BY JANICE LEWINE
Salute the red, white and blue as Independence Day celebrations and fireworks light up the Triangle. Here’s our round-up of Fourth of July events listed alphabetically by town. Before you head out, be sure to check the websites for the events listed here to ensure they are still taking place.
Fireworks Frenzy, Apex’s fireworks display July 3, features a larger footprint in downtown Apex. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. and feature music, food trucks and bounce houses. Fireworks kick off at 9:30 p.m. over Hunter Street Park at Ambergate Station. The fun continues July 4 with the town’s Olde Fashioned Fourth of July from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. along Salem Street. Enjoy a flag raising, carnival-style activities and the Parade of Wheels for kids at noon, followed by the Apex Fire Department’s splash down after the parade.
The town’s Independence Day Celebration hosts family-friendly activities, including a costume contest and People’s Parade, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the Weaver Street Market lawn, followed by live music from Stereo Doll, Mix Tape Grab Bag and Tre’ King Band from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Carrboro Town Hall. Afternoon activities include a pie-eating contest, face painting, a gaming truck and more. Don’t miss the fireworks show at 9 p.m. at Southern Community Park.
Join the Cary Town Band July 3 at 7:30 p.m. for the 34th annual Patriotic Celebration at the Cary Arts Center.
Cary’s Independence Day Celebration at Koka Booth Amphitheatre highlights patriotic performances by the Cary Town Band and the North Carolina Symphony. Fun activities for kids begin at 3:30 p.m. and a dazzling fireworks show over Symphony Lake at 9:25 p.m. rounds out the event.
June 30-July 2
Cuddle up with farm animals, enjoy games and mine for gems at Goatstravaganza June 30-July 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Spring Haven Farm. Tickets cost $13.50 and must be purchased online. Party lovers ages 21 and older can enjoy live music, food trucks, exciting games, and the chance to mingle with baby goats and other farm animals beginning at 8 p.m. during Goats & Glory June 30-July 1. Tickets cost $25.50 and must be purchased online.
Gather at Southern Community Park in Chapel Hill for July Fourth Fireworks at 9 p.m. to celebrate the holiday.
The town’s Independence Day Fireworks at Clayton High School features food trucks, games, inflatables and music beginning at 6 p.m. The event culminates with a fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.
Decorate your bike, trike, wagon or stroller for The Children’s Independence Day Parade at Durham Central Park from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., which features free popsicles, fire truck tours and music from DJ Pittipat.
Celebrate patriotism and civic pride at the July Fourth Celebration at Durham Bulls Athletic Park as the Durham Bulls take on the Norfolk Tides at 6:35 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. The baseball park opens to the general public after the end of the seventh inning for the fireworks display. Tickets are required for the baseball game.
Enjoy music from North Carolina bluegrass pickers, local beer and ciders, lawn games and farm animals at Old Mill Farm’s Pickin’ on the Pond. Purchase tickets online, which cost $12 for adults and are free for ages 2 and younger.
North Carolina’s own Spare Change performs at 6:30 p.m. as part of the town’s Independence Day Celebration at South Park. Food vendors will be onsite and the splash pad will be open from 6-8:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.
Take the family for delicious food, kids activities, games and crafts at the Garner Independence Day Celebration at Lake Benson Park from 5-10 p.m. The CJ Baker Band performs at 5 p.m., followed by the North Carolina Symphony at 8:30 p.m. Top off your evening with a fireworks show at 9:30.
Live entertainment, food trucks, games highlight A Second Day for the USA at Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, 6-10 p.m. A grand fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m.
The town’s Fourth on First Avenue at Knightdale Station Park features food trucks and family-friendly activities from 3-9 p.m., and a fireworks spectacular at 9:15 p.m.
Morrisville’s Family Fun Festival on Town Hall Drive with food trucks, roving entertainment, face painters, magic shows, games and prize giveaways from 4-9 p.m. Fireworks conclude the evening.
Pets (and owners!) are invited to dress in their best patriotic finery and parade around the Raleigh Market in an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration at 11 a.m. Prizes will be awarded in categories such as Most Patriotic Costume, Most Creative Costume, Best Owner/Pet Twinning and more, with a Grand Prize of $100 cash. There is no cost to participate, but advanced registration is required online.
The Raleigh’s Fourth of July Fireworks takes place at Dorothea Dix Park from 4:30-10 p.m. Presented by the City of Raleigh and ABC11, the event showcases live music, food trucks, family-friendly activities and a grand fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Brier Creek Commons’ Star-Spangled Block Party begins at 8 p.m. in the clock tower area and features activities and music before fireworks kick off at 9 p.m.
For the Rolesville Fourth, head to Redford Place Park at 5 p.m. for games, inflatables, food trucks and a concert by Liquid Pleasure. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.
Selma’s All-American Festival is a long-standing town tradition that features live entertainment, children’s activities and food trucks from 6-9:30 p.m. at Ormond’s Plaza, followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Smithfield’s annual Independence Day Celebration offers live entertainment, food and activities from 6-9:30 p.m. in the downtown district. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.
The Band of Oz warms up the crowd at 6:15 p.m. at Heritage High School before the Fireworks Spectacular, which begins at 9:30 p.m. Concessions will be available.
Kids are invited to hop on their bicycles or be pulled along in a wagon as part of the Children’s Parade. The lineup begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of North Main Street and West Juniper Avenue; the parade begins at 10:30 a.m. along North Main Street. Art in the Park, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., welcomes children to create arts and crafts projects in the Wake Forest Community House.
Nothing is more American than baseball and fireworks! Come on out for the Mudcats for America Independence Day Fireworks at Five County Stadium as the Carolina Mudcats take on the Fayetteville Woodpeckers at 7 p.m. The game concludes with a firework display over the stadium. Purchase individual game tickets at milb.com.
LOCAL PET RESCUE SERVICES
Wake County Animal Center offers spaying/neutering, some elective surgeries, medical assessments and treatments for all animals. Other programs involve volunteers who help with everything from cat cuddling to dog walking, foster pet care and even assisting with a barn cat program that incorporates spaying or neutering, ear tipping, and vaccination.
SPCA of Wake County is an independent animal welfare shelter that relies on donations in order to transform the lives of pets and people through protection, care, education and adoption. Its services include spaying/neutering, basic pet vaccines and preventative care, and delivery of pet food and supplies for home-bound, low-income seniors. SPCA Wake also works with the local community to reduce cat overpopulation by rescuing and adopting kittens.
Saving Grace Animals for Adoption is a nonprofit funded entirely by donations. It employs a volunteer staff charged with caring for about 4,000 dogs each year. From intake to adoption, dogs are cared for by a support system of committed fosters and volunteers. All animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped. Any dog that tests positive for heartworms receives full treatment.
SAFE Haven for Cats is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats and kittens. Since opening, SAFE Haven for Cats has orchestrated the adoptions of more than 10,000 cats and kittens, and spayed or neutered more than 30,000 animals. The organization can accept stray cats that are able to be picked up and handled safely, and feral cats that are 6–10 weeks old.
CANCER SCREENING FOR PETS
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one in four dogs will develop cancer. “The best way to stay ahead of any diseases, including cancer, is to make sure your pet stays up-to-date on vaccinations, gets routine bloodwork to check for early abnormalities, maintains an ideal weight and gets annual veterinary exams,” says Wake County Animal Services Director Jennifer Lynn Federico.
Regular screening is key. “Certain cancers in pets can develop without displaying overt or obvious symptoms, and regular screening with a veterinarian can identify warning signs early so that pets can receive timely and effective treatment,” Ranlet says.
Chan Namgong, a pioneer in the early detection of cancer in canines at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, is founder and CEO of Raleigh-based Animal Cancer Dx, which employs a team of veterinarians, scientists and entrepreneurs committed to early detection of cancer in dogs. The company has developed a noninvasive, highly accurate and cost-effective cancer detection method. Namgong started his business for personal reasons. “After my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I read a lot about cancer detection and cancer treatment,” he says.
Namgong’s research included reading a peer-reviewed journal article on how scientists used caenorhabditis elegans to detect cancer in human urine. “C. elegans,” as they are typically referred to, are a species of nematode worm with an elongated, cylindrical body that are frequently chosen as a model to study human diseases. “I wanted to run a proof-of-concept in the veterinary space, which didn’t have any cancer screening test options at that time,” Namgong says.
Half of all canine cancers are treatable if caught early enough, and new treatments are continuously being researched, Namgong says. Animal Cancer Dx’s Oncotect cancer-screening test for dogs has won several awards and grants in developing a one-of-a-kind, non-invasive, multi-cancer screening test using canine urine, Namgong says. “It’s accurate, affordable and convenient.”
KEEP YOUR PETS HEALTHY
Visiting a veterinarian annually is the first step in keeping your pet healthy. “Having pets spayed and neutered reduces the risk of pets developing certain types of cancers or ailments, and also reduces the odds of [pets] escaping and being injured while running astray,” says Samantha Ranlet, a spokeswoman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County.
Other suggestions for keeping your pets healthy and safe include:
- Vaccinating them against diseases like distemper, Bordetella and rabies, which is required by law
for dogs, cats and ferrets.
- Prioritizing food management. Don’t share table food; it can be toxic and cause severe illness or even death. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, heart disease and arthritis.
- Keeping dogs on a monthly heartworm treatment so they can enjoy the outdoors without developing heartworm disease, which is a common and life-threatening condition.
- Having your pet microchipped with the correct contact information and making sure you always keep your contact information up-to-date.
- There is no statewide leash law in North Carolina, so check your county’s laws to make sure you
are in accordance with those specific regulations.
- Vaccinating them against diseases like distemper, Bordetella and rabies, which is required by law