FIRST ON 3: Holiday fireworks a go around the area this weekend


SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — When you think of 4th of July, most likely the first thing that pops in your mind is fireworks. But with dry conditions and wildfires across the area, a lot of people are worried the big fireworks shows across the Cape Fear may be canceled.

Fourth of July is one week away, and the City of Southport is already dressed up for the occasion sporting the red, white and blue.

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“Right now we’re good to go,” said Karen Sphar of the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the North Carolina 4th of July Festival.

The Chamber of Commerce is working out the final details for annual event that draws thousands of people to Southport. Among the list of things to worry about is the fireworks. Despite a state ordered burn ban, Monday’s firework show is a go for now.

“We are fortunate that our fireworks are over water. We fire them off a barge in the Cape Fear River. We’re not on land,” Sphar said. “We’re not a land-based fireworks display, so that’s in our favor this year.”

But while Southport is ready to go with its fireworks display, the same can’t be said in New Hanover County. The Pleasure Island Independence Day firework show scheduled for Sunday in Carolina Beach is still up in the air.

Wilmington city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert says the Battleship Blast scheduled for downtown on July 4 is still on schedule.

So what if you want to have your own fireworks display?

“There is a burning ban in effect, but that does not include fireworks,” Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner said. “Only certain types of fireworks are legal in north carolina: the ones that have showers or sparks. It can’t have any type of explosion or move through the air.”

Despite this, fire marshals say the safest bet is to visit one of the professional firework shows. If someone does start a fire with their own fireworks, they can be fined and charged.

Some say if the fireworks are canceled it’ll but a damper on the holiday.

“A lot of people would not be down here,” Deidra Babson of Souhport said. “That’s why everyone comes down here on the 4th of July: to watch the fireworks.”

Others say the the Fourth is more than just fireworks. It’s about pride and country.

“It’s having families together, veterans together just everything… America. Put it that way,” Vietnam veteran Anthony Mortillaro said.

Though these fireworks displays are set to go on, fire marshals say that can change as the weeks goes on. It all depends on the weather, and especially the wind.

Stay with WWAY and for all the latest updates.