Southport to celebrate COVID-friendly July 4th festival

Thousands of people lined Howe Street in Southport for the NC 4th of July Festival Parade on July 4, 2018. (Photo: Marcy Cuevas/WWAY)

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to drop and restrictions ease around the state, you may be wondering if some of the typical summer festivals will go on like normal.

In Southport, the city remains cautious which means the North Carolina 4th of July will be modified again this year.

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Mayor Joseph Hatem says the festival will be celebrated similar to last year, holding off on the parade and any other events that would cause large gatherings of people.

Under the governor’s executive order, festivals, parades, and mass gatherings are not allowed, so the mayor says larger events are planned to take place after Labor Day.

The 4th of July Festival attracts tens of thousands of people. Hatem says thousands of people headed to Southport at once during a pandemic is not something they are ready to move to just yet.

“There’s no one that recommends that,” he told WWAY. “So July 4th is going to be celebrated in Southport, just in a smaller fashion. No one is more patriotic than our citizens and this town and we will be back in 2022 but it’s going to be a great July 4th in Southport in 2021.”

The Southport Summer Market, the Summer Concert Series, the Plein Aire Festival, and other city co-sponsored events will take place in June but will operate with a smaller capacity on the Ft. Johnston Garrison lawn.

Southport is on track to host the annual Wooden Boat Show and Winterfest events.