Activities for your visit

Independence Day festivities stretch to three days on Ocracoke

4th of July flag raising will take place at 9 a.m. Ocracoke School. Photo: P. Vankevich

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Ocracoke Island’s Independence Day celebration will be a three-day event.

Wednesday, July 3, begins with a traditional Ocracoke Island Square Dance with caller Philip Howard at the Berkley Barn from 6 to 8 p.m. with music from band Molasses Creek.  At 8 p.m., Emerald Owl Productions’ deejay 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 Thursday, July 4, with events scheduled throughout the day. New this year is an island-wide scavenger hunt with a prize for the winning team. The day will also feature the Sand sculpture contest, storytelling with Donald Davis, an old-fashioned parade and will culminate with the second edition of the Ocra-Glow party from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Community Ballfield on Maurice Ballance Road. Rain date is July 5.

Festivities conclude July 5 with a community beach fire from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lifeguard Beach.  See below for details. Sign up for events at visitocracokenc.com.

Events are sponsored by the Ocracoke Civic and Business Assn. Inc. and Hyde County.

Remember, ALL fireworks (including sparklers, etc.) are prohibited on Ocracoke.

Wednesday, July 3:
6 to 8 pm: Traditional Island Square Dance at the Berkley Barn. Music by Molasses Creek & Philip Howard, square dance caller.

8 to 9:15pm: Pre-fireworks gathering at the NPS Docks. Dance tunes with deejay Emerald Owl Productions
9:15 pm: FIREWORKS! Launched from the NPS parking lot.

Thursday, July 4:
8 to10 am: Meet “Captain,” The Newest Stallion. Ocracoke Pony Pens
9 am:  Flag raising and singing of national anthem. Ocracoke School flag circle on School Road
9:30 am to Noon: Annual Sand Sculpture Contest. NPS Lifeguard Beach. Peoples’ choice awards judging from noon to 1 pm.
10 am to 2 pm: Car Show. Pony Island Motel lawn. Sponsored by Jimmy’s Garage.
10 am to 2 pm: Ocracoke Lighthouse open for viewing inside; no climbing.
10 am to 2 pm Scavenger Hunt. Starts and ends at Books to Be Red stage.
4 pm:  Old Time Ocracoke Parade
All are welcome to enter. Cash prizes. Theme: Enchantment Under the Sea (We’re going “Back to the Future”). Pick up your parade entry      number on July 4 between 1 and 4 pm at Ocracoke Station. Entry forms available at the Post Office or request a form fro                  info@visitocracokenc.com. Ms. Julia Hutcherson, owner of the Ocracoke Variety Store, will be the grand marshal.
5:30 pm: Winners of Sand Sculpture, Scavenger Hunt and Parade announced at Books to Be Red stage.
5:45 to 6:30 pm: Storytelling with Donald Davis
Books to Be Red stage; bring your own chair or blanket.
7:30 to 11 pm: Ocra-Glow Crazy Party with Emerald Owl Productions. Pre-event Foam Party: 7:30 to 9 pm.  Ocracoke Community Ballfield, end of Maurice Ballance Road. All ages welcome. $7 admission. Glow-in-the-dark items and refreshments available for purchase. Rain date is July 5. Buy tickets at the door or online at visitocracokenc.com. Proceeds benefit the Ocracoke Youth Center and OCBA. Golf cart parking only on Maurice Ballance Road.

Friday, July 5:
7 to 9 pm: Community Beach Fire. Ocracoke Day Use Area/Lifeguard Beach.
Bring your beach blanket, chairs, marshmallows and roasting stick.