As Ocracoke, like the rest of the world, rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Independence Day celebration is on but scaled back with some traditional events eliminated because of COVID-19 or other concerns.
Festivities kick off Saturday, July 3, with an island-wide scavenger hunt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sign up for this event at the stage at Books to Be Red.
At 8 p.m., Ocracoke Island deejay Tommy Hutcherson will spin dance tunes and patriotic songs at the NPS docks for the pre-fireworks gathering.
At 9:15 p.m., a spectacular firework show will be launched from the large National Park Service parking area (closed for the fireworks), located at the southern end of the island.
Hyde County sponsors the show in conjunction with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association and the National Park Service. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and gather anywhere around the harbor for awesome waterside viewing.
The celebration continues Sunday, July 4, with events scheduled throughout the day:
- 9:30 a.m. – Noon: 41st Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at the NPS Lifeguard Beach, with cash prizes. Register online at: https://forms.gle/PASiL3d1FjXER5FP9
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Ocracoke Lighthouse Viewing. All are welcome to see inside and talk to Chester Lynn, one of our island historians; no climbing.
- 4 p.m.: “Old Time Independence Day Parade” – featuring a procession of floats, walkers, decorated golf carts and bicycles. This year’s theme, The Roaring 20s: Then & Now. All are welcome to enter the parade to vie for cash prizes. Register online at: https://forms.gle/zg8TEPwZWGwSnsd3A
- 5:30 p.m.: Singing of the national anthem and awards presentation for Parade and Sand Sculpture Contest” – Books to Be Red stage. Bring your own lawn chair.
- 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.: Storytelling with Donald Davis at the lawn of Books to Be Red
- 7 to 10 p.m.: Join in the finale event at the “Community Beach Bonfire Under the Stars” at the Ocracoke Day Use Area/NPS Lifeguard Beach. Bring your beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. Lifeguards will remain on duty until 8 p.m.