Raleigh, N.C. — It's the Fourth of July – a day to celebrate, and events are planned throughtout the Triangle, including downtown Raleigh.
Raleigh organizers moved the city's fireworks this year from the State Fairgrounds to Fayetteville Street in an effort to create a new tradition for downtown.
"The Works! July 4th on Fayetteville Street" kicked off at noon Wednesday and culminated 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.
It was "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 took place outside the state Capitol, and a circus paraded down Fayetteville Street to its stage in the City Plaza.
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."