Photo via Getty Images. Fireworks back on this Fourth of July.
Photo via Getty Images.

Freedom is back in vogue in 2021 with the return of plenty of North Carolina communities hosting fireworks displays that COVID nixed the previous year. 

It’s time to celebrate our freedom, and nothing does that better than plunking down on a square of grass somewhere and gazing up at a spectacular fireworks display in your hometown.

Most North Carolina communities canceled last year’s Independence Day celebrations given the threat of COVID-19, but things are back on for this year.

That’s in large part because of the falling number of COVID-19 cases as more people opt to get the potentially life-saving vaccines. (And if you haven’t gotten yours, there’s no time like the present to get the free vaccines proven to be safe and effective against the threat of COVID-19. Find a vaccine clinic in your area here.)

We rounded up a list of Fourth of July fireworks displays happening this weekend in the eastern part of the state so you and yours can get out there and celebrate.

All events are free for spectators, but subject to cancellations if weather doesn’t cooperate.

🎇 Belhaven. This Beaufort County town has a full weekend of events to celebrate the Fourth of July.  Kick off festivities with a block party on Friday night. A parade will start up at 11 a.m. Saturday, and local musicians will play while food and craft vendors offer delights throughout the day. Fireworks begin at 9 pm Saturday.

🎆 Carolina Beach. The fireworks are going off Friday night this year, and organizers suggest grabbing a spot early on the beach or Carolina Beach boardwalk to catch the display. A Johnny Cash tribute band strikes up at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Boardwalk Gazebo, 100 Cape Fear Boulevard. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m., when the skies go dark.

🎇 Elizabeth City. The First Friday Art Walk will have the usual activities for people coming downtown to visit galleries. But this Friday will also be an Independence Day celebration, with family-friendly face painting, magicians, and lawn games starting at 4 p.m.  with fireworks going off on the waterfront at 9 p.m. You can spot the fireworks along the water or on the green in front of the Museum of the Albemarle. More information here.

🎆 Fayetteville/Fort Bragg: The Fourth of July celebration held on the Army base begins at 3 p.m. and will have everything from a parachute free-fall demonstration and a flag ceremony to a headlined show by Foreigner before fireworks go off at 9:45 p.m. The free event is on the Main Post Parade Field, 25 Capron Street at Fort Bragg. More information here.

🎇 Greenville.  A fireworks display on Sunday, the actual holiday, can be seen from the Town Common beginning at dusk, with live music and food vendors starting up at 5 p.m. The Greenville Jaycees will also host a beer garden from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. More information here.

🎆 Pikeville. This Wayne County town is hosting its first fireworks display after a hiatus of several years. The event takes place at Dees Memorial Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and includes food and beverage vendors, as well as a corn hole tournament. Fireworks start popping off at 9 p.m.

🎇 Rocky Mount. The city is hosting a celebration Saturday evening at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, 600 Independence Drive. The event starts at 5 p.m., with games, vendors and more before the fireworks begin.

🎆 Wilmington. Head to the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington to catch the city’s annual display Sunday, July 4. Starting at around 9 pm fireworks will be lit off a barge on the Cape Fear River, and can be viewed from two miles of the riverfront. More information about parking and logistics here.