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North Carolina 4th of July Festival Records

Identifier: SC-MS-236

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the records of the N.C. 4th of July Festival, an Independence Day celebration held every year in Southport, North Carolina. These records contain the administrative planning and financial documents, meeting minutes, and correspondence of the Festival board and its various committees from the 1960s to the early 2000s. These records serve to show the many steps and working pieces involved in the success of the Festival, including but not limited to budgetary considerations, communication with vendors and sponsors, discussion among the board and committee members, permitting requirements, and event scheduling.

Material also includes Festival ephemera, publications and programs, press mentions, and memorabilia such as T-shirts, buttons, and Patriot medallions. Additionally, photographs from over 40 years of the Festival highlight the many events that make up the multi-day celebration, such as the Queen's Pageant, airshow, Naturalization Ceremony, and the parade. There are also several audio and video recordings of the Festival in various formats.


  • Creation: 1960-2003
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-1999


Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection have been restricted pursuant to extant statutory restrictions. Contact staff at the Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History ( for information on access to this collection.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical Note

The North Carolina Fourth of July Festival is an annual, multi-day event held in Southport, North Carolina to celebrate the nation's independence. Though incarnations of the festival have existed since as early as 1795 and over the succeeding years--a version in the 1950s was known as the "Live Oak Festival," and before that as the "Festival of Free Men"--the Festival in its present form was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1972, after iniially kicking off in various interpretations throughout the 1960s.

The Festival is overseen by its board of directors and the staff of the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. Each year, the festival features hundreds of vendors and artists, various types of entertainment, and a number of events, including the Naturalization Ceremony since 1996, a Veterans Recognition Ceremony, and a Flag Retirement and Raising Ceremony. Most notable is the parade, which travels through downtown Southport and features marching bands, members of the military and local fire companies, and decorated floats. Every year, a fireworks show occurs on the night of the 4th.


12 Containers (Contains 6 bankers boxes, 1 document box, 4 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, and 2 large yard signs)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection is on permanent loan from the North Carolina 4th of July Festival Board as of February 5, 2003.

North Carolina 4th of July Festival Records
Nicole Yatsonsky
2022 October 10
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository