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Pomp & Parade, Bonfires & Illuminations

 
Fireworks

 

Fireworks of a sort have always been a part of 4th of July celebrations, beginning with mock funerals of King George III to celebrate the birth of independence. On July 4, 1777, ships at the docks in Philadelphia fired cannons in a 13-gun salute.

John Adams recorded his thoughts on how the Declaration of Independence should be celebrated in coming years in a letter to his wife Abigail. It was dated July 3, 1776:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Adams was correct about future celebrations, but instead of the date commemorating the actual vote for independence (July 2), the date of the official adoption of the Declaration of Independence is the red-letter day and was celebrated as such with readings of the document, concerts, fireworks, and other festivities.

Here's a list of many of the fireworks, parades, and festivities in our communities.

Valle Crucis/Boone
Blowing Rock 4th of July Parade – July 2, 10 a.m., Main Street – Join the local community in a patriotic procession down the town’s Main Street. The parade is usually about 40 minutes long, then you can enjoy live music in the park, a horseshoe tournament, and other games. Learn more HERE

Boone Independence Day Party – July 3, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Clawson Burnley Park (355 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, Boone) – Bring the whole family to Clawson Burnley Park for music, games, bounce houses, food trucks, and more. Scoot over to App State’s State Farm Field to enjoy the Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives concert at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 (get them here). Fireworks will follow. Learn more HERE.   

Boone 4th of July Parade – July 4, 11 a.m., King Street – The parade winds down King Street from the Poplar Grove Extension to Hardin Street. After the parade, enjoy birthday cake, watermelon, and lemonade on the lawn at the Jones House Cultural Center. Here’s where you can find out MORE

Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad – July 4, 9:30 p.m., Tweetsie Railroad Parking Lot – It’s one of the largest fireworks displays in the High Country. Come early to get a parking spot; pack a picnic supper to enjoy during the show. Find out more DETAILS

Asheville
Ingles Independence Day Celebration – July 4, Noon-10 p.m., Pack Square Park West (121 College Street, Asheville) – This free event features family-friendly activities and live entertainment. It concludes with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Here’s the full SCOOP

Columbia
Independence Day Celebration – July 1, 7:30 p.m., Icehouse Amphitheater, Lexington – Enjoy a patriotic music performance by the 246th Army Band, which will be followed by fireworks. The best viewing areas for the sky show include the Icehouse Amphitheater, Main Street restaurants, Lexington Square Park, and any public parking lot in the downtown area. Get MORE INFO here. 

Greenville
Fireworks on the Fourth at Unity Park – July 4, 6 p.m., Unity Park, Greenville – The City of Greenville is excited to open its newest park – Unity Park – with the long-standing tradition of gathering the community together to celebrate the 4th of July. Bring a blanket and a picnic supper. Get the SKINNY here. 

Hendersonville
4th of July Parade – July 4, 10:30 a.m., Main Street, Hendersonville – Local organizations, classic cars, veterans, and more put on a colorful display to celebrate Independence Day. The route is Main Street from Caswell to 6th Avenue. Here’s more INFO

4th of July Concert & Fireworks – July 4, 5 p.m., Hendersonville Visitor Center, Main Street – The evening’s activities include inflatables, kids’ games, food trucks, and two stages with live music. Fireworks cap off the day’s festivities. Learn more HERE

Knoxville
Festival on the 4th – July 4, 5 p.m., 963 World’s Fair Park Drive, Knoxville – Join in an evening of family fun to celebrate Independence Day. Activities include entertainment, treats, and, of course, fireworks at night. Get the full 411 HERE

Roanoke
2022 Freedom First Festival – July 3, 11 a.m., various locations including Elmwood Park and Rivers Edge Park, Roanoke – Kick off the day with lots of fun for kids (games, inflatables, etc.), enjoy a beer garden, food trucks, and entertainment. At 7 p.m., Sugar Ray takes the stage (tickets required), and the day concludes with an awesome fireworks display. Find MORE DEETs with a click. 

Waynesville
July 4th Stars & Stripes Celebration – July 4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Downtown Waynesville – Start the day with the traditional Kids’ Parade, then enjoy a patriotic concert performed by the Haywood Community Band. 

Backyard 4th in Maggie Valley – July 4, 6 p.m., Maggie Valley Festival Grounds – Bring your blanket, lawn chairs, full picnic blankets, yard games, etc. to a community gathering to celebrate the 4th. Fireworks at dark. Get more INFO

Winston-Salem
Salem Band’s Stars & Stripes Concert – July 4, 6:45 p.m., Salem Square, Old Salem – The evening’s concert honors veterans in the community and our country with marches, big band music, an Armed Forces Salute, and the Stars & Stripes Forever. The evening also includes a performance of the first printing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Food vendors will be on site. Learn more HERE

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate safely.


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