Hot dogs, hamburgers, maybe some lemonade or a beer: it's a classic way to celebrate the Fourth of July. But in Durham, it's certainly not the only option. The month of July offers several ways to observe the holiday and enjoy the summer, including fireworks and two premier events.
The Fourth of July and baseball are about as American as you can get. Durham features a Fourth of July celebration at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DBAP). Visitors can catch a ball game and then enjoy a fireworks celebration. It's one of the biggest shows in the area, all in a unique setting amidst Downtown Durham's bustling American Tobacco district.
This year the Bulls have a home game on July 4, and during the seventh inning anyone is welcome to enter the stadium to see the fireworks display for free.
You can buy tickets to the game at the Durham Bulls website.
O say can you see! Durham has two patriotic parades that children and adults are sure to enjoy. The Watts Hospital-Hillandale Fourth of July Parade originated in 1950 and now includes a procession of a fire truck, cars, decorated bicycles, tricycles, wagons, strollers, and people on foot through this historic neighborhood. The parade starts at Oakland Ave. and Club Blvd at 10 a.m.
The Children's Independence Day Parade will take place at Durham Central Park at 10:30 a.m. Kids can arrive early to decorate their bikes, wagons, and strollers and march in the parade celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Durham's own homegrown music festival (one of many, in fact) is back for its 37th year. It's a unique way to have that good ol' Fourth of July cookout - with an array of Durham's famed food trucks, a craft show featuring more than 60 artists, and over 65 musical acts playing on four stages. The lineup includes Hiss Golden Messenger, Nikki Hill, Christopher Paul Stelling, Peter Holsapple with the Forryst Brothers, Caique Vidal & Batuque, Jamie Anderson, Ellis, and Boom Unit Brass Band.
Even better: the event benefits the Eno River Association, ensuring that one of Durham's finest natural resources will be protected for years to come. It's just a short drive from Downtown Durham or a leisurely bike ride down the North-South Greenway, and you can enjoy the river while you're there. Bring a friend, bring a cooler to help handle the heat, and celebrate America the beautiful.
The festival takes place on July 2 and 4 and tickets are $18 for one day and $30 for a two-day pass if you buy them early. More information can be found at the Eno River Association website.
Summertime in Durham also brings the American Dance Festival (ADF), one of the best places to view modern dance in the country. From June 16 through July 30, the festival features performances by some of the world's finest dance companies. The schedule includes world premieres of new pieces, exclusive performances you won't see anywhere else, discussions, and more in a number of venues across Durham.
ADF offers many different ticketing options: dance enthusiasts can save by purchasing tickets to multiple performances at once, students and seniors have available discounts, and young adults ages 18-30 can buy $10 tickets for specific performances to encourage their exploration of this art form.