Embrace History and Nature at July 4 Events

Fife and drum corps at Tryon Palace.

Take a break from the backyard barbecues and beach volleyball to savor history and nature this July 4 weekend. 
Enjoy an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social at Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, an early American flag display and a naturalization ceremony at the State Capitol in Raleigh, a walk in a shady state park, a fife and drum parade at Tryon Palace in New Bern, or other modestly priced or free family fun at attractions of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Most historic sites will be closed. The N.C. Aquariums, N.C. Zoo and all State Parks will be open.
N.C. State Parks will be open statewide with various outdoor programs. Most programs are free, but some facility use fees may apply.
Roanoke Island Festival Park. Independence Day Concert featuring SNAP performing classic hits and top 40 tunes in the pavilion before the Town of Manteo fireworks display over water at dark. Concession and themed merchandise will be available. 8 p.m. Free.
Historic Bath. Bonner Point Picnic will be held July 6 for an 1830s style Independence Day celebration. Listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, interact with costumed interpreters, play a round of town ball (predecessor to baseball), all creekside. Celebrate the first 50 years of the new nation at Historic Bath. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.
Historic Halifax is open as usual, commemorating the Halifax Resolves, the first call for independence from Great Britain by any American colony on April 12, 1776. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 
Tryon Palace, New Bern. Gov Alexander Martin in 1783 was the first governor to order a state observance of the Fourth of July. Step back in time for the Glorious Fourth - a reading of the Declaration of Independence, drum and fife parade, period weapons firings and quill pen writing for kids. Period personalities with different perspectives will roam about to chat with guests. 10 a.m. Grounds free all day. House tours ticketed.
N.C. Maritime Museum, Beaufort. The Great 4th Boat Race on July 6. Traditionally-rigged sailing craft will rally to celebrate historic voyages that carried news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the Outer Banks. The start and finish line is at Taylor’s Creek and the best viewing is between 9 and 10 a.m. as the boats gather to start.  Boats must register; free for spectators.
N.C. Maritime Museum, Southport will be open as usual.
N.C. Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores proudly announces the July 4 grand opening of Eagle Landing, home to two flightless, non-releasable bald eagles -- the juvenile Uwohali, whose name means “one who soars with the creator,” and the adult, Shagoie Watha, whose name means “one who causes to awaken.”  Both names come from the Meherran Indian names – to honor the strong connection between tribes of North Carolina and the national symbol.
Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington, is open the day of July 4, ship tours ticketed. Tours will end early with the last ticket sold at 4 p.m. City of Wilmington will have a fireworks display that night. 
State Capitol, Raleigh. Independence Day Celebration with the Raleigh Concert Band, a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, an early American flag display, photo op with George Washington, dress in 18th century clothing, carriage rides, free birthday cake, food vendors and more.  11 a.m. Free.
N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh. See North Carolina’s original Bill of Rights through July 7, exhibits on the Reconstruction era, D-Day, Women’s Voices through Quilts, the space race and the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon, and much more.  Open regular hours. Free.
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh will be open regular hours with exhibits on dinosaurs, the state’s habitats and animals, and more.  Free. 
N.C. Symphony, Raleigh Independence Day Concert at Koka Booth Amphitheater, Cary. Enjoy high spirited classics for a red, white and blue celebration and a fireworks display over Symphony Lake. Favorites performed will include God Bless America, Yankee Doodle, The Star-Spangled Banner, Someone to Watch Over Me, and the ever popular 1812 Overture.  7:30 p.m. Free.
Historic Stagville, Durham.  Community Reading on July 6 of the Frederick Douglass speech on Independence Day and Slavery. Text will be given to visitors in English or Spanish.  The orator and abolitionist meant for the audience to consider the influential role of slavery in the history of the United States. Readers are invited to reflect on this text at Horton Grove, in a space once inhabited by enslaved people. 11 a.m. Free.
Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort.  Ice Cream Social with old-fashioned games, free watermelon and ice cream, music from bluegrass band Possum Creek, farmers market, cake walk and good times for all. Noon to 6 p.m. Free.

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