Downtown Raleigh throws on 'The Works' for July 4th

Posted July 3, 2012

— Organizers hope that moving Raleigh's July Fourth fireworks from the State Fairgrounds to Fayetteville Street will create a new tradition for downtown.

"The Works! July 4th on Fayetteville Street" will kick off at noon Wednesday and culminate with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

"It's what it sounds like: a hot dog with the works, everything on top," said Doug Grissom, assistant director of the Raleigh Convention Center.

Fourth of July (Generic) MAP: Fourth of July events

He promised "old-fashioned Americana" at the festival: watermelon-spitting contests, ice-cream and hot-dog eating contests, kid's games, street entertainment and six hours of live music on two stages.

A naturalization ceremony and reading of the Declaration of Independence will take place outside the State Capitol. A circus will parade down Fayetteville Street to its stage in the City Plaza.

"Come out at any time you want. It's a street that doesn't close," Grissom said.

Festival-goers can expect hot but decent weather for the fireworks. It will be in the low 80s during the 9 o'clock hour, and there's only a small chance of isolated storms.

Raleigh fireworks move downtown Raleigh fireworks move downtown

"Right now, it looks like we should be OK for fireworks," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "There might be an isolated storm, but we don't have a big cold front or anything coming through where we know we might have issues."

Parking is $5 in any of the downtown public parking decks and lots. Fayetteville Street and side roads will be closed, but Wilmington and Salisbury streets will be open. Staff will direct drivers to parking around the convention center.

By bringing the fireworks into the urban heart of the capital city, organizers aim to promote Raleigh's downtown, Grissom said.

"Most big cities have fireworks in the downtown proper, and we just want to show people the restaurants and the shops and the museums and all the activity and everything we have in downtown," he said. "We're hoping to build a tradition."


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  • Marty King Jul 9, 2012

    Those were horrible fireworks, a better display was made by our underprivileged, socioeconomically disadvantaged residents of SE Raleigh. I have absolutely no clue why RPD is not catching these guys blowing illegal fireworks. They have gotten lazy.

  • virtualbiblestudy Jul 5, 2012

    Stupid, very stupid and Mayberryish. How did Raleigh expect to pack the 100,000 people who go out to the fairgrounds into downtown Raleigh? My family could hardly see the fireworks, a simple Elephant an took an hour in line to get, and security was a joke. The only reason they had it downtown was so businesses could make money selling booze. For a family it was a disaster!

  • Jul 3, 2012

    As one post stated, it is not a requirement to go downtown, feel thankful we live in a an area with choices, most people do not have all the choices we do for the 4th. Also it amazes me that everyone forgot what the 4th is. It is a celebration of Independece of our Country. Be thankful you have this independence to do what you want, to go somewhere safely, to voice your opinion. Now think about other countries and other parts of our own country that do not have this luxery. Think about all the homes lost recently to fire, think of the soldiers fighting everyday for our independence. Lets not loose the meaning of the holiday and what it stands for and everyone should be thankful for what they have not complain for what they do not not have. Also lets now forget about those that do work on holiday's including fire, police, hospital workers, and other emergency workers!!! There is no respect in america for our country anymore, just sad!!!!

  • caryzoo Jul 3, 2012

    I have taken my kids downtown. There is very little for young children at this time of night. Someone was not playing (thinking) with a full deck (full mental capacity). I hated the fairground site and dislike this one even more. I will continue to go to Regency Park in Cary. I live in Raleigh, but cannot stand the mess the city of Raleigh turns the 4th fireworks into. Traffic jams, very few places for toilet stops (kids), and the food and drinks are twice what they are in Cary. The City Counsel saw dollar signs without recognizing the fact most people do not have those dollars to give. Ignorant and short sighted. My opinion only.

  • RM24 Jul 3, 2012

    Who knows where the best views will be???
    NO ONE, since its the first time. Good luck to all attempting this trip.

  • Commenter Jul 3, 2012

    "Again, no one is forbidding "families" to attend. " --> Nah, just making it dangerous for them to do so.

  • due_whats_right Jul 3, 2012

    Wow......I haven't heard this much whinning and bickering since school let out a month ago! If you don't like the location, go to Durham, Fayettevile, or Cary. Venting is not going to change the venue! Stop waisting your breath and do something constructive with your day off. Celebrate however you want to but stop complaing. Watching fireworks downtown is NOT a requirement for celebrating the 4th!

  • JandJ Jul 3, 2012

    I feel sorry for all the people who will be sitting at the Fairgrounds tomorrow wondering what happened to the fireworks!

  • JandJ Jul 3, 2012

    Booooo!! Now people have to pay $5.00 for parking and watch fireworks in between the buildings. This is one of the dumber ideas they have come up with. I'm going to go and watch them out of town this year!

  • ugottabkiddinme Jul 3, 2012

    yeah i have to agree, this is a bone head move!!!!!