July 8, 2013
Celebrating Independence Day on Hatteras Island
….WITH SLIDE SHOW
By ANNE BOWERS
of people gathered on the beach surrounding Avon Pier on Thursday
evening, July 4, to celebrate America’s birthday by watching fireworks.
on Highway 12 was at a stand still in Avon as people jockeyed to find
parking places of which there were few. Lines of people flowed
along the road towards the pier, since many had to park far away and
walk the remaining distance to enjoy the festivities.
of the July 4 fireworks display grew all afternoon. The sounds of
live music flooded the beach from the nearby Papawack Theatre at the
Beach Klub. A steady parade of people trudged through the dunes
to find the best view for the pyrotechnic show, which was scheduled to
begin at 9:15.
Beach blankets, which served as home base
for families and friends, covered the sand. Some brought their
own music, and the air was alive with all kinds of sounds, including
the laughter of children who could hardly wait for the show.
were tossed about, kids ran around with glow sticks that could be
shaped into headbands and necklaces, while many adults sat back in
their beach chairs, sipping a drink from their cooler.
before show time, an unwelcome guest came from the skies as rain poured
out of a passing cloud. The brief 10-minute shower did delay the
start of the fireworks for a few minutes, but it did nothing to
diminish the excitement about the brilliant colors and loud explosions
that would dominate everybody’s attention very shortly.
cheers and chaotic clapping of hands rose from the sandy blankets when
the first streaks of light exploded skyward from the end of the Avon
pier. The big moment was at hand. The beach was illuminated
from the glow of the show. People “oohed” and “aahed” at the
beauty and power of this American tradition.
The people who love to spend Fourth of July on Hatteras Island do not take these holiday fireworks for granted.
July 4, a horrific explosion killed four members of a pyrotechnic
company crew setting up on Ocracoke. After that, the state law
for crews setting off the fireworks was strengthened. Because of
the new requirements, there were no fireworks on Hatteras or Ocracoke
islands in 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, fireworks returned to the Avon Pier but not to Hatteras village or Ocracoke.
finale was a spectacle that kept the crowd spellbound for a couple of
minutes. It was so powerful that it could be seen from the
Ocracoke ferry dock. People were crazy with excitement as the
dramatic show came to an end. Happy Birthday, America!
unison, the onlookers shook the sand from their blankets, and the
orderly exit from the beach began. Traffic was unbelievable for
this little island town. A local deputy directed the lines of
cars for a slow but non-eventful trip home. It took forever to
get out of Avon. Surprisingly, traffic was backed for about a
mile going into Buxton.
But it wasn’t a problem. We were just happy to have fireworks again on Hatteras Island.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
of July Fireworks at the Beach is sponsored by the Avon Property Owners
Association and funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors
Bureau. The fireworks display is presented by PYROTECNICO at the
Avon Pier, permitted by and in cooperation with the
National Park Service.
This event is
additionally made possible through generous donations from
the Hatteras Island business community, residents, property owners, and
guests. Corporate sponsors for this event are ACE
Hardware, Avon Fishing Pier, Avon Property Owners Assn., Cape Hatteras
Electric Cooperative, Kinnakeet Shores Homeowners, Hatteras Realty,
Koru Village & Spa, Outer Beaches Realty, Sun Realty, and Surf or
Sound Realty. (Please see www.avonpoa.org or Avon Property Owners Association’s Facebook page for a complete list of other business contributors.)
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