There’s no lack of excitement on Ocracoke Island this Independence Day. The festivities kick off Wednesday, July 3, with the famous Ocracoke Square Dance and a fireworks show over beautiful Silver Lake Harbor. The fun continues July 4 with a full day of activities, featuring the Sand Sculpture Contest, newly-added island-wide scavenger hunt, a traditional hometown parade and then back by popular demand—a Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Effects Show and Dance Party. Festivities conclude Friday, July 5, with a Community Beach Bonfire finale.
Ocracoke Island is the only North Carolina destination that combines a relaxing beach vacation on miles of untouched National Seashore with three days of 4th of July celebration within walking distance of your accommodations.
Wednesday, July 3, begins with a traditional Ocracoke Island Square Dance with caller Philip Howard at the Berkley Barn from 6 to 8 p.m. with music from band Molasses Creek. At 8 p.m., Emerald Owl Productions’ deejay will spin dance tunes and patriotic songs at the NPS docks for the pre-fireworks gathering.
At 9:15 p.m., a spectacular firework show will be launched from the large National Park Service parking area (closed for the fireworks), located at the southern end of the island. Hyde County sponsors the show in conjunction with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association and the National Park Service. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and gather anywhere around the harbor for awesome waterside viewing.
The celebration continues Thursday, July 4, with events scheduled throughout the day:
- 8 to 10 a.m.: Meet “Captain,” the newest stallion at Ocracoke’s pony heard at the NPS Pony Pens. Public can feed the rest of the herd and also view ponies from another deck.
- 9 a.m.: “Flag Raising and the National Anthem” – Ocracoke School Flag Circle on School Road
- 9:30 a.m. – Noon: “40th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest” at the NPS Lifeguard Beach, with cash prizes. Register online at: http://business.visitocracokenc.com/form/view/17195
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Classic Car Show” – on the Pony Island Lawn, sponsored by Jimmy’s Garage
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Ocracoke Lighthouse Viewing” – all are welcome to see inside; no climbing.
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Scavenger Hunt” – compete individually or as a team throughout the entire village. Start at the Books to Be Red stage.
- 4 p.m.: “Old Time Independence Day Parade” – featuring a procession of floats, walkers, decorated golf carts and bicycles. This year’s theme is the “Enchantment Under the Sea.” Ms. Julia Hutcherson, longtime owner of the Ocracoke Variety Store, will be the grand marshal. All are welcome to enter the parade to vie for cash prizes. Register online at: http://business.visitocracokenc.com/form/view/16664.
- 5:30 p.m.: “Awards presentation for Parade and Sand Sculpture Contest” – Books to be Red lawn
- 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.: “Storytelling with Donald Davis” – Books to be Red lawn
- 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. “Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Show and Dance Party” – Ocracoke Community Park. For all ages! Wear your glow-in-the-dark gear and dance to music from the last five decades, all with laser special effects, games, contests, giveaways and fun for all ages. Foam party: 7:30 to 9 p.m.; Ocra-Glow: 9 to 11 p.m. $7 admission. Glow items and concessions will be available for purchase. Partial proceeds benefit Ocracoke Youth Center. Rain date is July 5.
Friday, July 5, join in the finale event at the “Community Beach Bonfire Under the Stars” from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ocracoke Day Use Area/NPS Lifeguard Beach. Bring your beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. S’mores will be provided for first 80 attendees.
About Ocracoke Village: At just a little over a mile square, and surrounded by water, everything within Ocracoke Village is conveniently located for walking or biking. Explore the tiny village and discover the many shops and restaurants tucked away on twisty, tree-lined streets.
Ocracoke Village is on the National Register of Historic Places, with houses and buildings dating from the 1880s among more recent additions, under dappled sunlight beneath live oaks, cedars, and yaupons. Ocracoke Lighthouse has been guarding the inlet since 1823.