The Town of Duck’s Annual Independence Day Parade.

If there is a better place to celebrate our nation’s birthday, it would be hard to imagine where it is. Sure you can be crammed in with a few hundred thousand people in the mall in Washington, DC or try to find a place along the waterfront in NYC, but for sheer Americana, for experiencing what it means to live in the United States and to revel in its uniqueness—the Outer Banks has it all.

There’s fireworks in the evening—some great fireworks. The Whalehead Club is always outstanding and this year in Manteo at Roanoke Island Festival Park there was a live concert and fireworks—a fantastic way to pay tribute to our nations birth.

Kill Devil Hills at Avalon Pier and Nags Head had fireworks at Nags Head Pier lit the sky over the ocean for a good half hour.

But for sheer “differentness,” for the real feel of celebrating family, friends and community, nothing can match the Town of Duck’s Annual 4th of July Parade.

There is no way to adequately describe the parade. The rules seem simple: sign up by the deadline and be there on July 4th. The parade is filled with families in cars festooned in red, while and blue. Or people marching—well, walking—in duck outfits. Businesses are part of the parade as well—but everyone seems to bring a sense of humor to the one mile event.

After all, any parade that has 35 or 40 dogs leading the way has to bring a smile.