Across the country, Independence Day is a time of remembrance and celebration, and the High Country is no exception.

While freedom and fireworks are common themes throughout, each town and community has its own twist on the holiday.

Below is a list of celebrations spanning Ashe County, Avery County and Watauga County, complete with times, locations and a brief description of what to expect.

From watermelon-eating competitions to duck races to Santa Claus, here is your guide to the High Country’s Independence Day events:

July 1

Johnson Brothers concert and Town Fireworks (Newland)

6 — 9 p.m.

The Johnson Brothers return to Riverwalk Park in Newland to perform in the Riverwalk Concert Series. After the performance, make sure to stay for the fireworks.

Christmas in July Festival (Day 1) (West Jefferson)

6 — 10 p.m.

Enjoy live Christmas music, dancing in the streets and food on the first night of Downtown West Jefferson’s annual holiday celebration.

Mile High Fourth: A Sizzling Cool 4th of July Weekend

The mountain resort towns of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain have teamed up to celebrate Independence Day weekend. The inaugural Mile High Fourth of July takes place July 1-4 and includes fireworks, barbecue, nine bands, a parade and more.

Highlights include a mile-high fireworks show Saturday night atop Beech Mountain and an all-American parade Monday on Main Street in Banner Elk.

Both the fireworks show and the parade include other activities, such as family games, barbecue feasts and live music.

The weekend headliner will be Charlotte band Brandon Kirkley and the Firecrackers playing a 3 p.m. Sunday concert in the town meadow at Beech Mountain.

There is no admission charge for most of the nine bands playing at various venues across the four days, including the Sunday concert in the Beech town meadow.

Arts aficionados can take advantage of the four-day Art on the Greene fine arts and crafts show in downtown Banner Elk, as well as three stage performances of “Mary Poppins” by the Lees-McRae College Summer Theatre in Banner Elk.

Another activity is the two-day NatuRally Beech Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) hosted by the Buckeye Recreation Center. It includes educational programs, hikes, and workshops on the local environment.

A craft beer “colla-brew-ration” is on tap. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. and Flat Top Brewing Co. have teamed on a summer wheat IPA dubbed “Red, Wheat & Brew,” which will be available at both breweries throughout the weekend.

For more details, go to or call (800) 468-5506.

July 2

Christmas in July Festival (Day 2) (West Jefferson)

9 a.m. — 7 p.m.

On the second day of Christmas, the festival brings to you arts and craft vendors, nonprofits, music, Civil War reenactors, food vendors, activities for children and more. Santa might even make an appearance.

Fourth of July Festival and Parade (Blowing Rock)

9 a.m. — until

Spend the morning competing in water balloon tossing, watermelon eating and an obstacle course, among other park games. The parade starts at 2 p.m. on Main Street, followed by live bluegrass music and fireworks at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

49th annual Roasting of the Hog (Beech Mountain)

6 p.m. — until

Beech Mountain Ski Resort hosts an event celebrated for almost half a century. Celebrate with music, face painting, barbecue and, of course, fireworks.

Burning in Effigy of King George III (Boone)

5:30 — 6:30 p.m.

Wish you had a chance to visit the 1700s? Attend this free event at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone, and you’ll get pretty close.

Activities range from hearing a live reading of the Declaration of Independence to drinking apple cider and burning King George III’s effigy.

Fireworks on top of Sugar Mountain (Sugar Mountain)

9:30 p.m. — until

Watch fireworks from Sugar Mountain’s 5,300-foot peak.

13th SafetyFest

10 a.m — until

The town of Seven Devils will host its 13th SafetyFest with a barbecue dinner, raffle, craft show, silent auction, live music games and activities for kids to do

Everyone is invited to eat in at town hall or stop by for carryout.

Meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinners are $8 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12.

The craft show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The silent auction items are on display at Seven Devils Town Hall starting June 27; bids will close at 2:30 p.m. on July 2.

Live music with Grass County Line will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

For more information, call town hall at (828) 963-5343.

July 4

Boone Fourth of July Parade (Boone)

11 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.

The Independence Day parade makes its way down King Street, and don’t forget to head to the Jones House Community Center in downtown afterward to join the mayor of Boone for refreshments.

Boone Fourth of July Fireworks (Boone)

7 p.m. — until

Starting 30 minutes after dark, Zambelli Fireworks puts on a show to finish off Independence Day at Clawson-Burnley Park.

The Fourth of July (Crossnore)

10 a.m. — until

Sponsored by the Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department, this event begins with a craft fair in the morning followed by hamburgers and hot dogs for sale, a parade at 4 p.m., free watermelon and a street dance. Lastly, the firemen put on their own fireworks display.

Tweetsie Railroad Fireworks Extravaganza (Blowing Rock)

9 a.m. — until

Tweetsie stays open until 9 p.m and fireworks follow shortly after for the price of $10 per car. There is also an optional dinner buffet at the Hacienda prior to the celebration.

The Liberty Parade (Todd)

11 a.m.

Located at the corner of N.C. Highway 194 North and Railroad Grade Road in Todd, the Liberty Parade has been hosted by the Elkland Art Center for 10 years. “Justice for All” is the parade’s theme, and it includes a performance of “Winds of Change” with giant puppets.

Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Bluegrass and Brass — A Fourth of July Dazzle (Blowing Rock)

7 — 9 p.m.

The Blowing Rock School Auditorium hosts the two groups as they mash up their respective sounds to celebrate Independence Day with patriotic songs, including tributes to each branch of the military. The concert ends early to make sure guests can get out in time to watch fireworks.

Annual Fourth of July Parade (Banner Elk)

11 a.m.

Enjoy a small town parade, followed by a “Party in the Park” at Tate Evans Park hosted by the Kiwanis. The party includes food, games and the “Great American Duck Races.”

Fourth of July Carnival (Beech Mountain)

Noon — 2 p.m.

In its first year, the event has carnival activities, including a dunk tank and free hot dogs, drinks and more at the Buckeye Recreation Center atop Beech Mountain. To RSVP, call (828) 387-3003.

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