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Southport NC - North Carolina's Official 4th of July Celebration

4th of July_09_500 If you live in Southport, it's that time again....time to hang the buntings, replace that faded "Old Glory," clean off the front porch for visitors, and get ready to sit back and watch another 4th of July festival in Southport unfold. Is it really almost here? You betcha... the Fireman's Competition will kick things off today! It seems early but it's not. The town never looks better than it does right now. If you feel like I do, that there seems to be a serious lack of patriotism in our Country these days, then this is just what the doctor ordered.

Tomorrow at 5PM, bring your chairs and come to the Garrison for the 2nd Marine Divisionnaturalization_240 Band Concert. There's not a better spot to enjoy a Sunday evening, with the mouth of the Cape Fear as your backdrop. Another highlight of is the Naturalization Ceremony that also will take place at the Garrison on Friday, July 3rd at 4:45. If you've never attended one of these, you'll just have to take my word for it ... you just can't help but walk away feeling a little misty eyed and moved by the earnest exuberance of these brand new Americans who have gone through so much to get here so they might have the opportunities that we all take for granted.

Oak Island always hosts a pre-4th day of activities called Beach Day at the Cabana and Middleton Park. This year it is on Wednesday, July 1st and is a jam packed day of family fun ... horseshoe competition, kids games, live music, volleyball and bocce tournament, and topped off by their own fireworks display at Ocean Crest Pier.

On Thursday, the 4th of July festivities hit wide open, and for the next three days, Southport will transform itself into a virtual sea of red, white, and blue. The smells of funnel cakes, bloomin' onions, curly fries, and philly steak are surely gonna draw you in even if you had planned to be good thbrunswick big band_500is year. The Arts and Crafts Fair gets started at 10AM at Franklin Square Park, as well as the National 4th of July Art Show next door at Franklin Square Gallery. The Dennis Walton Band kicks off an afternoon of music and entertainment at the Waterfront Stage starting at 1:00PM. And I just found out today that the Brunswick Big Band is headlining the evening slot from 7-10PM. Normally it's the Wilmington Big Band fills this slot so I know our local musicians are all fired up about the chance to wow a big festival crowd. And I'm sure they will! Note that many of them will be pulling "double duty," as there'll be little time to rest before the Brunswick Concert Band performs on the Garrison Lawn at 4PM on Friday, just prior to the Naturalization Ceremony.

4th of July_08_306 Southport's 4th of July Festival continues full throttle on Friday, starting out bright and early for the much-anticipated Kid's Games at the Waterfront Park. Registration is at 8:30. I know it's hard to get up and get your kids there at that time of morning in the summer...I remember...but it's always worth it and the three-legged races and the watermelon rolls won't wait. They might just get lucky... the smile on the face of your little one being handed a blue ribbon... priceless.

The fun in the sun continues throughout the day and is capped off by the Street Dance from 7-10. This year's dance is hosted by the from Charlotte playin' your favorite oldies and dance classics. This is where you go when you want to see all the people you haven't seen since last 4th of July!

It's been a long time since the 4th finished up on a Saturday ... well, seven years to be exact. It'll be nice cause then you still have Sunday to relax in much needed peace and quiet. So SaturdDSCF5522ay morning you might as well come on in to town real early and find you a shady spot to put out your chairs. Then you can go over to the Methodist Church, who's been having a pancake breakfast on the 4th for the masses as long as I can remember. North Carolina's largest and oldest 4th of July parade starts at 11AM and no matter how many times you see it, it is ALWAYS a huge crowd-pleaser.

Down on Bay St. in front of the Garrison, will be a classic car show, and at the Waterfront Park, Civil War re-enactors will provide a chorus of cannons to keep us awake. The Saturday night band this year is . I'm not familiar with them but from the sound on their website, they'll get the crowd out of their seats, and on the dance lot with their unique brand of classic soul. Of course, no 4th of July celebration is complete with fireworks, and fireworks there'll be alright. Having lived in downtown Southport for 25 years now, I can say for sure the fireworks are still my favorite part...lying on a blanket by the water...watching the bobbing of boats out in the river until the launch barge fires that first missile in the air. Then it's just time to relax and enjoy the show. Happy Birthday America.

4th collage

My only real advice for getting out of Southport after the fireworks, is to park on the East side of town facing out. Here's a map I made last year...hope it helps.

southport map_800

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