Happy July 4 weekend! I'm sure many of you have many plans for this weekend. But if you don't or if you're wondering exactly when your favorite fireworks are this year, read on.
For a big list of fireworks shows and other July 4 events, check out WRAL.com's Out & About calendar. Most of the events are on Sunday, but some are on Saturday and even Monday. So double check before you go.
And some additions and more information about a few (but not all) events on the list:
Raleigh's annual Independence Day celebration begins at 5 p.m. Sunday with activities for kids and families until 8:30 p.m. including sports challenges, hat making, crafts, Wii games, carnival-style games, a big truck display and live music. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. It's all free and at the State Fairgrounds on Blue Ridge Road.
Cary celebrates all weekend with events Saturday and Sunday. They include a fishing tournament, concert and children's parade on Saturday and activities and music, capped by fireworks, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.
Apex holds its Olde Fashioned 4th of July from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown Apex. This small town celebration includes free games, inflatables, music, a cake walk, climbing wall, giant slide, clowns, jugglers and more. Get your kids to decorate their bike, wagon, scooter or anything non-motorized to participate in Uncle Sam's Parade of Wheels. Just show up at least 15 minutes before the parade begins at noon at the corner of Chatham and Salem streets to get in line. Wear a helmet if you're riding a bike. And cool down with the Apex Fire Department's Splash Down right after the parade.
The State Capitol is adding a naturalization ceremony to its traditional July 4 celebration. The free event is noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and includes the ceremony for about 30 new citizens at 12:30 p.m. on the Capitol steps in downtown Raleigh. The event also includes live music, a narrated trolley ride and hands-on activities for kids. Re-enactors will represent American military from the Revolutionary period to the Vietnam era. The State Capitol is steps away from both the N.C. Museum of History and N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, which will be open Sunday.
Wake Forest continues its 38-year tradition with fireworks on Saturday at Heritage High School. The Children's Parade and Art-in-the-Park and Games-in-the-Park will be Monday. The parade lineup begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue. Games- and Art-in-the-Park start after the parade at 11 a.m. in Holding Park.
Durham's Central Park children's parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Scrap Exchange will provide decorations for bikes, wagons and scooters.
Garner and its neighbors will celebrate July 3rd at Lake Benson Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. Saturday. The event includes live music, including a performance from the N.C. Symphony. Inflatables for the kids will be there from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. Check Garner's website for details on the shuttle bus.
The Festival for the Eno in Durham runs Saturday through Monday. If you plan to go, be sure to check my earlier post with some tips and highlights.
Marbles Kids Museum, which will offer July 4 activities all weekend, also will host an Annie Sing-a-long from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. The whole family can sing along with the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory as they gear up for a presentation of Annie in July. Marbles also will offer some special activities Saturday as part of the opening of the Cross Currents Chamber Music Festival. Kids can play instruments, listen to music, learn their notes and check out hands-on activities throughout the museum. Free with admission. And learn more about other kid-friendly offerings of the festival over the next week in this earlier post.
And the New Hope Valley Railway will be offering rides on its diesel and steam engines on Sunday in southwestern Wake County. Check the website for times and details.