Western North Carolina – Fourth of July celebrations across Western North Carolina were muted this year with only a few towns and groups conducting fireworks displays or holding events. Cities that did hold fireworks exhibition asking for those who turned out for the pyrotechnics show to remain in their cars or practice social distancing because of COVID19.
Hendersonville was one of the few places that carried on with the country’s 244th birthday celebration with fireworks. While attendance is usually robust, the crowds were down this year, while Asheville held a virtual celebration with music presentations online.
North Buncombe, usually a beehive of activity for the country’s independence commemoration, saw almost no events save for a small event in the Beech Community where residents vowed to keep the oldest celebration in the state alive minus the usual community parade and picnic. Barnardsville also canceled its annual community parade and picnic but did conduct its firework show, asking attendees to remain in their vehicles.
Many area residents took celebrating the Fourth into their own hands with small family and friends gatherings to enjoy the typical Fourth food of barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers and sides ending with homemade fireworks displays or even gunfire.
From one location near the Madison/Buncombe County line, at least seven different sources for fireworks could be seen within a two to three-mile radius, which went on for hours. Fireworks were accompanied by numerous loud bangs that could only be characterized as gunfire.