Click here for 2017 4th of July Schedules & Events

Happy Birthday, USA! Here in Downtown Wilmington, NC we’re unpacking the Stars and Stripes and cranking up the John Philip Sousa tunes to celebrate the anniversary of our country’s founding. Fourth of July means fireworks—best seen from the Henrietta III dock, of course (see details below). The Fourth of July means Summer is really here, so get out and celebrate with some of these fun Downtown Wilmington NC 4th of July events.

Take the Fourth of July Cruise Aboard the Henrietta III

And as your Fourth of July in Wilmington, NC winds down, prepare for your river cruise and the fireworks. Of course the Henrietta III, North Carolina’s largest riverboat, has the best fireworks view. Purchase your tickets early, because the Henrietta III’s Fourth of July Cruise sells out every year!

The cruise is from 6:30-9 p.m. July 4 and includes our July 4th BBQ Buffet:  

  • Baked Seasoned Chicken
  • Carolina Style BBQ Pork
  • Southern Style Green Beans
  • Baked Beans
  • Home Style Potato Salad
  • Creamy Cole Slaw
  • Dessert
  • Coffee & Tea
  • ***Bars on board are fully stocked and drinks can be purchased with cash, VISA or MasterCard.


After the cruise, you can enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks from the Henrietta dock (On The Barge), beginning at 9 p.m.

Boarding begins at 6 p.m. at the foot of Dock Street in historic downtown Wilmington, NC. We look forward to waving the flag with you on the Fourth of July! Call Cape Fear Riverboats at (910) 343-1611 for more information, or buy tickets in advance here.

Shop Local This 4th of July in Wilmington NC

Wilmington’s Riverfront Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Fourth of July. Local farmers bring their produce to market here—get whatever’s in season at its freshest. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, seafood, and flowers as well as art, crafts, gift items and live music on the Riverwalk. How about red tomatoes, white cheese and blueberries?

Fourth of July morning is also the time to visit the Castle Street Market, an outdoor antique show and flea market that begins at 7 a.m. at the corner of Castle and 6th Streets. With local art and handmade items as well as antique and vintage goods for sale, you’re sure to stumble on a special find that begs to go home with you.

Cheer for the Home Team at Ogden Park


The Cape Fear Rugby Club celebrates its 75th anniversary in Wilmington with the Cape Fear 7s Rugby Tournament in Wilmington, NC, is one the largest and best-loved rugby tournaments in the country Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5 beginning at 9 a.m. Teams from around the country and the world gather at Ogden Park for this two-day tournament.

Discover Wilmington’s History with a Walking Tour

Walking Tours of Old Wilmington reveal hidden history about Wilmington’s historic homes, river, traditions, and folklore. Downtown walking tours start at the foot of Market and Water Streets and are $12, free for kids 12 and younger. Call (910) 409-4300 for times.

Go to a Downtown Sundown Show this Fourth of July weekend


Head downtown after work July 3 to see 20 Ride, the premier Zac Brown Tribute Band at Downtown Sundown, the free Friday night outdoor party at the Riverwalk in Wilmington, NC. Show openers Travis Swallow & The Deep End start the show at 6 p.m. at Princess and Water Streets. Beer, wine, and food are available for purchase.

See a Play at TheatreNOW to Celebrate Fourth of July

Enjoy a play with local flavor while savoring local flavor at TheatreNOW’s dinner theater show, “Summers at Seabreeze.” The multimedia show crafts a story of the special beach set aside for African Americans in the early days of the 20th century. Tickets are $20-$34 for a 7 p.m. show time Friday, July 3rd.

Take a Candlelight Tour of a Historic Wilmington House

Step back in time and let costumed interpreters guide you through rituals and superstitions of the olden days before electricity at the Burgwin-Wright House in downtown Wilmington. Beginning at 9 p.m. July 3, advance registration is required for the $10 tour.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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