Raleigh celebrates Fourth of July

Posted July 4, 2012

— 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 Downtown Raleigh celebrates Independence Day

"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."


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  • burlinablack Jul 5, 2012

    Nancy McFarlane = Failure!

  • flsteffel Jul 5, 2012

    Fireworks downtown! You've got to be kidding. Who's stupid idea was this?

  • outlander Jul 5, 2012

    For all those complaining about the fireworks.. take a look at the mess San Diego made of theirs. Big city big dollars big screw up. 15 seconds and it was done !!

  • tracy6 Jul 5, 2012

    Went to this site to complain ( the City of Raleigh posted "They were an unfortunate victim of our economic situation"...Puhleease...can't they find another excuse? Fireworks on New Years Eve were better, and that was just months ago!

  • pirate09 Jul 5, 2012

    To everyone complaining...honestly what did you expect? You are watching fireworks DOWNTOWN, not in an open area such as the fairgrounds. I didn't dare set foot down there as I knew there was no way they were going to get them high enough for everyone to have a clear view + the crowds when they do events on Fayetville St are ridiculous. I probably saw better fireworks sitting on my back deck in Johnston county (from what I hear of the Raleigh ones that is)...3 different ones to be exact, all I had to do was turn my chair! :) Raleigh needs to move them back, sounds like what I expected...a complete and utter disaster!

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Jul 5, 2012

    That was great. Siler City, don't even care anymore. They have not done anything for the 4th in 40 years. The people in Siler City has to leave the town and county in order to have fun for that one day. Shows you the kind of leaders that is in Siler City.

  • flht00 Jul 5, 2012

    I must say this year’s fireworks were a total disgrace. My son and I were at the State Capital building and were barely able to see them, everyone around us complained. Traffic was a mess, nothing but a huge bottleneck as those who just wanted to see the fireworks made their way downtown around 9pm. This so needs move back to the fairgrounds as I will not try this again.

  • miswiggie Jul 5, 2012

    PS while watching the fireworks from the top of our building, we saw so many people and families scrambling below from between the buildings to find a view of the fireworks. They must have ran a block or two.

  • clarkthain Jul 5, 2012

    The Works was the pits & the fireworks an utter disgrace.

    I heard no patriotic music in the 5 hours there. It was instead a parade of riff raff & drunks pushing their way thru families & over anyone (even seniors & wheelchairs) that stood in their way. The feeble fireworks were marred by rude parents who never learned not to obstruct someone's view when lifting a child on your shoulders. Is this what Raleigh has devolved into? Raleigh-You are a Capital City: Please act like one
    Raleigh should take a clue from neighboring Garner’s July 3rd event. It’s a truly fun & relaxing evening with country, beach & jazz music in the afternoon; then impressive fireworks accompanied by patriotic strains from the NC symphony. Next year skip the crass self-indulgent display called The Works & go somewhere that knows how to cerebrate the day -like Washington DC- or Garner NC

  • miswiggie Jul 5, 2012

    We had high hopes for this, but were so disappointed. It was a great idea, but there were so many people that it was hard to walk around or see anything on Fayetteville Street. We went to the top of the parking garage on Cabarrus and Salisbury and were able to see MAYBE 1/2 of the fireworks. The rest were too low and blocked by the Marriott building. We were SURE the fireworks would shoot high in the sky (at the fairgrounds you can see them from blocks away). But not last night. It was pretty much a bust. I think the celebration downtown may still be a great idea, but not the fireworks.