By Elly Murray
Get excited for Fourth of July week celebrations all over the High Country! That’s right, the celebrations last all the way until July 7th. There’s plenty of ways to celebrate our American pride, and High Country Press has got a whole calendar of events right here for your planning pleasure. Check out the events, attend a few—dressed in your red, white, and blue finest, of course—and celebrate our beautiful country.
July 2: West Jefferson
The quiet little town of West Jefferson comes alive for their Fourth of July Streetfest. Beginning July 2, carnival rides will be set up and live bands will be performing behind the bank on South Center Street and Pearl Street. On July 2, the rides will open at 5 p.m., and the Southern Alibi Band will take the stage at 7 p.m. On July 3, the rides open again at 5, and the Alexander’s Band will perform at 7 p.m.
Then the event starts to get really exciting on July 4, with a parade, car show, carnival rides, and a drawing for $1,000. The Southern Rock Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks will light up the sky at 10 p.m.
West Jefferson also has their Annual Christmas in July on July 7th. Be sure to bring a folding chair to enjoy the live bands, as the event begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 7 p.m.
July 4: Boone
The Boone Fourth of July Parade will be on July 4 in Downtown Boone at 11 a.m, and live music will be provided by the Watauga Community Band! After the parade, the Jones House will be open to the public, and they will have free watermelon, cake, and refreshments. There will also be live music and other festivities at Clawson/Burnley park at 7 p.m., before the fireworks at ‘dark thirty’-thirty minutes after dark. If you would like to join the parade—which includes getting to dress up in awesome costumes—you can register at www.joneshouse.org
July 4: Banner Elk
On July 4, the Banner Elk Fourth of July Parade and Party in the Park will be in Downtown Banner Elk. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and leads to the Tate-Evans park for Party in the Park. This exciting event includes food, games like egg toss and sack race, and the Great American Duck Races, where hundreds of rubber ducks race down the creek in the park. It’s quite a delightful sight to see, and definitely something you shouldn’t miss.
July 4: Tweetsie
Tweetsie Railroad’s Fireworks Extravaganza will take place on July 4, starting at 9:30 p.m. Last year, Tweetsie Railroad celebrated their 60th anniversary on the Fourth of July, so there was huge celebration in addition to the fireworks. Parking is free this year in Tweetsie’s parking lot, but people have been known to get to Tweetsie and park for the fireworks as early at 8 a.m., so grab a spot before they’re gone! They have a VIP viewing area and dinner available for purchase as well.
July 4: Crossnore
On July 4, the small town of Crossnore will host a big event: the Fourth of July parade and festivities. The parade is at 4 p.m., and will have live music and games for kids, like inflatable play places and a frog jumping contest. The fire department will be selling hamburgers and hotdogs, and other goodies will be sold for fundraising by local churches, boy scouts, and community groups. The watermelon, however, is free, and there will be a street dance at around 7 p.m. At nightfall, the firemen put on a dazzling fireworks display
July 4: Todd
The Todd Liberty Parade is an absolutely sensational event, year after year. A few years ago, the theme of the parade was “Justice for All”, and tons of people dressed up in elaborate costumes and had props to walk in the parade. It was like watching a walking theatre performance, and was similar in style to the famous May Day parade in Minneapolis, MN. In fact, that’s where the Elkland Art Center, the organization that hosts the event, got the inspiration for their own parade.
There’s tons of dancing too, both from the people in the parade and from the people cheering it on from the sidelines. The theme this year is “Unity Builds Community”, and the parade is July 4th at 11 a.m. in Downtown Todd. Food will be available for purchase. You can’t miss this; it’s just too fantastic!
July 4: Sugar Mountain
Sugar Mountain hosts its annual Mountain Top Fireworks Viewing on July 4. The event features live performances from Glen Harlow and the North Fork Band from 6 to 9 p.m. at the base of the slopes. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at Sugar Mountain’s 5300’ peak, and you can take a lift ride up there. The lift rides are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4, and from June 30 to July 8, they are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, select items in the Sugar Mountain Sports Shop are 30-60% off from June 30 to July 8.
July 4: Villas
The 14th Annual Bethel Blast will take place just outside of Boone in the charming community of Villas. This awesome event occurs every year in the Bethel Park at 5 p.m. and some delicious food is provided, absolutely free of charge! The Bethel Baptist Church provides the food and entertainment just as a chance to meet all of the people of their community. The line-up for the performers includes Amantha Mill, Bethel Road, and the High Country Boomers, as well as the singing of the national anthem before the fireworks.
July 7: Newland
The Town of Newland’s Celebrate Independence Day Festival will take place at the town’s Riverwalk Park and Bandstand on Saturday July 7th. In addition to the crucial parade and fireworks, they also have a Cute Pet Contest, Watermelon and Pie Eating Contests, live music, and over 30 food, craft, and retail vendor booths. The musicians performing include the Avery County Cloggers, Willie Parlier and the Roan Crows, and Mountain Rose.
July 7: Blowing Rock
And to finish out the Fourth of July week, Blowing Rock will host its Fourth of July Festival and Parade in Downtown Blowing Rock on July 7th. The events of the Festival begin with the Adult Horseshoe Tournament at 9 a.m., followed by park games like water balloon toss, watermelon eating contest, face painting, and more from 9:30 until 11. Then from 12 until 4 there will be inflatables in the park, and from 12 to 1:30, live music will be provided. At 2 p.m., the parade kicks off, followed by live music from 3 to 4, and at 9:30 p.m., there will be fireworks at Blowing Rock Country Club.