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Chapel Hill and Carrboro host events throughout the day to celebrate Fourth of July

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Fireworks lit up the early evening sky at the 2019 Town of Chapel Hill's Fourth of July celebration hosted at Southern Village. 

For UNC students and community members who long for something to do on the Fourth of July this year, here is a guide to the many events that Chapel Hill and Carrboro offer to celebrate Independence Day.

Carrboro Town Celebration

Carrboro’s Fourth of July celebration will take place this Monday, with pre-event activities set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Weaver Street Market. 

Following the bike/wagon decorating and costume contests on the Weaver Street Lawn, community members are invited to participate in the People’s Parade at 10:50 a.m. The parade will travel from Weaver Street Market to the Carrboro Town Hall for the main events. 

“We’ll have our annual pie-eating contest, and then other activities with inflatables, face-painting, having the scrap exchange out and things we’ve done for a number of years,” Carrboro Recreation Administrator Charles Harrington said. 

Live music performances will take place at the Carrboro Town Hall between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Carrboro’s celebration also includes the ninth annual reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils will lead the reading at Carrboro Century Center’s Century Hall at noon. 

“(Reading the essay) started as a part of a program begun by Massachusetts Humanities, and they would encourage communities to come together to read his essay to provide a different perspective about what July Fourth means for Black Americans,” Harrington said. “It’s very important that we highlight that.”

Harrington said that after holding a smaller celebration last year due to COVID-19, the Town of Carrboro is returning to its larger annual Fourth of July event. Carrboro town staff from the recreation, parks, resources, fire, police and public works departments, as well as community volunteers, work together to plan and execute the event. 

Chapel Hill Town Fireworks Display

The Town of Chapel Hill is holding a fireworks display at Southern Community Park to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. Viewers can begin to gather on the lawn around 7 p.m. and the fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. 

“We welcome blankets, chairs, packing a picnic and bringing it to Southern Community Park,” Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture Marketing and Communications Coordinator Melissa Bartoletta said. 

She said the firework display will be between 25 and 30 minutes long, and viewers will also be able to watch the fireworks from the Southern Village Green. 

“It’s a long-standing tradition to have fireworks in our community,” she said. 

Attendees are encouraged to park at the Jackson Deck at UNC Hospitals for free and use the shuttle service from the deck to Southern Community Park. The shuttle is also free and will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. before the fireworks display. After the display, shuttles will run back to the parking deck until 10:30 p.m. 

Accessible parking will be available in the parking lot closest to the park's main entrance on Sumac Road beginning at 7 p.m.

Cookout before the fireworks 

Market and Moss’s Fourth of July cookout is set to take place this Monday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. before the Town of Chapel Hill's fireworks display. 

Located in the Southern Village community, Market and Moss is right across the street from the Southern Village Green and a two-minute drive from the Community Park. 

The cookout menu will include pork ribs finished on the patio grill, flatbreads, chicken schnitzel, fried fish sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw and desserts. 

Market and Moss Owner Annie Johnston said that in addition to offering indoor and patio seating, the restaurant intentionally planned for carry-out service during the cookout.

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 “The idea is that it's approachable to everyone,” she said. “It’s very easy to take it to the green and watch the show.”

Reservations for seating for indoor and patio seating can be made on the Market and Moss website. 


@DTHCityState | 


Lucy Marques

Lucy Marques is a 2023-24 assistant city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She was previously a city & state senior writer. Lucy is a junior pursuing a double major in political science and Hispanic literatures and cultures.