Local News

Year After Flooding, Kerr Lake Ready For July 4 Visitors

Posted July 2, 2004

— Kerr Lake on the North Carolina-Virginia border could see its biggest July Fourth weekend ever. Boating, camping, fishing and a huge fireworks display will keep thousands of visitors very busy. This year will be the first July Fourth weekend without a weather crisis in years.

Two years ago, drought conditions limited the fun at Kerr Lake's July Fourth celebration. Last year, rain kept people away.

"Last year, we had 75 campsites that were not underwater out of 700," said Bryce Fleming, parks superintendent of Kerr Lake.

This year, it is a different story on Kerr Lake. The water level is just right for fishing, boating and swimming. The campsites are high and dry, and most of them have been spoken for.

"Most people want to know if there's any campsites available this year. We've had some call just to make sure [we] were not flooded and we're not," Fleming said.

Some campers showed up at mid-week to claim their space. A church group near Rocky Mount is making room for 30 kids.

"My children love camping anywhere, anytime and this is absolutely beautiful," said Cindy Weaver, of Taylor's Chapel Church.

Officials said the Independence Day weekend activities will generate between $3 million to $4 million to Vance County's economy.

"A boater can spend $70 to $80 filling up the boat, whether it's pleasure or fishing. Then, you have the play toys. Everybody has to have play toys out there," said Vance County tourism official Nancy Wilson.

The biggest event on Kerr Lake will be Saturday's fireworks display on the water at Satterwhite Point. Lake Gaston's fireworks display will also take place Saturday night at the Eaton's Ferry bridge.

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