Take a look at Fourth of July events going on farther afield in the Carolinas. We’ve even arranged them for you in how-far-a-drive-from Charlotte order!
Kings Mountain: 30 minutes
The town of Kings Mountain, near the site of the Battle of the Revolutionary War, will have an encampment of more than 20 re-enactor militias. Besides a parade, there will be a mock cannon battle to be followed by what’s billed as “the largest fireworks show between Charlotte and Asheville.” Details: www.cityofkm.com/calendar_events.asp.
Morganton: 1.25 hours northwest
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The July 1-4 Red, White and Bluegrass Weekend is going full blast. Details: www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com.
Greensboro: 1.5 hours northeast
The Fun Fourth Festival, started in 1975, attracts more than 90,000 with a street festival, pops concert and fireworks finale. Details: www.funfourthfestival.org.
Kernersville: 1.5 hours
The Fourth of July starts with a 9 a.m. parade and concludes that evening with fireworks. Details: www.toknc.com/events.
Greenville, S.C. 1.7 hours
Red, White and Blue Festival. Details: www.greenvillesc.gov (type “Red” into search window).
Blowing Rock: 1.75 hours northwest
Famous Tweetsie Railroad will stay open late on July Fourth. Have fun there during the day... and stick around for the fireworks. Admission charged. www.tweetsie.com.
Asheville: 2 hours
There’s all-day fun in Pack Square, with entertainment, food vendors and fireworks. Details: www.romanticasheville.com/fourth.htm.
Darlington, S.C.: 2 hours
Freedom Fest. Details: www.darlingtonchamber.com.
Old Fort: 2 hours west
Enjoy the free an ice cream social with your favorite toppings at the Mountain Gateway Museum as Possum Creek plays bluegrass. It starts at 2 p.m. The ice cream social is followed by the Old Fort July Fourth celebration. Details: www.mountaingatewaymuseum.org.
Beech Mountain: 2.5 hours northwest
How does this mountain town celebrate the Fourth? With the 47th annual Roasting of the Hog. (Yes, it’s a barbecue event. Yes, there will also be fireworks). Details: www.beechmtn.com.
Raleigh: 2.5 hours northeast
Independence Day at the State Capitol kicks off at 10 a.m. Bring a picnic and lawn chairs for musical performances, military displays, carriage or trolley rides and hands-on activities for kids. Food vendors will also be there. A naturalization ceremony for new citizens will take place at noon on the Capitol steps, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Food vendors will attend. 10 a.m.
There’s a downtown fun from noon to 11 p.m. with free activities, tents, performances on Fayetteville Street and fireworks. Details: www.raleighconvention.com/works.
Wilmington: 3.5 hours southeast
Battleship North Carolina, ever-ahcnored across the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington offers the Battleship Blast fireworks show. Details: www.battleshipnc.com.
Halifax: 4 hours northeast
At Historic Halifax, in Halifax, you can tour several historic buildings, enjoy period music and other entertainment at the site of the April 1776 Halifax Resolves, the first call by a colony for independence from England. Free. The town of Halifax will sponsor activities and fireworks at the nearby courthouse grounds starting at 5:30 p.m. Details: www.nchistoricsites.org.
Southport: 4 hours southeast
The cute and old-fashioned town is the site of the official N.C. Fourth of July Festival. Details: www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com. The N.C. Maritime Museum has a 1 p.m. all-ages scavenger hunt that’s free.
Greenville, N.C.: 4 hours east
The 44th annual Independence Day Celebration is Friday at the Town Common, it starts at 2 p.m., has live music until 8:30, and finishes with after-dark fireworks. Details: www.greenvillejaycees.com.
New Bern: 4.5 hours southeast
Get colonial at Tryon Palace, the reproduction of the seat of pre-Revolution North Carolina, starting at 10 a.m. For “The Glorious Fourth”celebration, the then-new Declaration of Independence will be read from the steps of the palace; a fife and drum corps will play; 18th-century games, crafts, and free garden tours will be shared. Events are free to see. Details: www.tryonpalace.org.
North Topsail Beach: 4.25 hours southeast
Enough fireworks? Try the Ocean City Jazz Festival, July 3-4. Details: www.oceancityjazzfest.com.
Jacksonville: 4.5 hours southeast
Freedom Festival – not far from the Marines’ Camp Lejeune – has food, rides, live music and fireworks. Details: www.onslowcountync.gov/Parks.