The urge when it comes to July 4th is to grab a towel, hop in the car and head east till you hit water. But given the choice, our favorite place to celebrate all things red, white and blue is right here in Durham. Really. In addition to backyard BBQs, quarry swims and general Durham revelry – three events make Durham the spot to be on Independence Day.
The annual Watts Hillandale Fourth of July Parade:
Started in 1950 with six neighborhood children riding their bicycles down the block, the Watts Hillandale parade has grown into a full-blown celebration of the fourth with hundreds of Durham residents attending each year. Unlike traditional parades, the Watts-Hillandale parade discourages spectators – everyone is welcome to join in the procession. And this parade doesn’t just honor the stars and stripes, it celebrates all nationalities and the diversity of our country. Flags from all over the world are waved, carried and hung proudly around Oval Park.
The small parade ends with a party in Oval Park. The pledge of allegiance is said and the Star Spangled Banner is sung. In recent years, Amy Tournquist of Watts Grocery has handed out free cupcakes. There are kids on bikes, toddlers in decorated wagons, dogs, a fire truck, open hydrants and lots and lots of star-spangled garb.
It feels like the idealized picture of a small-town Fourth that usually only exists in stories of “the good ol’ days.” It’s quaint, friendly and all inclusive. And did I mention free cupcakes?
Starts at the corner of Oakland and Club Boulevard. 10 am.
Limited info here.
The Eno River Festival
With a reputation of being miserably hot, some folks steer clear of this annual Fourth of July tradition in Durham. But thanks to watermelon slices and toe-dips in the Eno, I’ve never found it anything but enjoyable. With four stages of music, craft vendors, artist workshops, educational booths and more – this a great way to celebrate the fourth. If you tire of the festivities, you can always do a quick hike around the park, check out the still-working West Point Mill, or just hang out by the river watching the kids catch tadpoles.
This year, the Eno River Festival is July 4, 7 and 8. It’s $18 per day or $45 for all three days at the gate; it’s cheaper in advance. Children 12 and under are free. Coolers and picnics are allowed but alcohol is prohibited.
The Durham Bulls and Fireworks
What’s more patriotic than baseball and hotdogs? And what’s the fourth without fireworks? The Bulls are at home and on the fourth, they up their already-impressive Friday night fireworks display to another level. Even if you don’t have tickets to the game, they open the gates after the 7th inning for those who are just interested in the fireworks. Pinhook’s patio is our favorite spot to watch the light show. Estimated 9:30pm start time.
Also of note:
The Central Park Parade
Patriotic music, helium balloons, fire engine from Station No. 1, and police escort for the parade. The Scrap Exchange will have decorations for bicycles, wagons and scooters. Durham Central Park Area, Downtown. For More info.
9:30 am to decorate bikes, 10 am parade
Children’s Bicycle Parade
Balloons and decorations will be provided for the kids to decorate their bikes. Parade will be in a parking lot. Includes a bounce house, “Happy Dan the Magic Man,” Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department, Durham Police Department, Scouts, and a dunking booth, plus field games and a DJ.
Parkwood Field. 5122 Revere Road
Music on the Lawn
John Brown and the Groove Shop Band
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Article source: CarpeDurham