“It’s like your all-American hometown celebration,” Carrboro Communications Manager Rachel Heggen said.
One of the most unique traditions at Carrboro’s July Fourth Celebration is the reading of an essay by Frederick Douglass. Mayor Lydia Lavelle will read Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” at noon at the Carrboro Century Center.
“We’re proud to be a town that showcases not only American heritage, but showcases African American patriots as well,” Heggen said.
The July Fourth Celebration is free to attend.
Chapel Hill’s July Fourth Celebration
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will host a night of fireworks, live music and a watermelon-eating contest at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Registration for the watermelon-eating contest, hosted by members of The PIT, begins at 7 p.m. Three preliminary heats will be held to see who can down watermelon the fastest. The final is held on the main stage, and the winner receives UNC football tickets.
“If you’re familiar with the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest, this is actually patterned very similarly, where we do an old-fashioned, family fun watermelon-eating contest,” Chapel Hill’s Marketing and Sponsorship Coordinator Wes Tilghman said. “It’s quite the hit, it really is.”
Before the fireworks display, celebration attendees can get their faces painted and listen to the Matt Stratford Band. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
Tilghman said he is excited about Kenan Stadium's recent seating renovations that include chair backs, which will offer a more comfortable experience.
Suggested contributions at the celebration are $1 per person or $5 per family.
Festival for the Eno
The Eno River Association will host the 39th annual Festival for the Eno on July 4 and 7 to spread awareness of and raise money for the protection of the Eno River basin.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. on both Wednesday and Saturday and features 70 bands across five stages. Performers include the African American Dance Ensemble of Durham and the Cane Creek Cloggers of Chapel Hill.
Local artisans also take center stage at this year’s festival, with craft artists from across the South hosting booths and tutorials.
“When people come out they can try their hand at a pottery wheel or weaving or spinning yarn,” Festival Director Greg Bell said. “All of that is against the backdrop of great traditional and contemporary music.”
Festival attendees can bring coolers without alcohol or snack on food from local vendors. Parking is at Durham County Memorial Stadium and an air-conditioned shuttle will run between the lot and the festival.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the festival. A two-day pass costs $35, a one-day pass costs $23 and children ages 13-17 cost $11. Children under 12 can enter the festival for free.
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