This year presents an interesting approach to celebrating holidays and events in the age of a pandemic.
Many cities canceled fireworks and festivities for the Fourth of July holiday well before Governor Ralph Northam announced the state plans to move into Phase 3 of Forward Virginia on Wednesday, July 1.
With that, here is a guide on how and where you can observe Independence Day this year.
The City of Hampton and Fort Monroe announced that while there will not be an in-person fireworks show at Fort Monroe this year, there will be a special virtual production that will feature Hampton’s great Fourth of July traditions including a fireworks show, music, greetings and well wishes from citizens, and organizations and businesses from all around Hampton.
The special will air on the Hampton City Channel, Cox 47 and FIOS 22, at 7 p.m. on July 4, 2020. Viewers will also be able to view it via a live web feed.
The city has announced a “Celebrate together, at home!” event that will have interactive activities with a special “Light up the City” illumination.
On July 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., families can drive up to one of three sites and pick up American flags and LED wands and a 4th of July yard sign. Food trucks will be selling items at these community centers during the pick-up hours.
The locations are:
- Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Boulevard (Food trucks: Marco’s Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s)
- Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, 570 McLawhorne Drive (Food Trucks: El Coqui and Sweet Frogs)
- Doris Miller Community Center, 2814 Wickham Avenue (Food trucks: Boyd’s Tasty Dogs and PA Dutch Funnel Cake)
In place of fireworks, residents are encouraged to decorate their homes to “Light up the City” at 9 p.m. “Light up the City” will include searchlights at Brooks Crossing and red, white, and blue lights on the City Center fountains.
There will be daytime aerial flyovers with banners (times TBA).
A special musical performance from Slapnation, live at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater, will be shared on NNTV Cox48/Verizon 19, NNTV Facebook, and the NNTV YouTube Channel.
Share pictures and videos of at-home celebrations using the hashtag #NNTogetherAtHome.
The city announced that both celebrations at Town Point Park on Saturday, July 4, and Ocean View Beach Park on Friday, July 3 are canceled this year. If they add any events, it will be updated here.
Naval Station Norfolk announced it plans to commemorate Independence Day with a 21-gun salute at noon on Saturday. The saluting battery from NAVSTA Norfolk’s Security Department will fire a single round volley at one-minute intervals until the 21-gun tribute is complete. The salute will take place at the USS Iowa Memorial which honors the 47 Sailors killed onboard the USS Iowa in 1989 when one of the ship’s turrets exploded.
Smithfield/Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight is one of the only locations in our region hosting an in-person fireworks show this year. It’s scheduled for July 4 at Heritage Park Fairgrounds. The event will be drive-in ONLY. Guests are required to stay in their vehicles. There will be no on-site restrooms available. Please keep all trash in your vehicles to dispose of at home. Gates will open at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. or at dark.
For more information about the fireworks, contact Parks and Recreation at 757-357-2291.
Suffolk Parks and Recreation will be hosting a Scavenger Hunt at Lake Meade Park from July 1 to July 6 to celebrate Independence Day.
Clues can be downloaded online, or on or on the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Facebook page.
The city has canceled July 4 fireworks and some other events through July 5. If any events are announced, they will be updated here.
Colonial Williamsburg announced the ‘Honoring our Shared Ideals’ Fourth of July celebration this year. It will incorporate the perspectives of enslaved African Americans during 1776, the debate over fundamental rights, and what the words and ideals “enshrined” in the Declaration mean today.