GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — From Jacksonville to Greenville and many other places in between, the Fourth of July was celebrated on a bright and beautiful Sunday by thousands of people from all over.
Many Independence Day activities around Eastern North Carolina were celebrated on Friday and Saturday. But Sunday was the official day to celebrate the country’s independence day.
Greenville celebrates Fourth with food, music, fireworks
Sunday was definitely a bang at Town Common in Greenville.
From food and fun during the day to fireworks Sunday night, it was a much different and welcomed sight a year after the coronavirus pandemic. After being enclosed for a year during the lockdown, people were ready to come together and celebrate what freedom means for them this Fourth of July weekend.
“We’re happy to be a little more free than we were some months ago,” said Calvin Johnson with East Carolina Italian Ice.
For food truck vendors, events like this signal hopeful times.
“I love being in Greenville,” Johnson said. “Greenville has been very good to me, East Carolina Italian Ice. I love serving the community.”
While the pandemic put some lives on pause, there were reasons to celebrate. Jacob Burgetz lives in Greenville. He said he’s happy to celebrate with his new family.
“Well, we just had a baby,” Burgetz said. “There were reasons to celebrate.
“It’s actually super awesome. I’m having fun, hanging out. It’s kind of like a normalcy.”
Wendy Schwartz, who is from New York and was visiting Greenville, said they were happy to be here for the Fourth of July.
“Well it definitely feels more free now, and it’s nice to celebrate with friends and family,” she said.
She also said they’ve noticed a difference between New York and North Carolina.
“I’m not sure if we’re doing gatherings fully like this yet, but it’s defiantly a site to see,” Schwartz said.
Overall, people said they’re just happy to celebrate.
“It does give me great hope,” Johnson said.
37th annual Freedom Festival held in Jacksonville
The Fourth of July was also a busy day in Onslow County.
While places like Camp Lejeune and Swansboro held fireworks and other festivities, the 37th annual Freedom Festival was held in Jacksonville at the Onslow Pines Park.
The event, hosted by the Onslow County Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Onslow County Tourism, began Sunday afternoon and was scheduled to finish with a fireworks display.
People who attended also enjoyed music with The Jake Bartley Bank and The North Tower Band. Food trucks from Pelicans, Smokin Joe’s BBQ, R.L. Street Dogs and Catering, Sandy’s Sweets, Tempted Palate and many more were also there to satisfy appetites and provide people something cool to drink during the day and evening.
Laquesha Cadwallader, recreation coordinator for Onslow County Parks and Recreation, said it was a big day to celebrate the Fourth of July after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled last year’s events.
“We’re just glad to be here to celebrate the 4th of July, Independence Day,” Cadwallader said. “It’s a good time to see everybody out and having fun. They enjoy the fireworks, the bands, as well as the food trucks, so we’re just glad to be back.”