July 5, 2012
Independence Day 2012 on Hatteras Island


Independence Day on Hatteras Island was hot, humid, and sunny with crowds of residents and visitors flocking to the seashore beaches and attending July 4 events in the island’s villages.

Paul Stevens, chief enforcement ranger for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, reported that it was a quiet holiday on the beaches.

“We issued a few tickets,” he said, “but there were no arrests that I know of and no major issues.”

Stevens said the three ORV permit offices have been able to keep up with the demand with only minimal waits to get registered and watch a short video.

Ramp 49 in Frisco, Stevens said, has become the Park Service’s busiest ramp for ORV traffic, and that’s a change from previous years when Ramp 4 at Bodie Island was the most congested.

There are now fewer than eight miles of beach open to ORVs on Hatteras Island. About two miles are open on Bodie Island, and 9.4 on Ocracoke.

The highlight of July 4 on Hatteras was the return of fireworks after a two-year absence.

This year’s fireworks were launched at the end of the Avon Pier.  The show was sponsored by the Avon Property Owners Association with a grant from the Dare County Tourist Bureau and contributions from island businesses and individuals.

Earlier in the day in Avon, folks of all ages enjoyed visiting and eating good food on the grounds of Hatteras Realty, while kids had a ball in inflatables and on a rock-climbing wall.  The newly opened Beach Klub offered a free concert.

The day’s events got started on the island with a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Community Building in Rodanthe, sponsored by the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association.

A little later, folks gathered at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies in Buxton for Freedom Fest 2012, sponsored by the school’s fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The event was free and included, of course, fellowship, along with games, a pig-pickin’, and music.

Down in Hatteras village, the third annual 4th in the Village celebration got underway mid-afternoon in front of the post office and fire department.

The event was sponsored by the Hatteras Village Civic Association and the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.

There were artists and craftsmen displaying and selling their wares, food for sale that ranged from barbecue to hamburgers and hot dogs, a golf cart parade, and a band for dancing in the evening.

As the festivities were winding down and the fireworks getting started, a huge, orange almost-full moon was rising over the ocean -- a fitting end to a good day of celebrating the United States of America on its birthday.

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