Here’s What You Need To Know About Wilmington’s Fourth Of July Celebration

Bring your family and friends to this year’s annual Fourth of July celebration, hosted at Live Oak Bank Pavilion at the Riverfront Park, to enjoy some live music, entertainment, food, fireworks, and more!

This year’s event, Wilmington Pops 4th of July Celebration!, will feature the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra (WSO). The program includes patriotic favorites, classical selections, and current pop songs. WSO musicians, guest artist Alexis Raeana, Opera Wilmington artists John and Shannon Dooley, and a quartet from Wilmington Voices, are among the more than 100 local musicians who will perform throughout the event.

The WSO will be led by guest Conductor Dominic Talanca, UNCW Faculty member, with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo conducting one song.

“An annual POPS concert is a cornerstone of a July Fourth celebration, and we are excited to be a part of creating this new tradition for our region,” Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Liz Scanlon said. “POPS concerts add so much to a community by bringing people together to enjoy music, introduce people of all ages to a symphony orchestra, and celebrate in a city we are proud to call home.”

Fireworks will take place in downtown Wilmington beginning at 9:05 p.m. Fireworks will be shot from a barge located at the convergence of the Cape Fear & Northeast Cape Fear Rivers, just north of the USS Battleship North Carolina, and will be viewable along the downtown riverfront.

“I can’t wait to celebrate America together with this amazing community.”

Mayor Bill Saffo

“Wilmington’s Independence Day celebration has always been an incredible event, drawing tens of thousands of people to Downtown Wilmington and our new Riverfront Park,” Mayor Bill Saffo said. “The addition of the tremendously talented Wilmington Symphony Orchestra as featured entertainment makes this year’s event even more exciting, and I am honored to guest conduct the Stars & Stripes Forever performance with these fine musicians. As the son of an immigrant and first generation American, this celebration has always been very special to me, and I can’t wait to celebrate America together with this amazing community.”

Wilmington Pops 4th of July Celebration! is free and open to the public.

Thousands of people celebrated the grand opening of Riverfront Park on July 4,2021.


4:00 p.m. — Gates Open

5:00 p.m. — The School of Rock House Band

6:45 p.m. — Rockestra (Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra)

7:30 p.m. —  Wilmington Symphony Orchestra

9:05 p.m. —  Fireworks will take place at 9:05 pm


  • City decks located at 115 Market St., 114 N. 2nd St, 14 Grace St. and the County deck at 212 N. 2nd St. will charge a $10 event fee.
  • The Wilmington Convention Center deck at 515 Nutt St. will charge an $10 event fee.
  • Cape Fear Community College will charge a $15.00 event fee – CASH ONLY at all CFCC parking locations.  Hanover Parking Deck, Nutt Street Parking Deck, Student Lot #2 (corner of Front and Hanover), K Lot (corner of 3rd and Walnut) and L Lot (corner of 2nd and Walnut). 
  • On-street metered parking is free.
  • Parking Website Information
  • Questions?  call 910.341.7855 or email. 
The fireworks will begin at approximately 9:05 p.m.

Additional Traffic Information

  • Arrive early and consider your exit strategy prior to parking.
  • Expect 1 to 2 hour delays leaving downtown after the fireworks due to large volumes of traffic for this event.
  • Vehicles should park on the side of downtown (with Red Cross St. being the dividing   line) that is closest to the direction they will travel after the fireworks have ended. 
  • Traffic parked south of Red Cross St. will be diverted south towards Market St., Dawson St. and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge – includes City parking decks in the 100 block of Market St., the 100 block of N. 2nd St. as well as the County deck in the 200 block of N. 2nd St. and the CFCC deck at Nutt and Red Cross
  • Traffic parked north of Red Cross St. will be diverted north towards MLK Parkway and the Isabel Holmes Bridge – includes the Wilmington Convention Center parking deck at 515 Nutt St. and the CFCC deck at 3rd and Hanover
  • Those utilizing parking decks can expect longer delays due to high volumes exiting at one time. 
  • No standing, stopping or parking on bridges, roadways or along medians on route 17, 74/76, 133 or 421 – police will monitor these areas and towing will be enforced.

Food and beverages (soft drinks, beer & wine) will be sold at the park. No outside food or drink can be brought inside the park with the exception of  water up to 1 gallon in a factory sealed or empty bottle.

Cashless Payments
This is a cashless event – no cash accepted.  All food and beverage sales will ONLY accept debit, credit or mobile pay (Apple Pay or Google Pay).

Seating for Lawn Area
Beach Chairs (with legs no longer than 9 inches) and blankets will be allowed in the Great Lawn.

No animals allowed inside the venue with the exception of registered, working, service animals.

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