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Weekend events locally will celebrate Independence Day

Annual events celebrating Independence Day are scheduled throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area this weekend.

All large gatherings, including July 4 events, were canceled last year due to safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this year they’ll be back to bring fireworks and fun for the whole family.

The Windsor-Bertie Chamber of Commerce will kick off the local events on Friday, July 2 at the Roanoke Cashie River Center in Windsor. The DJ will begin playing music at 5 p.m. and vendors will open up at the same time.

“We have the vendors a little more spaced out and not as many this year,” said Chamber Director Lewis Hoggard, explaining that was due to safety precautions. “But there are no other restrictions. It’s an outdoor event.”

Clint Freeman and Friends will provide live music later in the evening.

The fireworks are scheduled to begin at dark, which Hoggard said would probably be around 9:30 p.m. Even though rain is in the forecast, he said they intended to still host the fireworks show “as long as we’re not completely washed out.”

In the past, the Windsor event has been held on the day before Independence Day, but the event organizers opted to hold it earlier this year. Hoggard said that should make it easier for people who are interested in attending more than one fireworks event during the holiday weekend.

Northampton County’s annual Fourth of July event will be held from 5-10 p.m. on Saturday, July 3 at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center in Jackson. The fireworks show by Grand Illusions is scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m.

North Tower Band will provide a variety of music including beach, Motown, disco, funk, and rock. Local radio personality Jay Jenkins will serve as the emcee.

The event is co-sponsored by the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Northampton County Tourism, and Northampton County Government and Municipalities.

Masks are not required at this outdoor event.

Chamber Director Judy Collier said there will be several vendors this year. Attendees will have a variety of food options to choose from including burgers, hotdogs, fish, barbecue, fried oreos, funnel cakes, ice cream, candy apples, and much more.

“It’s something for everybody,” she said.

Collier emphasized, however, that coolers will not be allowed.

Unlike previous years, there will not be bouncy rides for the children, but Collier said they planned to bring those back again next year.

“I’m glad that the citizens of Northampton County are going to have the opportunity to come celebrate the Fourth of July this year without having to worry too much about COVID,” she said. “We really missed having it in 2020.”

To round out the weekend of events, the Town of Ahoskie’s fireworks show will be held at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 4 at Hertford County High School.

“We have over 900 fireworks that’s going to be shot off from the high school. It’ll probably be around a 30-minute show,” said Town Manager Kerry McDuffie.

The Ahoskie Tourism and Development Authority is funding the event.

There will not be any safety restrictions in place for the event. McDuffie noted that attendees are typically socially distanced when they come to watch the show.

“So we feel pretty comfortable with continuing to do this,” he explained.

“We’re excited about the show, and we encourage everybody to come see it,” McDuffie concluded.