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The 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s demise Nov. 22, 1718, at the hand of British Naval Officer Lt. Robert Maynard is the theme of Ocracoke Island’s July 4 parade, which starts at 4 p.m., and Blackbeard himself will be the grand marshal.
All are welcome to enter the parade, which this year includes the special category of “Best Blackbeard,” and to vie for cash prizes and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show.
Register online at: www.visitocracokenc.com. Then pick up your parade number at Ocracoke Gas Station.
Once again, a professional fireworks show will kick off the holiday at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, launched from the NPS parking lot at the south end of the island. Emerald Owl Productions will provide dance tunes prior to the show from 8 to 9:15 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and gather anywhere around beautiful Silver Lake harbor for awesome waterside viewing. Hyde County sponsors the fireworks show in conjunction with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association and the National Park Service.
Capping a full day of events July 4 (see schedule below) and new this year will be a Glow-In-The-Dark Dance Party with laser special effects by Emerald Owl Productions from 7:30 to 11 p.m. in Community Park off Maurice Ballance Road. There will be interactive games, contests, giveaways and fun for all ages. Admission is $5 . Glow items and concessions will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Ocracoke Youth Center. Rain date is July 5.
Festivities conclude 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 5, with a Community Beach Bonfire finale at the Lifeguard Beach. Bring your beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. S’mores will be provided for first 150 attendees.
Ocracoke Island Independence Day 2018 Celebration Schedule
Tuesday, July 3:
• 6 to 8 p.m.: Traditional Island Square Dance, Berkley Manor Barn. Music by Molasses Creek.
• 8 p.m.: Emerald Owl Productions deejay will spin dance tunes and patriotic songs at the NPS docks for the pre-fireworks gathering.
• 9:15 p.m.: Firework show over Silver Lake Harbor 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.
Wednesday, July 4:
● 8 to 10 a.m.: Meet Winnie, the newest member of Ocracoke’s pony herd, NPS Pony Pens
● 9 a.m.: Flag Raising and the National Anthem, Ocracoke School Flag Circle on School Road
● 9:30 a.m. to Noon: 40th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at the NPS Lifeguard Beach, with cash prizes and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show. Judged and peoples’ choice awards. Register online at: www.visitocracokenc.com
● 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Classic Car Show, Pony Island Motel lawn, sponsored by Jimmy’s Garage
● 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Ocracoke Lighthouse open. All are welcome to see inside; no climbing
● 4 p.m.: Old Time Independence Day Parade. Parade starts at Ocracoke Oyster Company, travels through the village and ends at the NPS parking lot. Spectators are reminded not to throw water at parade participants, which will result in a fine from the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office.
● 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.: “Storytelling with Donald Davis.” Books to be Red lawn followed by
awards presentation for Parade and Sand Sculpture Contest.
● 7:30 to 11 p.m. “Ocra-Glow Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Show and Dance Party” by Emerald Owl Productions, Ocracoke Community Park. Wear your glow-in-the-dark gear. Interactive games, contests, giveaways and fun for all ages. $5 admission. Glow items and concessions will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Ocracoke Youth Center. Rain date is July 5.
Thursday, July 5:
• 7 to 10 p.m.: Community Beach Bonfire Under the Stars, at the Ocracoke Day Use Area/NPS Lifeguard Beach. Bring your beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. S’mores will be provided for first 150 attendees.