The Fourth of July is fast approaching. If you live in Wilmington, NC the hardest part of this patriotic holiday is choosing how to celebrate it. There are so many events, parades, fireworks displays, and concerts that our little city on the coast quickly becomes a smorgasbord of red, white, and blue. Trust us, it’s a good problem to have!

To help plan the holiday, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local events. Get ready to fly your flag and stock up on sparklers—you’re about to have the best July 4th ever!

Summer Concert Series
July 3rd, 6pm–8pm
Airlie Gardens

Kick off the Fourth of July weekend on Friday night with a great mix of beach music and patriotism, compliments of the Heartbeat of Soul! Concerts are open to the general public and admission is free for Airlie Members.  Tickets are $9 for adults, $2 for children (4-12), and free for children under 4 years.

4th of July Dinner Cruise
6:30pm
Cape Fear Riverboats

Set sail for a festive and fun night on the one and only Cape Fear River! This cruise features a BBQ dinner buffet, which is followed by a view of the fireworks from the best seat in the house. Reserve your spot now!

Justin Fox Trio Rooftop Concert
7pm-10pm
The Reel Café

If you haven’t checked out the Reel Café’s rooftop concert series, July 4th is a great time to do just that. Delicious drinks, rocking music, and an amazing view of the fireworks—it’s the perfect way to spend a summer night.

Wilmington Sharks Baseball Game
7:05pm
Buck Hardee Field-Legion Sports Complex

What better way to celebrate July 4th than by watching America’s pastime? In an Independence Day extravaganza, the Wilmington Sharks take on the Fayetteville SwampDogs. Kids under 6 get in free and doors open at 6pm. Go, Sharks!

Wilmington 4th of July Celebration
5pm-10pm
Fireworks at 9:05pm 

This yearly celebration takes place in downtown Wilmington, right on the Cape Fear River. The fireworks begin at 9:05pm, and every year they’re bigger and brighter than the last. Pull up a chair and get comfortable—this is a show you don’t want to miss.

Sunday Night Movies for the Kids
8:45pm
Carolina Beach Lake Park 

Wrap up a fun weekend with a free movie, thanks to the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Carolina Beach. On July 5th, they’ll be showing the film Dolphin Tale 2, and will also have popcorn, candy, soft drinks, cotton candy, and more for sale. You're welcome to bring your own food and beverages as well.

We hope this post has given a few ideas for how to have a festive July 4th here in Wilmington, NC! If we missed any great events, let us know on Facebook. Happy Fourth of July!