If there’s ever a time to go big, it’s for America’s birthday, which is why Tweetsie Railroad hosts the High Country’s largest and most popular fireworks show. This year, bring the whole family to celebrate the holiday Wild West-style at Tweetsie’s annual celebration on Saturday, July 4. The Fourth of July is an extra special day at Tweetsie as it’s also the theme park’s birthday!
There’s plenty of patriotic fun and activities to be had all day long at Tweetsie. Ride the rails behind Tweetsie’s historic steam-powered locomotives, which take guests on a thrilling three-mile Wild West adventure through the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Step back in time and explore the streets of Tweetsie’s very own Western town. Get lucky by striking gold at Miner’s Mountain, or get to know Tweetsie’s animal residents including deer, emus, goats, burros and llamas at the Deer Park Zoo.
The culmination of a day full of Wild West adventure is, of course, the spectacular fireworks show. A dazzling display of more than 200 large-caliber mortar shells will light up the High Country sky beginning at 9:30 p.m. This year’s show will also mark the park’s 59th season: Tweetsie Railroad opened on July 4, 1957 with a one-mile train ride that took guests to a picnic area and then backed up into the Tweetsie train station. Tweetsie has continued to add attractions and special events with each passing year since then, and continues to delight generations of visitors of all ages. The park was originally the vision of Grover Robbins, Jr., who brought the only surviving East Tennessee and Western North Carolina narrow-gauge steam locomotive, Engine Number 12, back home to the mountains of North Carolina.
If you want dinner and a front row seat for the fireworks, take advantage of the dinner-and-show VIP spectator area in the Hacienda. Complete with a buffet dinner with all the trimmings, tickets are $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 3 through 12, and free for children 2 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the park on July 4.
Parking for the Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza is $10 per vehicle. Golden Rail Season Pass holders park for free. In the event of severe inclement weather, the fireworks show will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 5.
Tweetsie Railroad is open seven days a week from May 29 through August 16. The park returns to the weekend schedule from August 17 through November 1, including Labor Day Monday. The 2015 season ends Sunday, November 1. The park’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be open until 9 p.m. on July 4 for the Fireworks Extravaganza and June 20 and 27 and July 11, 18 and 25 for Cool Summer Nights. Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $41 for adults and $27 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. The Ghost Train Halloween Festival will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 25 through October 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., when admission is $34 for adults and children. Tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available at Tweetsie.com.
Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2015 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.com or call 877-TWEETSIE (877-893-3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tweetsie and Twitter and Instagram, @TweetsieRR.