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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 12:04 pm

jennifer allen

NEWS-TIMES

The Crystal Coast will sparkle Thursday in honor of the Fourth of July with a range of celebrations.

Several fireworks shows are scheduled across the county, some of which will have live music during the celebration.

Independence Day Fireworks will be at the Atlantic Beach boardwalk 9 p.m. Thursday. For more information, visit www.atlanticbeach-nc.com or Atlantic Beach’s Facebook page.

The Beaufort Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza is at 9 p.m. Thursday at the N.C. Maritime Museum’s Gallants Channel annex. The grounds open at 6 p.m. and parking is on a first come first serve basis. The Beaufort Fireman’s Association will be selling hot dogs, popcorn, soda and water. Spectators should bring chairs. For more information, call Alyssa Pence, 838-1524 or email alyssa@frontstreetvillage.com.

In Morehead City, the Main Event Band will be on stage from 7-10 p.m. Thursday at Jaycee Park and will pause for the fireworks display that will be launched at 9 p.m. from Sugarloaf Island. For details, call Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association at 808-0440.

In Emerald Isle, the Fourth of July Fireworks off Bogue Inlet Pier start at 9 p.m. Thursday presented by the town of Emerald Isle. Parking will be available at Bogue Inlet Pier as well as along Highway 58. The fireworks will also be visible from Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Hosted by Swansboro Festival Committee, downtown Swansboro is also holding its annual Fourth Of July Celebration Thursday. Live music with the Coastline Band starts at 6 p.m. and fireworks over the waterfront are at 9 p.m.

There are family friendly activities scheduled throughout the day as well.

Beaufort’s Fourth of July Parade starts at 11 a.m. Thursday on the corner of Gordon and Front streets. There will be free ice cream following the parade at courthouse square at Turner and Broad streets.

Contact Martha Barnes at 728-3917 or martha@cousinsbedandbreakfast.com for details.

Fort Macon State Park is hosting a Fourth of July Weapons Demonstrations throughout the day Thursday. The weapons demonstrations will show the firearms of Fort Macon from 1834-1944. Call 726-3775 for times and more details.

Ann Street United Methodist Church is hosting a bell-ringing ceremony at 2 p.m. Thursday at Ann Street United Methodist Church in Beaufort. The church bell in Ann Street United Methodist Church, a building constructed in 1854 but whose congregation organized as far back as 1778, will join with bells of other churches in the original 13 colonies to ring at the time organizers of “Let Freedom Ring” say the Liberty Bell was rung announcing the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony will begin at 1:45 p.m. with a brief ceremony, followed by the 2 p.m. bell ringing.

The Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, organizers of the event, invited Ann Street several years ago to represent North Carolina as one of the 13 original colonies to ring a bell.

While other churches, fire halls, universities, state houses and ships of line across the nation are invited to ring bells, Ann Street had been especially invited because of its historic significance in one of the 13 original colonies.

The bell is rung 13 times in recognition and honor of the original 13 colonies that seceded from England to form the United States of America. At the same time the bells are rung, descendants of the signers of The Declaration of Independence are at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia tapping the bell 13 times.

Each year Ann Street invites military veterans to pull the bell rope. This year it will be Lonnie and Kate Pollard of Beaufort.

The Coop Montessori preschool, which will begin its first semester at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Morehead City this September, is holding a fundraiser, the Fourth of July Family Fun Day, from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Park beside the train depot in downtown Morehead City.

There will be carnival games, a kids art booth, face painting, children’s music workshop, story time with Webb Library, bounce house and other entertainment.

Carlton’s Catering Co. is providing food plus there will be drinks, flags and other patriotic goodies for sale. For more information on preschool enrollment and the Montessori curriculum, check The Coop’s Facebook or email thecoopmontessori@gmail.com.

Divers get the chance at 3 p.m. Thursday to participate in an underwater bicycle race along the starboard side of the USS Indra, which was sunk in 1992 as an artificial reef.  

Discovery Diving of Beaufort hosts the event and takes divers out to the site about 12 miles from Beaufort Inlet.

There is a Bike Decorating Bonanza at the dive shop before departure and prizes are awarded for the best-dressed bike and rider.

Contestants can swim, pedal, push or drag their way to the finish line while spectators view the action from charter boats or in the water. While Discovery Diving encourages participants to bring their own bike, they do have a limited number of bikes available.

Discovery Diving offers transportation to and from the Indra, but private vessels are also welcome. After the race there will be a potluck.

The event benefits Mile of Hope in support of cancer research. Entry fee is $5 per bike.

The sixth annual Down East Community Parade 5 p.m. Thursday at “the corner” in Davis. After the parade, all are invited to Davis First Baptist Church, 130 Community Road, for a hot dog cookout with all the trimmings and homemade ice cream. For more information, call 729-8771.

Emerald Fest is 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday with Selah Dubb, Thursday at Western Ocean Regional Access, Emerald Isle. Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation sponsor the free concert.

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