Ready to celebrate Independence Day in a big way this year? Fireworks displays, pie eating contests, live music and other patriotic celebrations are lined up all across the Raleigh area in order to celebrate America's 241st birthday—don't miss out! Here's your rundown on the biggest and best family-friendly Fourth of July events in Raleigh, N.C. 

The Carolina Mudcats will kick off July with a full week of home games (7/1-6). Celebrate Independence Day with the Mudcats, and you'll enjoy "the best fireworks show in Eastern N.C." that follows the game (7/3 and 7/4).

The Town of Wake Forest's Fireworks Spectacular (7/3) will feature live music from Band of Oz, a 1997 Beach Music Hall of Fame inductee, plus food trucks and vendors serving up hamburgers, hot dogs and snow cones. Admission is $5 per person. Bring your picnic baskets and blankets! 

Grab a blanket and head to Garner's Lake Benson Park on July 3 for an evening of patriotic entertainment. The Independence Day Celebration starts at 5pm with music from Bull City Syndicate plus features games for kids as well as local food and beverage offerings. The North Carolina Symphony will play a rousing patriotic program later in the evening, followed by fireworks. Admission is free.

Garner event

Fuquay-Varina will host its Independence Day Celebration featuring food vendors, musical acts and a fireworks display on July 3. Gates open at 6pm.

The Morrisville Annual July 3rd Fireworks Display will be held at Morrisville Community Park, with music and food trucks kicking things off at 6pm and fireworks blasting off at dusk. Bring a chair and cash for a tasty treat from a local food truck. Admission is free.

Check out Apex’s Olde Fashioned 4th of July (7/4) from 9am-1pm, where street performers, karaoke, a water slide, carnival games and a climbing wall are sure to entertain. 

Relax under the pines at Koka Booth Amphitheatre for the Town of Cary's July 4th Celebration—the biggest and best Independence Day party Cary has ever thrown. Beginning at 3pm, you'll be able to enjoy family-friendly activities all day long, including rides and games, a venue-wide scavenger hunt, watermelon eating contests and even a 50-foot Ferris wheel! The Cary Town Band kicks off music at 5:45pm, followed by the North Carolina Symphony and fireworks to cap the evening. 

Also in Cary on July 4th, North Carolina FC (North American Soccer League members) will take on Miami FC on Heroes Appreciation Night (current and former military and first responders receive free admission), with post-match fireworks following the on-field action (approximately 9:30pm). 

Downtown Raleigh will host the city's Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, The 'Works! Join in on the all-day Independence Day celebration beginning at noon with live music, a beer/wine tent, kids rides and games, street performers, eating contests, food and art vendors, a picnic on Fayetteville St. and more. Fireworks will light up the sky over both the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and Red Hat Amphitheater starting around 9:30pm. Admission is free.

Fireworks over Raleigh

Take a trip back in time at the Joel Lane Museum House, also known as “The Birthplace of Raleigh,” at the 26th annual Independence Day Open House on July 4. Historians will be on-site and kids can participate in hands-on activities like making rag dolls and old-fashioned crafts. Admission is free from 11am-4pm.

Brier Creek's 10th Annual Independence Day Celebration begins on July 4 at 7pm at the Brier Creek Commons with the "Show Us Your Stripes Block Party," featuring bounce houses, face painting, food and more for the entire family. Fireworks get underway after dark. 

Join the town of Holly Springs for the July 5th Celebration, a traditional celebration of America's birthday at Bass Lake Park. Admission is free and pets are allowed on a leash. There will be field day-style competitions, food, crafts and a fireworks display beginning at 9:15pm. Parking is available at Sugg Farm.

Knightdale's Fourth Annual July 4th Celebration will take place July 4 at 5pm at Knightdale Station Park. Enjoy food trucks, vendors, kid-friendly activities and a free performance from headlining band Chairman of the Board. 

Garner Independence Day Celebration photo: Chris Short