June 27, 2010

No fireworks this year, but there will be other
July 4 celebrations on the islands

New regulations coupled with lack of funding and a host of other factors have led to the cancellation of all three of the July 4 fireworks displays on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

However, there will be celebrations on both islands, including a military band concert in Rodanthe and Hatteras village and the annual Old-Time Parade and other traditional events on Ocracoke.

In past year, there have been fireworks shows in Ocracoke, Hatteras village, and Avon.

Rudy Austin, president of the Ocracoke Business and Civic Association, said earlier this year that the Ocracoke fireworks were not cancelled because of an explosion on July 4 of last year that killed four people and badly injured another.  The dead and injured were contractors for a company that stages fireworks, and they were preparing for the annual show near the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching complex near the ferry docks in the village.
Austin said that there is construction in the area on the NCCAT property this year and that there was not another site suitable for the show.
He also noted that the cost of the fireworks were a concern, as were the new regulations that require all of the people, including local volunteers, who are involved receive special training.
The new regulations were approved by the North Carolina General Assembly after last year's July 4 tragedy on Ocracoke.
Dennis Robinson, president of the Hatteras Village Civic Association, which organizes and pays for the Hatteras village fireworks, said the association’s board made a decision in February to cancel this year’s show.

“We have cancelled our show,” said Robinson. “We had the fire company explain all the new regulations and give us an overview and a timeline, such as when the class and training could be and how long it would take to get the necessary permits after that. We reviewed this information and also talked about the money aspect and the liability, and the board came to the consensus not to have the show for 2010.

“It’s just for this year, and we will revisit it again for upcoming years” he said.

Kenny Brite, director of the Avon fireworks for 13 years, said in April that Avon would be unable to have its annual fireworks display as well because of various problems caused by the new regulations.


July 4 events on Ocracoke are sponsored by the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association and the Ocracoke Preservation Society.

Rain date for the events will be July 5.

Events for Sunday, July 4:

•    9 a.m.-- Flag raising ceremony. School Road, School Circle by Ocracoke Boy Scouts.

•    9:30 a.m until noon – 34th annual Sand Sculpture Contest at the NPS Life Guard Beach.

•    11 a.m. – Church Services at Ocracoke Assembly of God Church and Ocracoke United Methodist Church.

•    11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Ocracoke Ponies. At the Pony Pens north of the village.

•    10 a.m. until 2 p.m. – Classic Cars on the lawn at Pony Island Motel pool area. Sponsored by Jimmy Jackson

•    10 a.m. until 2 p.m. -- Ocracoke Lighthouse open for public viewing. Walking suggested since there is very limited parking.

•    1 p.m. – The Herd sky diving team on the Pony Island Motel lawn. Time may vary because of weather conditions.

•    3 p.m. – Old Time Ocracoke Parade. Participants must pre-register by 6 p.m., July 2. Call 928-6622 for more information. Parade Route: Line-up on Highway 12, beginning just past Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet, follow Highway 12, left onto Lighthouse Road, right onto Creek Road, right onto Silver Lake Drive, follow road around  Silver Lake Harbor to the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum. Judging will be at the Island Inn Balcony. At the parade’s end, there will be the national anthem, entertainment and awards on the porch of the OPS Museum.

•    Parade’s End at NPS Parking Lot will feature a moment of silence, National Anthem, entertainment, and prizes for parade winners.


Leading the celebrations in these villages is a 13-member ensemble from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band, stationed at Fort Monroe, Va. The military band will perform at 2 p.m. at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station in Rodanthe and at 8 p.m. in the center of Hatteras village.

In Rodanthe, the program starts with a fly-over by the U.S. Coast Guard from Air Station Elizabeth City. The flyover ties today’s U.S. Coast Guard to the lifesaving performed by the crews stationed at the Chicamacomico historic site.

The celebration continues with a salute to veterans, active military service members, and their families. Another feature of this seventh annual Independence Day celebration is a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

In its Rodanthe and Hatteras concerts, the military band ensemble, called TRADOC Rock, will play patriotic music as well as its regular repertoire of classic Top 40, R & B, Motown and country and contemporary pop sounds. The program in Rodanthe ends with a watermelon feast.

In Hatteras, Freedom Fest kicks off at 4 p.m. on Highway 12 in the center of Hatteras village. Food and fun, arts and crafts will be sponsored by the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.

At 8 p.m., TRADOC Rock starts a concert lasting until 10 p.m.

These Independence Day Fourth of July events are sponsored by the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association and the Hatteras Village Civic Association. The concerts and programs are free.


All residents and visitors should remember that the use of all fireworks, including sparklers, is prohibited on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, including the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Anyone who sees illegal fireworks should call 911 to report them.

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