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Saturday, July 23, 2016
News - Archives By Year

4th of July Celebration!

Come to historic downtown Wilmington on Sunday, July 4 for food, music and fun at the annual 4th of July riverfront celebration and fireworks display!

The national publication Coastal Living included Wilmington's 4th of July celebration in its "Top 10 Spots to Celebrate the 4th" article. Click here to view the article.

Food vendors will line Water Street beginning at 5 p.m., and musical entertainment will be provided by the 440th North Carolina Army National Guard Band in Riverfront Park.

Fireworks will begin at 9:05 p.m. from the Battleship North Carolina, and the prime viewing location will be from the downtown riverfront.


City parking decks located in the 100 block of Market Street and in the 100 block of North 2nd Street will charge a $5 event fee for the festivities. Parking in the 2nd Street lot will be $7 and parking in the city lot adjacent to the Hannah Block Historic USO Building on 2nd Street will be $5. On-street parking is always free on Sundays.

Street closure map



Street Closures (click on map to enlarge)

The following streets will be closed for the 4th of July celebration: Water St. between Market and Grace and the 00 blocks of Market and Princess streets will close at 2 p.m. (event area); Chestnut St. between 3rd and Front streets will close at 5 p.m. for traffic purposes.

Please note: The Wilmington Police Department anticipates closing streets west of 3rd St. toward the river in the downtown area by 6 p.m. Once parking is no longer available, streets will be closed.

If you are planning on parking in the downtown district or in one of the parking decks, arrive early.

EXPECT DELAYS when arriving and leaving the downtown area due to the large volume of traffic for the event. Please also note that longer delays should be expected for those parking in any of the decks due to high volumes of traffic exiting at one time.

After the fireworks are over...

All traffic parked SOUTH of Chestnut St. (including the City parking decks in the 100 block of Market  St. and in the 100 block of North 2nd St.) will be diverted SOUTH by the WPD toward Market St., Dawson St. and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

All traffic parked NORTH of Chestnut St. (including the New Hanover County parking deck in the 200 block of North 2nd St.) will be diverted NORTH by the WPD toward MLK Parkway and the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

All vehicles should park on the side of downtown (with Chestnut Street being the dividing line) that is closest to the direction they will be traveling after the fireworks have ended for easy access out of downtown.

The Wilmington Police Department offers the following tips for those who plan to attend fireworks and related festivities in downtown Wilmington on Saturday.

  • Plan in advance. Choose to park either north or south of Chestnut Street, depending on the direction you will be traveling after the fireworks have ended.
  • If you park south of Chestnut Street (including the two City parking decks in that area) you will be directed south toward Market Street, Dawson Street and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.
  • If you park north of Chestnut Street (including the County parking deck in the 200 block of North Second Street), we’ll direct you north toward the MLK Parkway and the Isabel Holmes Bridge.
  • New route this year! Some cars will be directed onto McRae Street as a way of getting onto the MLK Parkway. Drivers unfamiliar with using McRae to get to the MLK can just follow the special detour signs.
  • Some major downtown intersections will be controlled from City Traffic Engineering’s control center, rather than by police officers. For example, Third / Front Street (PPD intersection) will be regulated in this manner. The operator in the control room is able to monitor the traffic flow and regulate the traffic signals accordingly.

This event always brings large crowds and lots of traffic to the downtown area, so expect delays. Be patient and take your time getting out.

Visit the 4th of July Celebration page or call 910.341.7855 for more information.

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