Our Guide to Ocracoke Independence Day Celebration

Three Days of Fun! 

The festivities kick off Tuesday, July 3, with the famous Ocracoke Square Dance and a fireworks show to be seen from beautiful Silver Lake. The fun continues July 4 with a full day of activities, featuring the Sand Sculpture Contest, a traditional hometown parade and then something new in the evening – a Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Effects Show and Dance Party. Festivities conclude Thursday, July 5, with a Community Beach Bonfire finale. Ocracoke Island is the only destination that combines a relaxing beach vacation on miles of untouched National Seashore, with three days of 4 of July celebration within walking distance of your accommodations. 

Tuesday, July 3, begins with a traditional Ocracoke Island Square Dance at the newly built Berkley Manor Barn from 6 to 8 p.m. with music provided by Molasses Creek.  At 8 p.m., Emerald Owl Productions deejay will spin dance tunes and patriotic songs at the NPS docks for the pre-fireworks gathering. 
At 9:15 p.m., the island will host a spectacular firework show that can be viewed from Silver Lake Harbor.  The fireworks will be launched from the large National Park Service parking area (closed for the fireworks), located at the southern end of the island. Hyde County sponsors the show in conjunction with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association and the National Park Service.  Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and gather anywhere around beautiful Silver Lake harbor for awesome waterside viewing.
The celebration continues Wednesday, July 4, with events scheduled throughout the day:

  • 8 to 10 a.m.: “Meet Winnie,” the newest member of Ocracoke’s Pony Heard at the NPS Pony Pens
  • 9 a.m.: “Flag Raising and the National Anthem” - Ocracoke School Flag Circle on School Road
  • 9:30 a.m. – Noon: “40th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest” at the NPS Lifeguard Beach, with cash prizes and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show. Judged and peoples’ choice awards. Register online at: http://business.visitocracokenc.com/form/view/11309
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Classic Car Show” - on the Pony Island Lawn, sponsored by Jimmy’s Garage
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: “Ocracoke Lighthouse Viewing” – all are welcome to see inside; no climbing
  • 4 p.m.: “Old Time Independence Day Parade” - featuring a procession of floats, walkers, decorated golf carts and bicycles. Starts at the Ocracoke Oyster Co., travels through the village and ends at the NPS Parking Lot.  This year’s theme is the “300th Anniversary of Blackbeard’s Last Day,” with a special prize category this year of “Best Blackbeard.”  Blackbeard himself will be the grand marshal. All are welcome to enter the parade to vie for cash prize awards and special trophy created by island artist Susan Dodd for Best in Show.  Register online at: http://business.visitocracokenc.com/form/view/11301
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.: “Storytelling with Donald Davis” - lawn of Books to be Red
  • 6:45 p.m.: “Awards Presentation for Parade and Sand Sculpture Contest” - Books to be Red lawn
  • 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. “Glow-in-the-Dark Laser Show and Dance Party” – Ocracoke Community Park. Wear your glow-in-the-dark gear and dance to music from the last five decades, all with laser special effects. There will be interactive games, contests, giveaways and fun for all ages. $5 admission. Glow items and concessions will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Ocracoke Youth Center. Rain date is July 5th.  Purchase tickets in advance here: https://ocracokevillage.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/1526

On Thursday, July 5, join in the finale event at the “Community Beach Bonfire Under the Stars” from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Ocracoke Day Use Area/NPS Lifeguard Beach. Bring your beach blankets, chairs, marshmallows, roasting sticks. S’mores will be provided for first 150 attendees.

Parade & Sand Sculpture Entry Forms & Rules
2018 Parade Entry Form or click here to register online.
2018 July 4th Parade Rules
2018 Sand Sculpture Contest Guidelines  or click here to register online.
2018 Sand Sculpture Entry Form
2018 Ocracoke Independence Day Celebration Poster
Ocra-Glow Island Party to Benefit Ocracoke Youth Center 
Buy tickets online to the Glow Party here:https://ocracokevillage.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/1526