Our Signature Events

These events are the key to the festival, and you can expect them every year!

Naturalization Ceremony

The ceremony is a significant part of the annual North Carolina 4th of July Festival in Southport. After a three-year hiatus, the North Carolina 4th of July Festival is delighted to once again provide an appropriate venue to welcome some of our country’s newest citizens. There could not be a more appropriate venue for our country’s newest citizens than in Southport, North Carolina, on the Banks of the Cape Fear River.

Veterans Recognition

The Veteran Recognition Ceremony is a mainstay of the July 4th Festival. During the many celebrations, it allows the public to stop and remember those who serve our country, protecting our freedoms. We encourage all Veterans in the area to attend. Dinner will be provided and seating is limited; this event is first come, first serve.

Arts & Crafts Market

Celebrate creativity and independence at the NC 4th of July Arts & Crafts Market. Discover a vibrant showcase of handcrafted treasures, from intricate ceramics to dazzling jewelry, all created by talented artisans. Immerse yourself in the festive ambiance, enjoy live music, and savor local treats. Join us to support independent artists and cherish the spirit of American artistry in this unique and unforgettable event. Let freedom and craftsmanship unite this Independence Day!

Annual Fire Fighters Freedom Competition & Apparatus Expo

This event, organized by the Southport Fire Department, has drawn firefighters from area fire departments to compete since 1984. What looks like fun games to the spectators is really an event to test the teamwork of a department, as it pays homage to the training and firefighting methods of our past. Take, for example, the bucket brigade. It was the method of extinguishing fires until the invention of the hand-
pumped fire engine. A tremendous amount of teamwork and physical endurance, the key to an effective fire department, is needed to complete this duty.
The competitive events include Tanker Tug, Command Post, Bucket Brigade, Benjamin Franklin Impersonator,
Extrication Demonstration, Mystery Event, Fire Extinguisher Demonstration, and Barrel Push, as well as this
year’s newest activity, a pie-eating contest. Appearances
by Sparky, Smokey, and Marshal from Paw Patrol®. Fire engines, ladder trucks, and equipment will be displayed, and firefighters will be available to answer any questions.

Beach Day

Beach Day is filled with fun and family-friendly activities organized by the Oak Island Recreation Department; with events held in collaboration with the North Carolina 4th of July Festival, as part of the larger schedule of activities hosted throughout the week to commemorate our Nation’s Independence Day.


Each year, the committee strives to honor those who are or have been in service to our country, and this year is no exception. The parade is one of the biggest highlights of the entire festival.

Oak Island

Oak Island will lead the way with a show from Oak Island Pier that starts at 9 p.m. and caps a day’s worth of Beach Day activities marking the anniversary of the town’s founding.

The pier is at 705 Ocean Drive, but the show should be visible from miles away, including Caswell Beach, the western portion of Oak Island, and even the waterfront in Southport, depending on the cloud coverage (and if you don’t mind seeing smaller fireworks due to the distance).


Nine years after defeating the British, the residents of what’s now Southport fired cannons at the mouth of the Cape Fear River to celebrate the defeat of King George and the troops who ransacked Brunswick Town and burned the St. Philip’s Church.

This year’s 4th of July celebration includes a barge-mounted fireworks show from the waterfront at 9 p.m. that is expected to last for at least 20 minutes.

The start will include a red burst for the blood shed by heroes, a white burst for the light of freedom, and a blue burst for courage to stand tall.