After years at the State Fairgrounds, Raleigh moves its Fourth of July celebration downtown this year to a new festival on Fayetteville Street.
The event kicks off at noon Wednesday, with live music and events up and down Fayetteville Street. You can catch street performers and musicians as well as join hot-dog eating contests at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The change is a major one for the city, which held its annual fireworks event at the State Fairgrounds since at least the 1970s. The city will shut down Fayetteville Street on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to begin preparations for the Fourth.
Durham will hold its Fourth of July celebration at the American Tobacco complex and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. From 4 until 8 p.m., there will be a free concert on the lawn at American Tobacco.
The Durham Bulls play that night at 7:05 p.m., and admission will be free at the end of the seventh inning. There will be fireworks after the game.
Also in Durham, the Festival for the Eno begins July 4 and continues July 7-8. The festival includes four stages and more than 90 performers, and will be held each day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Back by popular demand will be Chapel Hill’s celebration in Kenan Stadium. The town will set off 6,393 fireworks, with Mick Mixon of the Carolina Panthers and Ron Stutts of WCHL leading the show. The event was canceled last year because of budget cuts. This year, the town is accepting contributions to help offset the cost of more than $42,000.
Here are some other Fourth of July events in the area:
Cary: Fireworks and the North Carolina Symphony at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The Symphony begins on the main stage at 7:30 p.m.
Apex: Apex holds its “Olde Fashioned” celebration downtown from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., with a parade at noon and splash down at 12:30 p.m.
Benson: Fireworks display at McLamb-Tart roads, with entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. and running through 6 p.m.
Carrboro: Activities begin at 9:30 a.m. at Weaver Street Market lawn. The town will hold a parade from 10:50 a.m. from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall.
Clayton: Activities begin at 4 p.m. at Municipal Park, and the day wraps up with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
Fuquay-Varina: Fuquay gets the celebrating going early on Tuesday at South Park. Gates open at 6 p.m., with the Extraordinaires playing at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow at sundown.
Garner: Garner also gets started early Tuesday with a celebration at Lake Benson Park. The North Carolina Symphony will perform, with fireworks following the concert. The park will open at 5 p.m.
Fort Bragg: The All American Band will perform, as will Natalie Stovall, Tyler Hilton and Gloriana. The event begins at 3 p.m., and concludes with the All American Band at 8:42 p.m. and fireworks at 9:42 p.m,.
Hope Mills: Hope Mills celebrates Independence Day Wednesday with a parade beginning at 10 a.m. and then a party in the park at Municipal Park. The event runs through 7 p.m.
Selma: Selma’s All-American Festival draws 5,000 people each year and will begin Wednesday at 5 p.m., with vendors, children’s events and a DJ cranking up the music on Main Street. Fireworks go off at 9:15 p.m.
Wake Forest: Fireworks will be Tuesday night at Heritage High, with gates opening at 5 p.m.