What to do in Raleigh for July 4th, 2023 (+ where to see fireworks)

While we’re not American, we figured out quickly that July 4th is a day for celebration with those you love.

American flag with baseball game in background
Durham Bulls – Great July 4th experience

You come together, eat hot dogs, have a few drinks, play some corn hole, wave a few flags, maybe watch a game of baseball, listen to music, and enjoy some fireworks!

Not too different to how we celebrate Australia Day except we have cricket not baseball. Coincidentally both are extremely long games that some may say can put you to sleep!

Independence Day 2023 is on a Tuesday, so not offering us the grace of a long weekend, but still giving us a welcome day off and shorter working week.

For this 4th of July list, we’re including special events or celebrations, where you can find the fireworks in all areas of Raleigh and the Triangle, and a few ideas for enjoying perhaps a more peaceful day.

I’ve shared a few events for all areas of Raleigh, including the nearby cities and towns of Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Clayton, Wendell, Roseville, Fuquay-Varina, and Carborro.

 NOTE: Be mindful of the dates as some events won’t actually be on Monday July 4th, but on the days surrounding it. Click here to see more events in July.

July 4th Events in the Triangle

State Capitol Family Celebration, July 4th, 2023

aeria view of North Carolina State Capitol Building, Raleigh
NC State Capitol Building
  • Where: The NC State Capitol
  • When: 11:30pm, July 4th

The NC State Capitol is hosting a free, fun-filled family event that offers musical performances and several hands-on activities for children to enjoy.

The Raleigh Concert Band will be performing from 11:30-12:00.

Beginning at noon, they will host a ceremony that includes a reading from the Declaration of Independence and a performance by the Raleigh Concert Band.

The Capitol will host a ceremony that includes an outdoor naturalization for new citizens. The ceremony will also include a reading from the Declaration of Independence and a wreath laying at the George Washington monument by the Sons of the American Revolution. 

Festival for the Eno / EnoFest, July 1 & July 4, 2023

peoople dancing with masks Festival for the Eno
Image by EnoFest.org
  • Where: West Point on the Eno River City Park
  • When: 10am – 6pm
  • Website: www.enofest.org
  • Tickets: $35 p/day or $60 for 2 day pass

The legendary Eno Fest, held on the banks of the beautiful Eno River on Independence Day is a Triangle festival not to miss!

Held annually since 1980, the Festival for the Eno is considered to be one of the premier folk and arts festivals in North Carolina and the Southeast. 

It is an immersive experience featuring dozens of musical acts from gospel to roots (over 60 artists across four stages), local artisans, a juried craft show, water activities, and an international food court. Bring your swimmers as you can wade in the river!

This is a festival enveloped in good juju and an important mission: to conserve and protect the natural environment, culture, and history of the Eno River basin. Proceeds support the association’s work in the upkeep of the river and the purchase of land within its watershed.

Independence Day Open House, Joel Lane Museum, July 4th

  • Where: 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh
  • When: 11am-4pm, July 4th
  • Website: www.joellane.org

Watch re-enactors, listen to music, and enjoy arts and crafts and activities grounds of the Joel Lane Museum House, the oldest extant home in Wake County and in Raleigh.

The bottom floor of the historic house will be open to walk through, with docents in each room. Free lemonade and ice cream will be available as long as supplies last. This is a free event.

Old Fashioned Fourth of July, Apex, Jul 4, 2023

A long-standing celebration in Apex. 

Starting with the flag raising and a speech from the mayor, it will be followed by games and inflatables, and a Parade of Wheels. Kids are invited to decorate any non-motorized vehicles in the red, white, and blue! 

The fire department will then cool you down with a hose splash!

Carrboro 4th July Celebration (with reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay)

There is a full day of events happening in Carrboro for July 4th. Pre-event experience begins at Weaver St Market lawn where there will be a Bike/Wagon Decorating Contest along with a Costume Contest for kids! The People’s Parade will follow (10:30am) from Weaver Street Market to the Main Event at Carrboro Town Commons.

Mayor Damon Seils will host the annual Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro.”  in the Carrboro Century Center’s Century Hall at 12:00pm.

The community reading will be followed by a musical performance from Tre. Charles at 2:00pm. At 4:00pm, the Town and the Cat’s Cradle will present a live streaming concert featuring local favorites, Mix Tape Grab Bag. 

Ideas for celebrating July 4th

While there are several events in Raleigh for July 4th, you may just want to celebrate it with a fun activity or time with friends and family. Here are a few ideas for that. 

Is there anything more American than baseball and fireworks? Let’s start with the baseball games in the Triangle!

Durham Bulls Baseball Game

man holding beer wtih durham bulls logo on it
Great July 4th experience
  • Where: Durham Bulls Athletic Park
  • When: 6:35pm
  • Website: www.milb.com

Last year we had loads of fun at the Durham Bulls Game for July 4th. As we mentioned in our latest podcast on Durham, a baseball game here is one of our favorites in the country (so far). It just has that warm, welcoming, fun, and vibrant spirit that we love so much in the Triangle.

This year the Bulls play Memphis. They always finish with a spectacular fireworks display after the game. (anticipate 9:15pm). You can see all our tips for having a great time at the Durham Bulls baseball here

Fireworks hosted by the City of Durham

Fireworks in the sky durham bulls baseball field

Gates will open for general admission at the end of the 7th inning based on availability for those that would like to view the fireworks show from inside the ballpark.

For prime viewing sites outside of the ballpark, check out the grassy area behind Diamond View 3, the North Deck at Burt’s Bees, Tobacco Road Sports Café or Ponysaurus Brewing.

Carolina Mudcats Baseball Game, Zebulon, July 4, 2023

We have another great opportunity for July 4th baseball and fireworks in Wake County. The Carolina Mudcats are the officially licensed Carolina League, Class-A, affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. 

First established in 1991, the Mudcats have provided affordable Wake County family fun for over 30 years at the 6,500 seat Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C.

Mudcats for America Fireworks

The Mudcats for America fireworks series returns to Five County Stadium for Independence Day on July 4. They play more games from July 5-9, with fireworks on Friday the 7th.

Go Fishing 

Reel it in fisherfolk. Did you know every 4th of July is a FREE Fishing day in North Carolina?

All ages can fish for free in public waters without having to purchase a license. Grab a pole, cast a line, and relax on the banks of one of our state’s many beautiful rivers and lakes.

Here is a post sharing the best best places to go fly fishing in North Carolina!

Go Camping / Enjoy the Lakes

people sunbathing on beach at lake gaston nc
Lake Gaston

Is there a better way to celebrate Independence Day than camping with those you love in a pine forest by the side of the lake?

Make it a three-day weekend of boating, paddling, swimming, lazing around, eating burgers and hot dogs on the grill, enjoying sunset drinks while playing cards, and then sitting around the campfire roasting s’mores at night.

We just got home from a three-day camping trip at Lake Gaston – our first time – doing all of the above and it was fantastic.

A few great camping areas near Raleigh (We hope you can book in a spot.)

You don’t even have to camp to enjoy these beautiful lakes. Why not just head out to the lake for the day? 

Hike, Bike, or Paddle followed by a Raleigh Brewery

A man on a paddle board on Lake Johnson
Lake Johnson

Make your Independence Day celebration simply about getting out in nature. With our greenways and lakes, we’re spoiled for choice. The trails will probably be quiet and serene as so many people will be doing other things.

For paddling, we recently did the Robertson Millpond Preserve which was fantastic. We also love Lake Raleigh and Lake Johnson.

We’ve recently hiked a few trails in Umstead Park and loved the Loblolly Trail the most!

See more:

When you’re finished, relax with a pint at your favorite local brewery. They may even have live music or a party event on for you.

Here is a list of Raleigh breweries

Cookout and Chill

burger and hot dog on  iamerican flag plate
Classic 4th of July meal. Image by DepositPhotos.com

You don’t have to go out and do anything for Independence Day. We all know gas prices are ridiculous at the moment.

Stay at home. Fire up the grill. Spend time with your family and friends. Swing in a hammock up in the backyard. Do nothing but chillax. 

Cancel all my plans, this is what I now want to do!

Where to watch the fireworks in Raleigh and Wake County?

Wondering where to watch fireworks and celebrate the 4th of July in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle?

A few notes:

  • Check each website / or town socials for any updated changes due to weather
  • Most firework celebrations allow you to bring chairs, blankets, coolers, and picnics (but check first)
  • Only the Koka Booth fireworks show allows you to bring alcohol. Most others are alcohol free.
  • All fireworks shows are free. Plan to get there just before sundown so you don’t miss it. Most displays will be between 9 and 9:30pm
  • Some will have food trucks and other activities so bring cash.

Fireworks celebration at Dix Park, July 4, 2023

How exciting that this beautiful city park will be the location of Raleigh’s fireworks?

Bring your blankets, chairs, coolers, and picnics. There will be favorite games, like cornhole, music, and fireworks. The Family Zone will have Art activities with Artsplosure; Slides, skee ball, and a foam party pit!

There will be 30 food trucks.

Parking is off-site with free shuttles running between Moore Square and Dix Park.

Town of Cary Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks, July 4, 2023

The very popular Town of Cary’s family-friendly July 4th Celebration includes rides and games, watermelon-eating contests, a 50-foot Ferris wheel, live music and fireworks. 

Doors open at 3:30pm with music from the Cary Town Band. At 5:30pm is the North Carolina Symphony and then the fireworks over Symphony Lake. 

Food vendors will also be outside the gate. We don’t think the food inside is very good and they have NO gluten free options. The event is free, but you can reserve special tables for a fee.

I have heard from many previous attendees this is a fantastic experience to have at least once. However, parking and traffic is meant to be a nightmare, so plan accordingly and perhaps park outside and walk in.

Apex Fireworks Frenzy, July 3, 2023

  • Where: Hunter Street Park 1250 Ambergate Station, Apex, NC 27502
  • When: 5 – 10pm
  • Website: www.apexnc.org

Apex is coming out strong for Independence Day in 2023. They’ll kick off at 9:30pm. 

This year’s event will have a larger footprint, with food trucks and activities along Hunter Street from Salem Street to Mason Street / Laura Duncan Road. 

The event will also have food trucks, bounce houses, and music! Bring your own chairs. No alcohol allowed. 

Fuquay Varina Independence Day Celebration, July 1, 2023

  • Where: South Park, 900 S. Main St., Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
  • When: Gates open at 6pm | Fireworks 9:15pm
  • Website: www.fuquay-varina.org

 Kicking off the July 4th weekend in Fuquay-Varina will be a community celebration of food vendors, live music from Spare Change, and fireworks. Bring a blanket or chair! Coolers allowed but it’s an alcohol-free event.

Garner Independence Day Celebration, July 3, 2023

Beautiful Lake Benson Park is the perfect spot for a community gathering for Independence Weekend in Garner. 

There’ll be a special Kids Zone with activities, and live music with a headlining performance by the North Carolina Symphony. A firework show will finish the evening. Bring your own chairs, coolers, and picnics – no alcohol allowed.

Parking on site is free on a first-come, first-served basis. A free shuttle service from South Garner High School will be provided 

Morrisville Family Fun Festival, July 3, 2023

Morrisville’s Independence Day celebration will include live entertainment, food trucks, face painters, family-friendly games, and roving entertainment. And of course, fireworks to finish the evening. Live music is by Trial by Fire.

Parking will be available at Cedar Fork District Park, located at 232 Aviation Parkway, and Cedar Fork Community Center located at 1050 Town Hall Drive. Shuttle buses will transport participants to and from the event. 

Wake Forest Independence Day Celebration, July 3, 2023

  • Where: Husky Stadium, Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Rd., Wake Forest, NC 27587
  • When: Gates open 5:30pm
  • Website: www.wakeforestnc.gov

Bring blankets and chairs or sit in the bleachers for this firework show on the football field, which is now in its 49th year! You can bring picnic baskets and coolers, but no alcohol.

On July 4th, there is a children’s parade down Downton Wake Forest followed by an art market at 11am at the Wake Forest Community House.

Knightdale, Fourth on First Ave, July 4, 2023

  • Where: Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale, NC 27545
  • When: 4- 9:15pm
  • Website: www.knightdalenc.gov

Expect an evening of inflatable fun, food trucks, and live beach music from The Embers, followed by fireworks display at 9:15pm

The Town will offer free shuttles to Knightdale Station Park from 4:00pm-8:45pm. Shuttle parking can be found at Knightdale High School, Knightdale Community Park, Forestville Elementary School, and the Knightdale Recreation Center. 

Brier Creek Commons Star Spangled Block Party, July 4, 2023

Face painting, 360 photo booths (they are fun) and a dance party with DJ Mark McNally. Fireworks will happen just after 9pm.

Rolesville Fourth, July 4, 2023

It’s all happening in Rolesville with their Independence Day Party. 

Yard games, inflatables, food trucks and Beer and Wine (one of the few offerings!) The live music show is Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox and the fireworks go off with a bang at 9:15pm.

 Holly Springs, July 5, 2023

Enjoying July 4th Celebrations so much you want to keep partying? Holly Springs has a late celebration on the 5th with live entertainment, food, and fireworks.

Wendell Fireworks Show, July 2, 2023

  • Where:  601 W. Third Street, Wendell Community Park
  • When: 6pm / Fireworks at 9pm
  • Website: 

Are you ready for Wendell for your first 4th of July fireworks Show? Doors will open at 6pm for the party that includes American music and food trucks.

Activities at the Fireworks Show will include Americana music and many different food trucks! Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and activities for their families to enjoy. Please refrain from bringing coolers, pets, or personal fireworks including sparklers, so we can keep this a safe event for everyone!

And as mentioned above, there are the two fireworks shows at the baseball games

Mudcats for America Fireworks, Zebulon, July 4 & 7, 2023

The Mudcats for America fireworks series returns to Five County Stadium for Independence Weekend beginning on Friday, July 1 and continuing on both Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3. 

This annual celebration features three straight nights of post-game fireworks following each of Carolina’s home games versus the Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Five County Stadium in Zebulon.

City of Durham Fireworks, July 4, 2023

  • Where: Durham Bulls Athletic Park
  • When: approx 9:15pm

The City of Durham will host their fireworks display at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park after the game. As mentioned above, we highly recommend attending the baseball game on July 4th. It’s a lot of fun. Then you are already in place for the fireworks. 

Those not attending the game can still enjoy the fireworks. Gates will open for general admission at the end of the 7th inning based on availability for those that would like to view the fireworks show from inside the ballpark.

For prime viewing sites outside of the ballpark, check out the grassy area behind Diamond View 3, the North Deck at Burt’s Bees, Tobacco Road Sports Café or Ponysaurus Brewing.

What are your plans for July 4th in Raleigh? Share in the comments below.

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