On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted for the American Colonies’s independence from Great Britain. It became known as the Declaration of Independence. This was then announced to the public on July 4, 1776. In 1870, the United States Congress made the 4th of July a federal holiday. July 4th in America is a time to celebrate our freedom as a nation with family, good friends, and spectacular fireworks displays. We celebrate with parades, festivals, food, barbecues, and music. Each county in Western North Carolina brings their own unique celebration of the United States of America for your enjoyment. No matter how our freedom is celebrated, it’s sure to be a patriotic good time in the Great Smoky Mountains.
After an awesome and refreshing white water rafting trip down the Nantahala River with Carolina Outfitters, choose a county and go enjoy the festivities! We have put together a list of celebrations in the surrounding area of Western North Carolina for your enjoyment.
Swain County – Bryson City
Bryson City kicks off their 4th of July Freedom Fest celebration on Tuesday 7/4/2023 with the Firecracker 5K at 8:00 a.m. If you’re not that early of a riser, the rest of the celebration starts at 10:00 a.m. on Everett Street. Enjoy Bryson City’s unique shops along with arts, crafts, and food. A music festival starts at 6:00 p.m. followed by a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Where to View Fireworks in Bryson City.
Graham County – Robbinsville
Graham County’s 2023 Heritage Festival begins July 3, 2023 and goes through the 4th. Enjoy two days of fun with Crafts, Games, Food, Music, Fireworks, Veterans Celebration, Magician Show, Lil’ Miss and Mr. Firecracker contest, Watermelon Eating contest, and more on the Courthouse Square! The Fireworks start at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. Grab your family and friends and join Graham Country for a grand 4th of July celebration.
Cherokee County – Andrews/Murphy
The Cherokee County 4th of July festivities on July 4, 2023 in the Andrews/Murphy area begin at 6:00 p.m. and the Fireworks show at 9:45 p.m. at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. The Vintage Vixens will be there to perform 60s and 70s music. New this year are the kids activities, hosted by Calvary Baptist Church, which include fun games & a bounce house. Come on out! There’s plenty of space at the fairgrounds for friends and family to celebrate America’s freedom.
Jackson County – Sylva
In downtown Sylva, the celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 9:45 p.m. with a fireworks display. The Fourth of July Celebration will feature fireworks, music, food, food trucks, dancing and fun in Sylva. The Carolina Soul Band will provide entertainment with classic hits, pop favorites, R&B, Motown, soul and beach music. The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department will be providing children’s activities from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Macon County – Franklin
The Independence Day Parade & Celebration will be held between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday July 4, 2023. Following the parade, they will serve free cold watermelon as long as it lasts! In addition they will have a Little Miss & Mr. Firecracker and the Patriotic Pet Contest, inflatables and fun for the kids, food, and more. Check the website for all the fun events. The “Fireworks Over Franklin” event to celebrate the 4th of July starts at 9:30 p.m. with a test run at 9:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. so you can decide if you’re in a good spot to watch.
Haywood County – Waynesville
Join the July 4th Stars & Stripes Celebration at the Haywood County Historic Courthouse in Waynesville. The event begins on July 4th, 2023 with the traditional Kids Parade at 11:00 a.m. and concludes with a patriotic concert by the Haywood Community Band at 2:00 p.m. There will also be face painting, special characters, kids activities, live music and entertainment.
Whether you travel to a destination, shop, or wave mini flags and sparklers on Independence Day, don your red, white, and blue, get out there, and celebrate your freedom! Don’t forget to book your thrilling white water rafting adventure with Carolina Outfitters before you go!