4th of July Festival

For more than 200 years, Southport and its citizens have celebrated freedom and honored America, and this year will be no exception. Southport's Fourth of July Festival combines a rich sense of history, a vibrant community, an activity for everyone, and food, food, food! The festival has been attracting visitors from all across the country for years as it has continued to grow. Nearly 50,000 people attend the festival each year, drawn to Southport by the beautiful beaches, great food, endless entertainment, and southern hospitality.

The history of celebrating America's independence in Southport dates back over two hundred years, when ships came from far and wide to blast their cannons in tribute to Old Glory. Although some visitors still arrive by boat, the festival now accommodates arrival by land, sea, or air, and you are more likely to hear a great band or a car horn than a cannon.

No festival would be complete without great live music and amazing food, and the Fourth of July Festival doesn't disappoint. The main stage bops through each evening to the sounds of local and national artists performing country, beach, and top 40's tunes. The festival also features an array of scrumptious ''fair food,'' from shrimp burgers and corn dogs to Carolina barbecue and amazing confections that can satisfy any appetite. After a long day of festival fun you can relax and enjoy some of the best local seafood around at a variety of restaurants and eateries or sip on a cold beverage while taking in Southport's exquisite natural beauty.

The heart of the festival is the great variety of activities for all ages that it provides. The live Naturalization Ceremony, where you can literally witness people becoming United States citizens, is at the same time enlightening and emotional. The Veterans Recognition Ceremony provides festival-goers with a chance to say ''thank you'' to all the men and women who have served America in the past two hundred plus years and to honor those who ensure our freedom today. A favorite for adults and kids alike is Beach Day, actually held at the nearby beaches of Oak Island. This day is truly fun in the sun and includes shag contests, sand castle building, beach volleyball, and much more. And just when you think you can't possibly eat a fourth shrimp burger, there's the Freedom Run and Walk, the perfect opportunity to burn a few calories and make room for one more griddle cake. If you'd rather watch other people walk, the Patriotic Parade is a fun-filled trip down Main Street USA.

The festival also encompasses a wonderful array of children's entertainment and games including sack races, watermelon eating contests, and arts and crafts. And, after dark, the Southport Fourth of July Festival also boasts one of the most beautiful fireworks displays you will ever see. The fireworks are launched from a boat in the Cape Fear River and explode and shimmer over seemingly endless water. Truly a spectacular show!!

With a setting like no other, fabulous weather, delectable food, lots of family entertainment, and true American pride, the Fourth of July Festival in Southport is as inviting as a gentle sea breeze.

         

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This festival celebrates a simpler time. If you still like parades, music and street dances, the smell of good greasy food, kids and parents in their finest red, white, and blue, then you will love what Southport's 4th of July festival has to offer.

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