, music and nature for the Fourth of July! Enjoy authentic experiences at attractions of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources this year.
Experience the zeal of some early supporters of the American Revolution at a state historic site, or the calm of a quite walk through the woods at a state park. There will be a special thrill to the high-spirited patriotic July 4 performance of the North Carolina Symphony, and other performances as well.
Attractions of NCDNCR will be open the weekend before and after July 4. Most state historic sites will be closed that day. All state parks will be open July 4, as will the N.C. Museums of History and Natural Sciences, and the aquariums at Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher. Much of the programming will be free or moderately priced, and ticketed attractions offer discounts to veterans or active duty military.
The July 4 schedule:
Historic Edenton. July 4. Traditional Reading on the Green. A reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Courthouse by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Joseph Hewes Monument at 11 a.m. Free.
Historic Edenton. July 4. Fireworks Watch at the Roanoke River Lighthouse. Join the Historic Edenton Friends group for a fundraiser on the deck of the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse for the best viewing of the July 4 fireworks in town. There will be food, beverages and fun, and only 40 tickets with eight tickets set aside for exclusive viewing from the top of the cupola. 9 p.m. Children $15, adults $30/$100.
Historic Halifax. July 4. Independence Day Celebration. Living history demonstrations, guided and self-guided tours of historic buildings, presentation of the delegation scene from the outdoor drama, First for Freedom, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence, starting at 10 a.m. Events continue with the town of Halifax’s Independence Day Celebration starting at 5 p.m. at the Halifax County Courthouse, including music, food, children’s activities and fireworks when dark. Free.
Roanoke Island Festival Park. July 4. Independence Day Celebration. The 208th Army Band performs patriotic tunes at the pavilion lawn and stage at 8 p.m. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs. Food vendors will be on site. Due to noise, please do not bring pets. Fireworks start at dusk. Free.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park. July 4. Sunset on the Ridge. Enjoy the grandeur of the evening sky from atop the largest active dune on the Atlantic Coast. The program covers dune formation and evolution as well as local legends. Meet at the dunes, at the park utility vehicle. 8 p.m. Free.
Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach. July 4. Cannon Day. Learn how different Civil War era cannons were loaded, aimed and fired. Demonstrations at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.; 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Free.
Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach. July 4. Fort Tours. Meet at the entrance for a guided tour of the stone fort and its 26 vaulted rooms, 4 ½ foot thick walls and cannons pointing out over the ocean. Tours at 11 a.m., noon, 2 and 3 p.m.
Tryon Palace, New Bern. July 4. The Glorious Fourth. Enjoy America’s birth with historic interpreters, games and crafts for all ages, exhibitions, and a live reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Palace steps. This event also includes a performance by the Fife and Drum Corps and free access to the Palace gardens. 10 a.m. Free.
State Capitol, Raleigh. July 4. A Capitol Fourth. A fun-filled family event with, carriage rides and children’s activities and quill writing. You can pie the redcoat or dress up in Revolutionary era garb! Kona Ice and Split Wieners will sell refreshments. A naturalization service at noon for new citizens will be held on the Capitol’s east grounds. There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence and patriotic music from the Raleigh Concert Band -- and birthday cake while it lasts. 11 a.m. Free.
Museum of History, Raleigh. July 4. North Carolina and World War I and A Call to Arms military exhibits ongoing. Other free exhibits. July 4 20 percent discount in the museum shop. Individual and family museum memberships $10 off all year. Free.
North Carolina Symphony. July 4. Independence Day Concert. A salute to the red, white and blue with patriotic favorites, high-spirited classics and fireworks over Symphony Lake. 7:30 p.m. Free.
Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. July 1. Beach Party and Bonfire. Enjoy local favorite band, “Traveling Danburys,” for live music and a beach party for the family. The lake will be open late and lifeguards will be on duty for free swim until 8 p.m. Experience a bonfire on the beach; a food truck will be available and pets are not allowed. 6 p.m. Free.
Elk Knob State Park, Todd. June 30. Great American Backyard Campout. Delight in an entertaining night of supervised camping with tents, dinner, s’mores and interesting programs all provided by the park. Bring your own snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, sleeping bag or blanket and Sunday breakfast. Registration required by June 25. Children must be six years or older and accompanied by an adult. Pets not allowed. 2:30 p.m. Free.
Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort. July 4. July 4 Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social. Free slices of juicy red watermelon, scoops of white vanilla ice cream and bluegrass music will highlight the museum’s “thank you” to the community for continuing support. Starts at 2 p.m. until the 4 p.m. start of the Old Fort parade – or until the food runs out. Free.