An Outer Banks 4th of July is about as American a celebration as you can find–parades, fireworks, great music, lots of food . . . all the things that go into making the celebration of our nations birthday a fantastic time to be on the Outer Banks.

Looking for a different way to start your fourth? Check out the Inaugural Outer Banks Firecracker and Freedom 5k, sponsored by Outer Banks Boot Camp ( ), The race calls for an early wake-up call–it starts at 7:00 a.m.–but the course is a nice residential run beginning at the Kill Devil Hills town hall and ending in Nags Head Woods. There is also the Old Glory Mile at 8:30 a.m. and the Little Sparkler Stroll  at 8:40.

The traditional Fourth of July begins in the town of Duck kicks with their annual 4th of July parade. About a mile long, it begins at the crest of the hill on Scarborough Lane (behind the shops) and winds its way through the back streets of Duck for about a mile. It never goes out on Duck Road (SR12) but parking is tough (get there early) and traffic barely moves.

The parade is–well, unique. About what you would expect from an Outer Banks community. Fire engines, community groups, bands, people who just like to sign up and join in a parade, and lot of dogs. Guidelines and entry forms can be found at The parade route is there as well.

After the parade, Ruth Wyand will be performing at the town park. Ruth is an extraordinary performer–excellent voice, amazing guitar work, great song selection. Since it’s free, it’s well worth the price of admission.

Just up the road in Corolla, at the Whalehead Club, is the Outer Banks most spectacular fireworks display. Sponsored by Currituck County Travel and Tourism, this is the 20th annual July 4th event on the grounds and the audience gets larger every year.

A very family friendly event, activities begin at 6:00 p.m. Food vendors will be there and some arts and crafts, and some family friendly games are scheduled. There is plenty to do before the fireworks begin about 9:00 o’clock. 

The event itself is free. A $5.00 donation is asked for parking on the Whalehead Club grounds.

Although there is no reason to leave the northern Outer Banks to celebrate our nations independence, for folks heading south there is lots to do. 

Manteo’s celebration is an all day affair–a street fair capped off with evening fireworks. The town of Nags Head will also be sponsoring a fireworks display, with the pyrotechnics going off at the Nags Head Pier.

Folks tend to be pretty packed together to view the fireworks in Manteo. Fireworks from Nags Head Pier are best seen sitting out on the beach along the ocean with friends and family.

One of the really neat things about fireworks at Manteo and Nags Head Pier is they can both be seen from the top of Jockeys Ridge and the state park stays open past sunset on the fourth for that purpose. You’re not as close to either fireworks as you would be in Manteo or on the beach next to the pier, but it is a very unique perspective.

One quick piece of advice—It’s a good idea to have some bug repellant for the evening events.