It’s time, once again, to celebrate America. Here’s what’s going on in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Parade and community reading of Frederick Douglass Essay

Each year, Carrboro celebrates the 4th of July by holding a people’s parade – with prizes! – and an annual community reading of the Frederick Douglass essay “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” All information is available on the town website.

When and where?

Activites begin at 9:30 a.m. at Weaver Street Market, followed by The People’s Parade from Weaver Street to Town Hall at 10:50 a.m. led by the Bulltown Strutters. The event continues at Carrboro Town Commons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The reading of the Douglass essay will take place from 12-1:30pm at the Century Center. Introductory remarks: Mayor Barbara Foushee. Keynote address: Danita Mason-Hogans. Closing remarks: James Williams Jr.

Should I decorate myself? How about my bike?

Yes and yes. The costume contest takes place from 10-10:30 on the Weaver Street Lawn, followed by the parade.

Will I get towed if I park at Carr Mill Mall, go to the costume contest, and then join the parade?

You may! Carr Mill Mall tows anyone who leaves the lot! Please don’t park at Carr Mill Mall. You can park at the currently free town lots.

Is there a pie eating contest?

Yes. Starting at 2 at town hall. Also: senior bingo in the Council Chambers and a baby crawling contest.


The Town of Chapel Hill’s July 4 fireworks celebration will be held at Southern Community Park in Southern Village. Fireworks start at 9pm.  The town has a website with information about parking and transportation. They also have a survey open to see if you’d prefer a drone show next year.

Here are the highlights:

There’s a free shuttle running from UNC to Southern Village

Shuttles to the fireworks begin at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 4th from the Jackson Parking Deck at UNC to the Southern Village Park & Ride. The last shuttle departs the deck at 8:45 p.m. NO shuttles will run during the show. Shuttles will return to the deck until 10:30 p.m.

Parking lots in the Southern Community Park and Southern Village Park and Ride will close at 2pm

They’ll reopen at 7pm, but there’s very, very limited spacing available. We recommend taking the Jackson Parking Deck shuttle. Chapel Hill Transit’s normal buses won’t be operating because of the holiday. Accessible Parking will be available closest to the Southern Community Park Pavilion.

You can’t park on 15-501 or at Scroggs Elementary

Both will be closed.

Can I see the fireworks from other spots?

We’ve heard some parking decks at UNC Hospital are okay, though may be obstructed.

Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....