Most July 4 celebrations are canceled this year because of the coronavirus. But there are other ways to celebrate.
Still, as you consider what your plans might be, local officials are urging all of us to make smart decisions this weekend. The state remains in a second phase of reopening until at least July 17. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people; outdoor gatherings to 25. Face coverings and staying at least six feet from others not in your household both are smart ways to curb the spread of the coronavirus too.
“The increase in positive COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is very likely associated with increased gatherings during the Memorial Day holiday,” said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart in a press release that recommended alternative celebrations such as food potluck drive-bys, virtual tours of U.S. historical sites and a patriotic movie night. “We are urging everyone to continue safe practices, especially during the holiday weekend, so we don’t see an additional spike in cases in the coming weeks.”
So, while we'll all miss those big neighborhood potlucks and community July 4 celebrations and fireworks shows, please be mindful of the safety measures we all can take to keep our community safe and healthy. And if you're looking for other ways to celebrate July 4, Common Sense Media shares 50 things families can do from home.
Free Fishing Day
As WRAL Smart Shopper reports, July 4 is Free Fishing Day in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website, "Free Fishing Day, which runs from 12 a.m. until 11:59 p.m., offers residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fish without having to purchase a license; however, all other fishing regulations apply, such as length and daily possession limits, as well as bait and tackle restrictions."
The town's July 4 celebration starts with a flag raising at 10 a.m., July 4, followed by a decorated car procession through downtown Apex. To participate, you must pre-register and live in the Apex town limits. The parade is not intended for spectators, but it will be streamed live on the town's Facebook page.
The town will host a fireworks show around 9 p.m., July 4.
The town's July 4 celebration includes a town vehicle parade, community reading of a Frederick Douglass essay and live music and entertainment that will be streamed via Facebook.
Instead of a big fireworks show at Lake Benson Park, the town is moving its celebration online to showcase some homegrown Garner talent, including American Idol Scotty McCreery, among others. There also will be special greetings from Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines, Mayor Ken Marshburn and others who have ties to the town.
You can watch the show on demand at youtube.com/townofgarner starting July 3 or, if you're in Garner, on the government access channel GTV11 (Spectrum channel 11) when it premiers there at 8 p.m., July 3, and is re-broadcast throughout the holiday weekend and beyond. There will also be an aircraft flyover with a promotional banner to kick off this special video presentation from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, July 3 in the skies over Garner. Garner's July 4 celebration is usually held on July 3.
The town's July 4 celebration will include a free online concert at 7 p.m., July 3, on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. A food art competition is planned at the Holly Springs Farmers Market on July 4. And, at 9:15 p.m., July 5, the town is planning on a fireworks show, but is encouraging people to watch from their homes. Both Sugg Farm and Bass Lake parks will close at 7:30 p.m. that night to prevent people from gathering to watch. The fireworks will be streamed live online.
The town's All-American Fireworks Show is 9:15 p.m., July 2, from the Highway 70 and Highway 301 area. The town asks people to remain in their vehicles for the entire show for safe viewing and social distancing.
The town's usual July 4 activities have been canceled, but it does plan to put on an aerial fireworks display on July 3 that residents can watch via Facebook Live and elsewhere. To prevent people from congregating, the Heritage High School campus will be closed to vehicle parking and in-person fireworks viewers beginning Friday, July 3, at 3 p.m., according to the town. Vehicle parking and in-person viewing will also be prohibited along the streets and greenways surrounding the campus. Nearby sections of greenway will be closed throughout the day beginning at 7 a.m. Foundation Drive will also be closed.