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The Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays and is a very popular travel holiday. In fact, last year alone, AAA estimated that over 46 million Americans would be traveling to celebrate Independence Day! And one of the best destinations? The Beach! The Outer Banks is one of the best places to visit if you want to celebrate 4th of July! If you happen to be in town that week, there are dozens of events and firework shows that you are not going to want to miss! 

Check back soon for more details regarding the July 4th 2020 celebrations. 

2019 July 4th Celebrations & Fireworks

Corolla Fireworks

Your family will love the 27th Annual Independence Day Celebration at Whalehead in Historic Corolla! On July 4th from 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM, enjoy live music, tournaments, children’s games and a grand firework display! Admission to this event is free and parking is also free of charge! Dogs are permitted into this event on leashes.

Duck Parade & Celebration

Join the Town of Duck for their 15th Annual 4th of July Parade and Community Celebration! This event begins at 9:00 AM on July 4th, 2019 and consists of a parade and community gathering at the Town of Duck park! The parade runs for one mile beginning at the hill of Scarborough Lane and ends at Pamela Court. (The parade route does not run on NC-12 but instead through town streets). After the parade, a live Dixieland Band performance will be held at the park along with a parade award ceremony.

Kill Devil Hills Fireworks

For a truly impressive fireworks display, head to a beach access near Avalon Pier for the town of Kill Devil Hills official firework display by Pyrotecnico! This firework show begins at dark. A rain date will be set for July 5th.

Can I watch the fireworks from a nearby beach access?

If you don’t want to head to the pier itself, try parking at the beach access at Hayman Blvd. (0.4 miles north), Helga Street (0.8 miles north), 5th Street (0.5 miles south), 2nd street (1.1 miles south), 1st street (1.2 miles south), or Asheville Street beach access (1.7 miles south). While there are other accesses in between (or even walk out from your oceanfront rental), the ones listed above have convenient parking lots. During a clear night, you can typically see the Avalon Pier fireworks from Kitty Hawk and even south of the Ocean Bay Blvd. Beach Access! Jockey’s Ridge also provides a view of this fireworks display.

Nags Head Fireworks

The town of Nags Head also conducts an awesome firework display off the Nags Head Fishing Pier known as the annual Independence Day fireworks Spectacular! Visitors should head to a beach access near the pier for the best view. Town police will be directing traffic near the display area and visitors are reminded to drive carefully and look out for pedestrians. The town is encouraging visitors to park East of the bypass as to avoid crossing the busy highway on foot. Visitors are also reminded to use a public beach access and to not walk on dunes, private property or park in private driveways. The Town of Nags Head Fireworks Spectacular typically begins around 9:25 PM and lasts about 20 minutes and will take place Thursday, July 4th. The rain date is set for July 5th. 

Can I watch the fireworks from a nearby beach access?

Like in Kill Devil Hills, there are several public beach accesses with parking through Nags Head that are great places to go set up to view the fireworks. Try one of the following: Albatross Street (1.6 miles north), Abalone Street (1.1 miles north), Barnes Street (0.7 miles north), Bonnett Street (0.5 miles north), Bainbridge Street (200 feet north), Curlew Street (0.2 miles south), Hollowell Street (0.4 miles south), Conch Street (0.6 miles south) and Enterprise Street Beach Access (2.3 miles south). On clear nights, you may be able to see the fireworks from southern Kill Devil Hills beach accesses or beach accesses south of Enterprise Street. Jockey’s Ridge also provides a great view of this fireworks display.

Manteo Fireworks & Community Event

The town of Manteo also puts on a spectacular community event and firework display! Head to Manteo Waterfront for the annual Fourth of July Celebration! Enjoy several contests, live music, and an incredible waterfront firework show at the end of the night! Admission is free. The celebration takes place 3PM to 10PM. Back to top.

  • 3:00 PM - The National Anthem by the Lost Colony Choir on the Courthouse Stage
  • 3:30 PM - Wacky Hat Contest, Decorated Bike Contest, and Apple Pie Contest at the Courthouse Stage
  • 4:15 PM - Songs From The Road Band performs on the Courthouse Stage (bluegrass music)
  • 6:30 PM - Drivin N Cryin performs on the Boathouse Stage (folk rock music)
  • 9:30/Dark - Fireworks over the sound

Can I watch these fireworks from anywhere else?

On a clear night, Jockey’s Ridge provides a good view of this fireworks display (along with a view of the fireworks in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills).

Avon Fireworks

For a firework display on Hatteras Island, head to one of the public beach accesses in Avon to watch fireworks shoot off from the Avon Fishing Pier! Fireworks are currently scheduled for Thursday, July 4th and will begin at dusk (around 9:00 PM). 

Can I watch the fireworks from a nearby beach access?

Beach Access/Ramp 38 at the southern end of Avon is only 2 miles away from the Avon Fishing Pier while the Beach Access/Ramp 34 is 2.3 miles north of the Avon Pier. If you don’t want to go to the pier itself or you aren’t staying ocean front, you could always park and walk out to the beach at one of these two public beach accesses. Due to limited parking, carpool when possible! Otherwise, it’s advised that visitors walk to an ocean access from their vacation rental when possible. If crossing Highway 12 from a soundside home, use caution!

Ocracoke Fireworks & Celebration

If you want to do a bit of traveling for the holiday, take a road trip down to Hatteras and head to Ocracoke Island via the ferry to attend the Ocracoke Island Independence Day Celebration! This event takes place July 3rd – 5th, 2019. From square dancing, dance parties, community bonfires and a laser show to sand sculpture contests, a parade and waterfront fireworks, the Ocracoke Island Independence Day Celebration has something for the whole family to enjoy. 

North Carolina Free Fishing Day

Do you love fishing but don't go often enough to purchase a license? July 4th is Free Fishing Day across all of North Carolina! Anyone in North Carolina (both visitor and resident) can fish in any public body of water for free that day -- no license required. This includes coastal waters so OBX visitors can enjoy fishing in the ocean, the sound, and off canals! This event is sponsored by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and authorized by the NC General Assembly to fall on July 4th every year. Keep in mind that normal fishing regulations (length, possession limits, bait & tackle restrictions, etc.) will still apply. Check the NC Wildlife NC Fishing Page for more information on these regulations. 

Are Fireworks Legal on the Outer Banks?

Celebrating Independence Day should be a fun event for everyone but the laws regarding fireworks in North Carolina may not be the same as they are in your home state. Dare County and Currituck County prohibit certain consumer fireworks and certain Outer Banks towns also have bans to keep in mind.

Dare County: The following information is from the Dare County Fire Marshal:

North Carolina general statue GS 12-413 defines which consumer fireworks are actually allowed in North Carolina. Pyrotechnics, commonly known as 'Safe and Sane' fireworks, are the only ones allowed in North Carolina. These devices include caps, snakes and glow worms, smoke devices, trick noise makers, sparklers, and other sparkling devices such as fountains. Illegal fireworks include devices that leave the ground, such as bottle rocks and mortars, and have a report or 'bang'. Examples of these include firecrackers and M80s. These types of devices are not legally available in North Carolina.

Because of the many dangers to public safety, all fireworks are illegal in Dare County on Hatteras Island. The Town of Duck, the Town of Southern Shores, and the Town of Nags Head have also banned the use of all fireworks materials. Before lighting any legal fireworks make sure to check with the local fire department for any additional regulations.

If you do decide to use consumer fireworks, here are a few tips to keep you safe!

  • Only use legal fireworks.
  • Don't allow children to light the devices.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Only use fireworks outside, on a level area, away from easily ignitable materials.
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at another person or animal.
  • Light only one device at a time and quickly move away to enjoy the show.
  • Do not place any part of your body overtop the device.
  • Have a bucket of water or water hose readily available where you are lighting the fireworks in case a fire starts.
  • Do not attempt to relight a device that does not ignite and properly fire. Thoroughly soak the device prior to disposing.
  • Soak all spent devices with water before disposing the materials in the trash.
  • If a fire starts or someone is injured, call 911 immediately.

Hopefully, these tips will help you stay safe and have an enjoyable time! If you have any further questions, contact your local fire department or the Dare County Fire Marshal’s Office at 252-475-5750.

Currituck County: Please see this statement from the Currituck County Chamber of Commerce: