Fourth of July at the Whalehead Club.
There is nothing quite like an Outer Banks 4th of July.
I’ll admit it, my favorite two holidays are Independence Day and Thanksgiving–quintessentially American celebrations of hope and gratitude. However, since Thanksgiving is a good five months in the future, we’ll write about that later.
The 4th of July really kicks off a summer of celebration on the Outer Banks, and it’s all fun stuff. 
Personal favorite? The Duck parade, which is about as unique and all-American a parade as you will ever see. Winding through the streets of Duck, it’s a mile long and includes some of the whackiest costumes and floats ever seen, as well as marching bands, floats and fire trucks. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. and lasts a couple of hours. Don’t even try to drive through Duck during parade times–NC 12 will be closed, and besides it’s too much of a madhouse . .  . and you owe yourself the experience, which is wonderful!
Of course, the 4th of July is all about fireworks and the Whalehead Club in Corolla puts on one of the most spectacular shows around. The setting is about as close to perfect as can be . . . a wide expansive lawn and uninterrupted sight lines over the sound . . . and it’s free. It is very well attended so come early. There are events scheduled all day and it’s a great time to create some family memories.
Visitors staying in Southern Shores and south, may find it a bit easier to check out the Nags Head fireworks rather than drive up to the Whalehead Club. The Town of Nags Head will be setting off fireworks at the Nags Head Fishing Pier, which is about three and a half miles north of Jennette’s Pier. Parking can be a bit challenging–NH police will be on hand to direct–so be patient, take a lawn chair and sit out on the beach and watch the show.
Manteo also does a great job of putting on an Independence Day Celebration–and a lot of folks park at either the NH Kitty Hawk Kites store or Jockey’s Ridge State Park, and sit at the top of Jockey’s Ridge and check out the fireworks at both Manteo and Nags Head.
Manteo, though, which is as close to an urban setting as there is on the Outer Banks, makes it an all day affair with street vendors and activities. Or for something just a bit different, head to the other side of Manteo to the Island Farm which is a replica colonial working farm. It’s an 1850’s Fourth of July Day complete with a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Since we’re talking about Manteo, this is a good time to put in a plug for one of our favorite summer time events–the Red Nose Wine Festival which will be the following Thursday on July 11. Wine and beer tasting, live music, good food and a good cause–the Outer Banks Relief Foundation, which does amazing work with local families in need.