Blackbeard to Join Ocracoke Island’s July 4 Celebration and Fireworks Spectacular

OCRACOKE, N.C. — There’s no lack of excitement on Ocracoke Island this Independence Day. The festivities kick off Tuesday, July 3, with the famous Ocracoke Square Dance and a fireworks show over beautiful Silver Lake. The fun continues July 4 with a full day of activities, featuring the Sand Sculpture Contest, a traditional hometown parade and then something new in the evening — a Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Effects Show and Dance Party. Festivities conclude Thursday, July 5, with a Community Beach Bonfire finale.

Ocracoke Island is the only destination that combines a relaxing beach vacation on miles of untouched National Seashore, with three days of 4 of July celebration within walking distance of your accommodations.

Tuesday, July 3, begins with a traditional Ocracoke Island Square Dance at the newly built Berkley Manor Barn from 6 to 8 p.m. with music provided by internationally known 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., the island will host a spectacular firework show that can be viewed from Silver Lake Harbor.  The fireworks 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 beautiful Silver Lake harbor for awesome waterside viewing.

The celebration continues Wednesday, July 4, with events scheduled throughout the day:

  • 8 to 10 a.m.: “Meet Winnie,” the newest member of Ocracoke’s Pony Heard at the NPS Pony Pens
  • 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 and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show. Judged and peoples’ choice awards. Register online at
  • 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
  • 4 p.m.: “Old Time Independence Day Parade” - featuring a procession of floats, walkers, decorated golf carts and bicycles. Starts at the Ocracoke Oyster Co., travels through the village and ends at the NPS Parking Lot.  This year’s theme is the “300th Anniversary of Blackbeard’s Last Day,” with a special prize category this year of “Best Blackbeard.”  Blackbeard himself will be the grand marshal. All are welcome to enter the parade to vie for cash prize awards and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show.
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.: “Storytelling with Donald Davis” - lawn of Books to be Red
  • 6:45 p.m.: “Awards Presentation for Parade and Sand Sculpture Contest” - Books to be Red lawn
  • 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. “Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Show and Dance Party” – Ocracoke Community Park. Wear your glow-in-the-dark gear and dance to music from the last five decades, all with laser special effects. There will be interactive games, contests, giveaways and fun for all ages. $5 admission. Glow items and concessions will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Ocracoke Youth Center. Rain date is July 5th.

On Thursday, July 5, join in the finale event at the “Community Beach Bonfire Under the Stars” from 7 to 10 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 150 attendees.

For a complete schedule of events, please visit

“Fun on the Fourth” is a time-honored, Ocracoke Island tradition. The Island welcomes today’s visitors with the same old-fashioned island hospitality and dedication to fun that has made it a popular vacation destination for over a century.

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 1880's, interspersed with more recent additions, under the dappled sunlight beneath live oaks, cedars, and yaupons. Ocracoke Lighthouse has been guarding the inlet since 1823.

Find out how to plan your visit at, the official website for Ocracoke Civic and Business Association. For information about the ferry schedules and fees, please visit



Helena Stevens
252-928-6711, 252-921-0408 (cell)

Suzanne Brown
Media Relations Manager
Veda Gilbert
Public Relations Manager
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