With the Fourth of July being on a Tuesday, Independence Day municipal celebrations in Craven and Pamlico counties are spread over five days in Oriental, New Bern, Trent Woods and Havelock.


Havelock Freedom Festival:

The Havelock Parks and Recreation Department is accepting vendor applications The event is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. July 4 at Havelock City Park, with fireworks wrapping up the festivities. The festival includes a variety of games and entertainment such as a Hula Hoop contest, pizza eating contest, pie eating contest, three-legged race and egg toss.

The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band will headline the entertainment, along with Megan McVickers and Amber Lewis.

Vendors can be nonprofit groups or for profit. For-profits must provide their own tents, tables, chairs, concessions and electricity if needed. The cost is $200 for a 10-by-10 space or $300 for a 10-by-20 space. Those selling food may be required to get a temporary food service permit from the Craven County Health Department.

There is no registration fee for nonprofit groups that wish to submit an application.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Monday. The city can limit or refuse vendors based upon items that are planned to be sold.

For more information, contact the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department at 444-6429.


City of New Bern:

New Bern’s annual July Fourth celebration again invites residents and visitors are invited to the Independence Day festivities and patriotic fireworks show.

Events begin in the afternoon at Lawson Creek Park, followed by fireworks in the evening that will be launched from the boat ramp at the east end of the park.

This popular launch spot provides a scenic view of the fireworks from the waterfront, downtown, the Neuse and Trent rivers, and Lawson Creek Park.

Lawson Creek Park will be open all weekend as a picnic area and fireworks viewing location.

Festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. on July 4, with a misting tent to help stay cool, bounce houses for the children, games, and food and beverage concessions.

From 5 to 9 p.m., a deejay will play music and host dance contests.

Capping off the evening, the fireworks show will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Handicapped accessible parking will be available at Lawson Creek Park.

Other parking inside the park will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Overflow parking will be available nearby at Temple Baptist Church,1500 Kingdom Way and the Twin Rivers YMCA, 100 YMCA Lane.

The city will also offer shuttle service from Stanley White Recreation Center, 901 Chapman St. The shuttle will run about every 20 minutes from 4 to 8 p.m. and resume once the fireworks show is over.

There are no street closures in effect for this event.

However, Jack’s Island and the boat ramp at the east end of Lawson Creek Park will be closed from 11 p.m. July 3 through 11 p.m. July 4 - used to secure the fireworks launch site.

The boat launch near Thalmann Field will remain open until 6 p.m. Independence Day for boaters, kayakers and paddle boarders who wish to get on the water.

Note that the boat ramp will be closed from 6 p.m. until after the fireworks show.

Visitors are welcome to bring coolers, blankets, lawn chairs and tailgate items to Lawson Creek Park.

However, alcohol, glass, fireworks, pets, weapons and concealed carry weapons are not permitted.

Service animals are permitted pursuant to city ordinance Section 6-5. Bicyclists are asked to refrain from riding their bikes inside the park.

To manage Lawson Creek Park traffic, the U.S. 70 West exit to Country Club Road, Pembroke and Trent Woods will be closed from 9 to 10 p.m. Traffic approaching from U.S. 70 East, Trent Woods or Pembroke will be directed back onto U.s. 70 West. Also traffic will be permitted onto First Street. After the fireworks show, all vehicle traffic will be directed to turn left out of the park toward the U.S. Highway 70 entrance ramps and Country Club Road into Trent Woods and Pembroke.

U.S. 17 Business will remain open as an alternate entry point back into the northern parts of town.

The city’s rain date for the fireworks is July 5. This will be a fireworks-only event. Parking begins at 7 p.m. at Lawson Creek Park and Temple Baptist Church. The fireworks show will begin around 9:15 p.m.

As a reminder, New Bern city offices will be closed on July 3 and 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

Trash and recycling services will run as normal.


Croaker Festival:

Croaker Festival 2017:

“Celebrating our Fishing Heritage” is this year’s theme for the 2017 Croaker Festival on June 30, July 1 and 2.

The festival features vendors, arts and crafts, non-profits food and information booths, a children’s carnival, a regatta, live music and a July 1 parade. Fireworks will be held on the evening of July 1.

“The Croaker Committee has worked with the Oriental town manager, Pamlico Emergency Services, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, East Coast Pyrotechnics, U.S. Coast Guard and the N.C Department of Transportation on the firework display,” said festival manager Cheryl Thompson. “Our fireworks celebration is a tradition in our little town that draws visitors from all over to view the fabulous display. This year should prove to be the best-ever, as we have secured permission to launch them from atop the bridge. We are announcing this exciting news now so that all patrons and residents will have ample opportunity to find a location to view the show.”

With the bridge being the new launch location, there will have to be changes to the bridge closure, which organizers said will be a slight inconvenience for those that normally travel the bridge or watch from the bridge.

Sponsor a Sparkle” can be made through Paypal or by check made payable to Croakerfestival, Inc. mailed to P.O.Box 1067.

The July 1 parade through downtown of the village is entitled “Celebrating Our Fishing Heritage/”

Entry forms may be downloaded from the web site or picked up at town hall.

This year’s Parade will feature the Marine Corp marching band.

On opening night, the Pamlico Chorale and Pamlico Community Band will perform, along with a street dance by Jill and the Authentics – jazz, blues and rock.

The July 1 lineup plays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entertainers include Saltwater Acoustics, Ken Belangia, The Moore’s Creek Boys, The Four Shots and a Zumba demo.

The national headline band takes the stage on the South Avenue waterfront at 7 p.m. - Masters of Soul Show and TFC Dance Band.

This Band celebrates the music and style of some of the greatest Motown artist and features stylishly costumed fully choreographed tributes to both male and female groups like The Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Smokey Robinson& the Miracles and many more…The second half features the TFC Band that will open the floor for dancing!

Beauty pageants are also a tradition.

Little Miss Minnow - ages 4 to 7 - and Croaker Queen - ages 14 to 18 - must be residents of Pamlico County.

To volunteer or participate, contact Cheryl Thompson by email atcetsail23@aol.com or call 249-0510 and leave a message.

On the web: croakerfestival.com.


River Bend 4th of July:

River Bend has a day of activities scheduled on the Town Commons on Shoreline Drive July 4.

It begins with the delivery of food to the town hall and the public aspect begins at 10 a.m. with the lineup for the parade a half-hour later.

Ceremonies open the festivities at 11 a.m. with the National Anthem and introduction of dignitaries.

The always-anticipated food line opens at 11:30 a.m. and a cake walk is at noon. The $3 meals include hot dogs and fixings.

The celebration continues into the afternoon with children games, a moonwalk, bounce house, kayaks, antique vehicles, horses, motorcycles, live music by The Bears oldies band and volleyball games.

Volunteers and donations are still accepted.

To help serve food, call Barbara Maurer at 670-0757.

Want to donate a cake, call Gail Lohman at 288-6872.

Volunteers to help with games should call Ellen Serra at 571-4817.