North Carolina Fourth of July Festival

by Jun 5, 2023Events, South Brunswick, Southport Oak Island

The small town of Southport celebrates the nation’s independence with a huge festival from June 30 to July 4.

Families looking for a unique Fourth of July destination need look no further than Southport, which boasts a celebration first recorded in a newspaper in 1795. Now the official State of North Carolina’s celebration, the event attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year and has expanded to encompass activities at nearby Oak Island.

Event highlights include picnics, arts and crafts in the park, a parade, fireworks, a firefighters’ competition, children’s games, live entertainment, great food and, of course, lots of red, white, and blue.

The welcoming ceremony in Southport will be held on the Fort Johnston lawn in Southport on June 30 at 6:30 pm. This will be followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a nod to the festival’s mission of patriotism. The Welcoming Ceremony on Oak Island will be Saturday, July 1 at 5:45 pm at Middleton Park Extension. It will be followed by a Beach Day Concert featuring Carl Newton Review.

Parade Southport 4th July

Patriotism is woven into the celebration via events such as the Salute to Veterans, a 9/11 Remembered Traveling Memorial, a Naturalization Ceremony, Flag Retirement Ceremony, Flag Raising Ceremony and a military and first responder equipment exhibition.

For the more energetic, activities include a beach day full of activities — corn hole, bocce ball and volleyball tournaments and children’s activities — in Oak Island.

There will be live pro wrestling and an Uncle Sam skydive on Oak Island as well. Southport will also host games and entertainment.

This year’s Fourth of July Festival will host arts and crafts, entertainment and food concessions in Southport at Franklin Square Park. Food Truck Row will expand the cuisine options. Local merchants will also have an opportunity to showcase their merchandise by participating in Merchant’s Row. And, of course, there’s the iconic Southport parade and fireworks on July 4th.

Southport 4th July 2023

Up Your Arts, a local nonprofit that promotes the arts, will once again organize all the free entertainment. This year’s entertainment events will be held at Waterfront Park in Southport, Middleton Park in Oak Island and at various businesses and public areas around Southport. There is a showcase for multiple forms of talent including abbreviated plays, recitations, music and dance. Again, Up Your Arts is seeking talent for performances. Contact Bonnie Bray of Up Your Arts at for more information.

Want to go?
228th North Carolina Fourth of July Celebration
June 30 to July 4
View the entire Festival schedule and daily waterfront entertainment schedule at