fireworks_424The Fourth of July is the quintessential American holiday–which makes sense since it celebrates the founding of our nation. There is this wonderful sense of a Norman Rockwell  setting of parades, fireworks, veterans, children and food. And the Outer Banks, drawing from everywhere in this country, is certainly right in the middle of that celebration.

If you want a parade–well, Duck’s Seventh Annual Independence Day Parade has its own unique flavor with just about everybody participating. It starts at the Scarborough Lane Shops, marches toward the Atlantic Ocean then comes back to the village on Christopher Drive. The parade begins at 9:00a.m., but you’ll want to get there a little early to get a place on the parade route. There’s a lot of other events scheduled for the rest of the day in the town.

If you’re already on the northern end of the beaches (Duck is right on the Currituck County line) and you want fireworks, head up to the Whalehead Club in Corolla. The county consistently puts on one of the most spectacular pyrotechnic displays around and there’s lots to do just waiting for things to begin.

In fact, the Whalehead celebration begins on the third–a Patriotic Salute featuring the 440th Army Band is scheduled form 5-7p.m. on Saturday.

The Whalehead celebration is probably the best attended around, so plan on spending some time in traffic after the fireworks are done.

If you’re located more toward the Nags Head area, both Nags Head and Manteo are planning fireworks this year. Manteo has a full day of celebrations scheduled, and if you’re looking for a big dose of Americana–that’s the place to go. Lots of food, face painting, children’s games. The North Carolina School of the Arts will give a pops concert at Roanoke Island Festival Park and of course, at dusk, fireworks.

Finally, after a two, or maybe a three year hiatus, the town of Nags Head is once again sponsoring a “Fireworks Spectacular”–or at least that’s how they describe it. Should be a great time, though. The fireworks will be launched from the Nags Head Fishing Pier at MP 11.5 on the Beach Road. It’s nice to have one of the beach towns participating again after concerns were raised about the safety of the fireworks.

One of the neat things about having fireworks at both Manteo and Nags Head is the view from Jockey’s Ridge. Park management allows spectators on the ridge after sunset and it’s worth the climb. It’s not a close-up view of the fireworks like you get in either Nags Head or Manteo, but looking east or west, the celebration of our nation’s birthday is lighting up the sky.