Independence Day 2017 is at hand, and while Charlotte, North Carolina, holds the title of the first true declaration, there's no reason North Carolinians can't celebrate the other one—that would be the Declaration of Independence signed on this day in 1776—as well. There's a lot happening for Fourth of July 2017, but these are the biggest and best fireworks shows and all-day events in the area. You can spend the day watching baseball, doing kids activities, yoga or outdoor adventure and grooving to live music before the spectacular fireworks displays. And you can watch downtown, over a whitewater river or from your boat. Whatever you choose, it will be a memorable marking of an all-American holiday.
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SkyShow Charlotte bills itself as the biggest fireworks display in the Southeast. First, there's a street party from 2 to 10 p.m. on July 4 on Mint Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of BB&T Ballpark. There are kid-centered activities, food vendors and trucks, and live entertainment from 3 to 9 p.m., and dancing is encouraged. Inside the ballpark, Team USA plays Team Cuba starting at 6:05 p.m. When the game is over, the fireworks begin. The best viewing location is inside the ballpark, but if you aren't going to the game, you'll get a terrific view from Romare Bearden Park across Mint Street from the ballpark. If you'd rather sit in your car, you'll find many parking lots close by where the viewing is great. Check the website for a map of the best places to see the fireworks.
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Lake Wylie, South Carolina, is about 20 miles from Charlotte and puts on a great fireworks display every year. And maybe the best part: You can watch from your boat on the water. If you want to view from land, there are plenty of great spots -- just bring a lawn chair or find a restaurant with a straight-shot view and grab a seat at the bar or on the patio. So if you want to spend the Fourth of July on the water and have a cookout before the fireworks show begins, this just might be the place for you.
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The U.S. National Whitewater Center puts on a big party to celebrate American independence. It goes on over two days, July 3 and July 4. Outdoor adventure activities and yoga are part of the daytime agenda, and live music begins in the afternoon on the Belmont Abbey Island stage and continues until the main event—the fireworks display—begins at 9:30 p.m. each night. The fireworks are shot over the world's largest man-made whitewater river. The Terrace Access Party offers up superb views, a catered dinner, cash bar, indoor and outdoor seating and the all-important restrooms.
Fireworks laws are relatively strict in North Carolina. You can have poppers, sparklers, fountains, and snakes and glow worms. What you can't legally shoot off: firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets or anything shot into the sky. Basically, if it's not on the ground it's not legal.