Independence Day brings a number of annual celebrations around the area, with a variety of events scheduled throughout the day on Wednesday.
The activities begin early with the River Bend Parade and Celebration, headquartered at the River Bend Commons.
The 10:30 a.m. parade will be followed by opening ceremonies. Activities include a food line, opening at 11:30 a.m. and a noon cakewalk.
Children’s activities include crafts, games, a bounce house, water-mister, horses and kayaks. Live music will be provided by the popular New Bern oldies band, The Bears.
The city of New Bern celebration has activities at Union Point Park and Lawson Creek Park.
Union Point Park, 210 E. Front St., opens its gates at 5 p.m. The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Cherry Point is scheduled to play from 7 to 9 p.m.
Coolers are welcome but do not bring glass, alcohol, fireworks, grills or pets. Service animals are permitted.
Lawson Creek Park opens at 5:30 p.m., with food and beverage concessions, games, bounce houses and a misting tent. That is in advance of the 9:15 p.m. annual fireworks over the rivers.
Again, coolers are welcome, but do not bring glass, alcohol, fireworks, grills or pets. Service animals permitted.
Bicyclists are asked to refrain from riding inside the parks.
Parking and handicap-accessible parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. A shuttle to to Lawson Creek from the Stanley White Recreation Center will operate from 5 to 8 p.m. and again after the fireworks. Parking is also available at nearby Temple Baptist Church and Twin Rivers YMCA.
The U.S. 70 West exit ramp to Country Club Road will be closed to all traffic immediately prior to the fireworks show.
Traffic approaching the park from U.S. 70 East or from Trent Woods and Pembroke will be directed onto U.S. 70 West immediately prior to the fireworks show. No traffic will be permitted onto First Street.
After the show, all traffic exiting Lawson Creek Park will turn left toward U.S. 70 East/West and Country Club Road.
The Glorious Fourth at Tryon Palace is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday in New Bern.
There will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Palace front steps, following the Fife and Drum Corps Parade down the main Allee at 11 a.m. The 1st NC Regiment of the Continental Line will be on the South Lawn during the event and will perform a firing demonstration directly after the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Children will have a chance to practice using a quill pen to sign their own copy of the Declaration. The event will include various individuals from the period — with several viewpoints from the period — roaming the grounds as well.
The annual Havelock Freedom Festival celebrating the Fourth of July is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at Havelock City Park.
The event includes activities and games such as the hula hoop contest, pizza-eating contest, pie-eating contest, three-legged race and egg toss.
Various booths and vendors will be on hand. Megan McVickers will provide entertainment.
Fireworks are scheduled for around 9 p.m. at the adjacent Walter B. Jones Park.