Top Spots to Celebrate the Fourth

Celebrate Independence Day by the sea with parades, fresh fare, contests, and activities that will keep you entertained from morning to fireworks.

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Wilmington, North Carolina
Photographer Gary Clark

Wilmington, North Carolina

Spectators with lawn chairs and blankets pack the riverfront before 5 p.m. to catch what’s known as the largest fireworks performance in the region. You can also see the fireworks from most places downtown; expect heavy traffic and crowds as you edge toward the water.

Celebrate all day: Feel-good tunes and local food vendors (think funnel cakes) will pack Water Street until the show.

Showtime: Around 9 p.m., the “Battleship Blast” fireworks will explode over the docked WWI Battleship North Carolina.

Best view: Locals suggest a seat behind the less crowded Coastline Conference & Event Center, or call and ask about reservations at Elijah’s or The George waterfront restaurants.

After the show: Stroll along the Cape Fear Riverwalk and stop in at The Pilot House for homemade bread pudding and fruit cobbler;

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