The High Country is a popular destination for Independence Day travelers – and for good reason. There are a ton of crazy, cool, and traditional events going on to celebrate the independence of our great nation. With the Fourth falling on a Wednesday this year, we hope you will take the opportunity to have a mid-week celebration either by enjoying one (or several!) of the happenings around town or simply celebrating with your friends and family.
And as a special treat to you, dear readers, we are revealing our favorite secret “off-the-grid” spots for firework viewing!
Patriotic Parades on the Fourth:
Town of Boone – Parade, music, fireworks, FREE watermelon! – “On July 4, the Town of Boone and the Jones House will host the annual 4th of July Parade. The parade kicks off at 11:00 AM then travels down King Street. Grab a spot on King Street to watch the festive floats and patriotic parade go by. Once the parade is over, head up to the Jones House (604 W. King Street) for free watermelon, cake, and refreshments from Mayor Rennie Brantz, Town Council members, and the town of Boone staff.
Later that afternoon, head over to Clawson/Burnley Park on the Boone Greenway for fun and fireworks! We’ll have music, games, and fireworks for everyone at the park. Fireworks start at “dark-thirty” (that’s 30 minutes after dark!).
Want to be in the parade? Go to the joneshouse.org for a parade registration form and more info.”
Event description from Town of Boone facebook page.
Banner Elk Parade – “Party in the Park” and “Great American Duck Races” – what!?
“An all-American celebration takes place each Fourth of July in Banner Elk. It’s a day that makes Uncle Sam proud, starting with the Banner Elk Fourth of July Parade at 11:00 a.m. The parade begins at the Lees-McRae campus library and goes down Main Street.
The parade concludes with a “Party in the Park” in Tate-Evans Town Park, where folks enjoy lunch from several vendors and traditional lawn games like the egg-toss and sack race. Banner Elk’s Duck Race, which features hundreds of rubber ducks racing down the creek in the park, makes this an event not to be missed.
The parade and party are part of the larger Mile High Fourth of July, a multi-day celebration of our nation’s independence each year in early July. Banner Elk combined with neighboring town Beech Mountain for several days of patriotic festivities, live music, fireworks and more, all culminating with the July 4th parade and party.”
Information from BannerElk.com
North Wilkesboro Firetruck Parade and Fireworks -Emergency vehicles of all sizes will parade through the downtown area honoring firefighters, rescue squads, police and sheriff’s departments from Wilkes and surrounding counties. After the parade, sit back and enjoy the annual fireworks display from Memorial Park. Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket and spend the evening.
Information from Visitnc.com.
North Wilkes – Head to Memorial Park to catch the show! Starts after the sun sets.
Tweetsie Railroad – Free Parking – though you may want to plan to get there a bit early as it tends to go quickly, and traffic on 321 can get a little hairy right before the show starts! Fireworks start at 9:30 am.
Town of Boone – Fireworks are set to start around sundown. Watch from anywhere in town…
You Won’t Find This Anywhere Else:
Todd Liberty Parade – This truly seems like the COOLEST. EVENT. EVER. Anyone can just roll up and participate in a rad, artsy, community-building foot-walking parade through one of the cutest, tiniest towns in the High Country! The costumes are out of this world and I can only imagine how carefree and joyful the vibe of the whole day must be. This is a bucket list item, for sure!
Ashe County Festival – “Gates to Ashe County Park will open at 3:00 PM. A shuttle bus will run from the new courthouse parking lot beginning at 3:30 PM and will run again at the end of the fireworks show. There will be inflatables for kids ($5 for an all-day wristband). Concessions will be available and there will be a couple of specialty vendors. High Country Disc Golf Course will be closed the entire day.”
Information from AsheChamber.com
Burning in Effigy of King George II – “5:30 — 6:30 p.m. Wish you had a chance to visit the 1700s? Attend this free event at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone, and you’ll get pretty close. Activities range from hearing a live reading of the Declaration of Independence to drinking apple cider and burning King George III’s effigy.”
Event description from WataugaDemocrat.com
Best Kept Secrets – Where to really watch the fireworks this Fourth:
Beat the traffic and the crazy crowds! Enjoy a picnic on the side of a mountain with a sprawling, gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge while having the best seat in the house to see the High Country fireworks.
Thunder Hill Overlook – catch the Tweetsie show from this scenic overlook at Milepost 290.
Flat Top Fire Tower – I was here this past weekend with a friend sharing how this would be a nice spot to catch the Tweetsie show. An awesome hike and a short climb to the top of the fire tower – because this spot is relatively small, I would recommend going early (a nice excuse for a pre-sunset hike) and traveling in a small group!
Howard’s Knob – Perched just above the campus of Appalachian State University, this mountain-top spot should provide a sweet vantage point to enjoy the Town of Boone fireworks! Bring a blanket to sit on!
Sam’s pick is App Ski Mountain – Park at the top of the mountain to get a birdseye view of the Tweetsie show down below!
Michael’s favorite spot is along Highway 105, just North of the main Linville Ridge entrance – He suggests pointing your car towards (your) home and bringing a flashlight, lawn chairs, and a blanket to sit in the lawn cut grassy area by the Linville Ridge gate.
There you have it, folks! A proper Fourth in the High Country! We wish you a safe and happy holiday with your friends and family.