OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) – The North Carolina Fourth of July Festival is officially back in action.
Southport has held the event since the late 1700s and after a virtual celebration last year, this year’s event is back in-person.
“It’s so great to have it open again and have people being able to shake hands and see people they haven’t seen in months,” said Oak Island town councilman Charlie Blalock.
The four day event is spread out, with the majority of festivities filtering into the town of Oak Island, allowing more space due to the pandemic.
“It’s really important for the community to show that things are still lively,” said vendor Ian Leatherwood. “The live music is playing and everybody seems to be happy and having a good time.”
The arts and crafts market is a popular destination, which allows vendors across the entire state to rebound.
“Normally I’m just local around the Rocky Mount, Wilson area,” said vendor Lesley Keel. “So, I was super excited to come down to Oak Island and I’ve heard really good things about it, but it has definitely exceeded my expectations.”
The “Red, White, and Blue Car and Truck Show” was only five miles away from the market, which allows car enthusiasts to view the old-time classics.
“I have really truly enjoyed every single car that I’ve seen,” said car enthusiast Ashley Meynardie. “I’ve gotten lots of pictures and I wish that I could drive some of them home.”
With nearly 200 vehicles at the event, owners also have the opportunity to show off their sweet ride.
While this year’s celebration might be different than in years past, it is an opportunity for many to find a sense of normalcy.
“It looks like the good old days, so I’m really happy that everybody is having a great time,” said Blalock.
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