Oakboro celebrates Fourth of July festivities for 66th year

The annual celebration holds a full week’s worth of events

Cat5 Band performs at the 2023 Oakboro Fourth of July Celebration (photo courtesy of the Town of Oakboro)

OAKBORO — In an annual set of festivities that has brought in attendees from all across North Carolina, the Oakboro Fourth of July Celebration returned this week for its 66th year of Independence Day events.

The full slate of parades, rides, pageants, talent shows, live bands and fireworks began on June 28 and runs through Independence Day.

“Let the 66th Oakboro Festival commence! We hope to see you guys the next several days,” Oakboro Police Chief T.J. Smith stated in a social media post for the event. “I love Oakboro and our amazing traditions.”

Oakboro Fire & Rescue has hosted the Oakboro celebration ever since 1958.

The Oakboro Fire Department estimates that on certain occasions in the past, anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 people have traveled to Oakboro to participate in the Independence Day events.

Over time, the celebration has become one of Stanly County’s most anticipated yearly traditions.

“It’s that time of year again, and we have an amazing lineup scheduled for your enjoyment,” event planners posted in an online advertisement. “We cannot wait to see your smiling faces! We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsors and hope you will pay them a visit.”

Sponsors for the 2024 Oakboro Fourth of July Celebration include Union Power Cooperative, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Uwharrie Bank, and Waste Management.

The week’s lineup of events began with a community worship service at the Oakboro District Park pavilion, followed by the opening of the rides provided by the B&K Carnival Company.

This past Saturday, the Little Miss Fourth of July Pageant took place, and talent shows were held on Monday and Tuesday nights.

The annual Oakboro Fourth of July parade on Thursday morning will be followed by patriotic ceremonies, a speech by Oakboro Mayor Chris Huneycutt, and the Miss Stanly County Fire Queen Pageant.

The events are slated to conclude on Thursday evening with a fireworks show set for 11:30 p.m.

Each night featured free live music acts performing on the Union Power Stage, including The Entertainers, Ryan Perry, Cassette Rewind, The Embers (featuring Craig Woolard), Taylor Richardson, and festival headliner Too Much Sylvia.

“This celebration puts us on the map — we have people who come from multiple counties away,” Shea Morton, the assistant fire chief and chairman of the Fourth of July Celebration Committee for the Oakboro Fire Department, told SCJ. “There’s even a lady from Florida who came across us about 12 years ago, and now she makes the drive every year.”

Oakboro’s festivities will return next summer for their 67th incarnation, as July 4 falls on a Friday. Information regarding the annual celebration can be found at oakboro4th.com.