Whether you’re vacationing on the Outer Banks for the Fourth of July this year or you’re a local who lives here year-round, watching the various fireworks displays that take place from Corolla to Kill Devil Hills to Roanoke Island is an excellent way to officially kick off your summer at the beach. If you’re searching for the best places to see the fireworks on the Outer Banks in 2018, we’ve got everything you need to know:
One of the best Outer Banks fireworks displays you’ll find this summer is the Nags Head “Fireworks Spectacular,” which will be held at 9:25 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at the Nags Head Fishing Pier. Presented by the Town of Nags Head, the Nags Head Fishing Pier and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, this popular annual event features a one-of-a-kind display of fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean that will last for approximately 25 minutes.
The Nags Head Fishing Pier is located at milepost 11.5 on the beach road, but you don’t have to park at the pier itself to see the show. For an equally amazing view of the fireworks in Nags Head, head to the public beach accesses at Curlew Street, Hollowell Street and Conch Street (all south of the Nags Head Fishing Pier) or to the beach accesses at Bladen Street, Bittern Street, Bonnett Street, Barnes Street and Blackman Street (all north of the Nags Head Fishing Pier) to watch the fireworks show that takes place along the shoreline. If you’re feeling more adventurous, climb to the top of Jockey’s Ridge to experience the Nags Head fireworks from a truly unique location that offers stunning 360-degree views of the barrier island, including the Atlantic Ocean, Roanoke Sound and the Town of Nags Head below.
KILL DEVIL HILLS
Not to be outdone by the fireworks display in Nags Head this summer, the Town of Kill Devil Hills will also host its annual Fourth of July fireworks event over the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. For its 2018 festivities, the Kill Devil Hills fireworks will be presented by an award-winning fireworks company out of New Castle, Pennsylvania, called Pyrotechnico.
The Kill Devil Hills fireworks will begin at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.) at the Avalon Fishing Pier, which is situated at milepost 6 on the beach road. Spectators are invited to grab their beach chairs or blankets and set up shop on the beach to watch an evening of unforgettable fireworks along the edge of the ocean. Parking at the Avalon Fishing Pier is limited, but several nearby public beach accesses with plenty of parking—including the Fifth Street beach access a half-mile to the south and the Hayman Boulevard beach access just a half-mile to the north—are also excellent spots for viewing the Kill Devil Hills fireworks display this season.
Few locations on the Outer Banks offer a more spectacular day of celebrations for the Fourth of July than the Town of Duck. The festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with the 14th Annual Fourth of July Parade, which begins on Scarborough Lane and follows a one-mile route that winds toward the Atlantic Ocean along Ocean Way and Christopher Drive before ending up at Pamela Court. Following the popular Fourth of July Parade in Duck, visitors are invited to gather at Duck Town Park for a performance by a live Dixieland Band, free watermelon from Green Acres Farm Market, refreshments and an award ceremony honoring the 2018 parade float winners.
If you want to celebrate the Fourth of July in Corolla, head to Historic Corolla Park for a variety of family-friendly festivities that begin at 3 p.m. The 26th Annual Independence Day Celebration at Historic Corolla Park will feature live music, food vendors, a cornhole tournament, a watermelon-eating contest and several children’s games. The festivities will be capped off with the Corolla fireworks display at dusk.
Admission and parking for the 26th Annual Independence Day Celebration at Historic Corolla Park are free. Keep in mind that no alcohol, coolers or on-street parking is permitted during the event. The boat ramp at Historic Corolla Park will also be closed, and therefore no docking at this location will be allowed. For more information about the Fourth of July activities in Corolla, go to www.VisitCurrituck.com/Events or call 252-435-2947.
If you’re looking for a little Fourth of July adventure on Roanoke Island, head to downtown Manteo for a fun-filled day of festivities. The celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. at Roanoke Island Festival Theater with a free children’s concert presented by the 208th Army Band.
Manteo’s 2018 event also includes the Independence Day Parade, which will start lining up at 2:45 p.m. at the Magnolia Market before making its way down Queen Elizabeth Street. Attendees are invited to participate in the parade by donning a wacky hat or riding a decorated bike or golf court—all of which will be judged to see which participant has the best patriotic-themed entry. The paradise itself will begin at 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Street and Ananias Dare Street, winding its way through town and eventually ending at George Washington Creef Park at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. Judging of the patriotic entries will take place at the park at the conclusion of the parade, and winners will then be announced.
A wide array of additional activities will take place throughout Manteo’s Fourth of July celebration, including a 3:30 p.m. performance by The Lost Colony Choir at the Boathouse Stage within the outdoor pavilion at Roanoke Island Festival Park. The Firecracker Cornhole Tournament will take place in the park beginning at 4 p.m. Registration for the cornhole tournament opens at 3:30 p.m., and teams of two in age groups of 10-15 and 16 and up are invited to compete for the grand prize, which will be presented at the conclusion of the tournament.
Challenge your friends and family to a little friendly competition with the town’s Sparkler Watermelon Eating Contest, which will begin at 5 p.m. and is open to two separate age groups: ages 10-15 and ages 16 and up. The participant who consumes all of the required amount of watermelon in the shortest amount of time—without using their hands—will win the grand prize, which will be announced and presented to the winner at 5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a live performance by the Echoes of Heritage on the Boathouse Stage at 4:30 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. by The Crowd, which will take place on the same stage until 7:30 p.m. Challenge the best baker in your family to whip up their best homemade apple pie and enter the town’s annual American Apple Pie Contest. Entries must be submitted at the park tent by 4 p.m. on July 4. After the apple pie judging session, contest winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m.
As the afternoon’s activities wind down, the 208th Army Band will once again return to the stage at 8 p.m. to play a series of patriotic songs at Roanoke Island Festival Park’s outdoor pavilion. A variety of food vendors will also be situated on-site, selling delicious items ranging from funnel cakes, barbecue and sausages to lemonade, fries and slushies. Following the musical celebration, the Fourth of July event will culminate with a stunning fireworks display presented by the Town of Manteo and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. The fireworks show along the Manteo waterfront begins at dark, and visitors can watch an array of spectacular colors shooting into the sky from a barge that will be docked in the nearby Shallowbag Bay. Gather the family, pack up your beach chairs and blankets, and head to the historic town of Manteo on Wednesday afternoon to enjoy some of the most exciting activities and the best fireworks on the Outer Banks this season!