July 5, 2016

Celebrating Independence Day at the beach


Scattered showers and thunderstorms threatened the islands from time to time over the holiday weekend, but fireworks displays on Hatteras and Ocracoke went off without a hitch.

Fireworks returned to Ocracoke on Sunday night, July 3, after a horrific accident in 2009 caused a six-year hiatus. That year, four workers for the pyrotechnics company setting up for the display died and another was seriously burned when a truck loaded with fireworks exploded.

This year, the fireworks returned through the work of the community -- largely through the efforts of the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association and the National Park Service.  Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent and his staff worked closely with the community to identify a place to safely launch the show, which turned out to be from the parking lot at the NPS docks in the village.

The fireworks show on Hatteras was at the Avon Pier, sponsored by the Avon Property Owners Association and funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.  The event is also supported by donations from island businesses, residents, property owners, and guests.

Folks watched from the vantage points in the village and from along the village beach near the pier and from as far away as Ramp 32 and Ramp 38, where the Park Service allowed off-road vehicles on the beach past the normal closing time for the occasion. Those watching from their vehicles could tune into Radio Hatteras for the sounds and special music during a hour-long fireworks show, hosted by the husband-and-wife team of Bob Barris and Vicky Grist.


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