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Fourth of July in Wilmington, NC, as seen from Battleship NC

Reported by Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher ©2014

Annual Battleship Blast in Wilmington, NC 2013 #1
Annual Battleship Blast in Wilmington, NC 2013 #1
J.S. Fletcher ©2014
At the Annual Battleship Blast Fireworks in Wilmington, NC, 2013
J.S. Fletcher ©2014

Last year we had the pleasure of watching Wilmington, NC’s Annual Battleship Blast from the fantail of the great battleship itself, which was fanstastic. The annual event has been cited by Coastal Living Magazine's 10 Spots to celebrate the 4th and the Southeast Tourism Society's award of Top 20 things to do in July.

While there, we shot tons of photos and video, so we decided this was the right time to share some of that with you.

Enjoy the video and photos.

Here are a few facts about this year’s event.

First up: it’s still scheduled because it now appears Hurricane Arthur will pass by.

Great viewing is from Riverfront Park along the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, NC, but the best seats are aboard the Battleship NC.

You can view the display from the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, Fireworks from the Fantail. Here’s how:

Become a friend of the battleship. Members of the Friends of the Battleship North Carolina have exclusive access to the ship Friday evening beginning at 7:00 pm for the viewing on Independence Day. One MUST be a member of the Friends organization in order to view from the ship. The battleship, battleship park and parking lot will be closed at 6:00 for the event. Memberships starting at only $35.00 are available online (, at the Battleship Gift Shop, or by calling 910-251-5797. For full details and information on the membership drive, visit

The Annual Battleship Blast Fireworks show is sponsored by WECT TV-6 and 102.7 WGNI.

Battleship North Carolina, by the way, is an international tourist destination all in itself. Here are a few facts about this historic vessel now docked in the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington:

  • The North Carolina went into construction in 1937, becoming the first of ten fast battleships to join American fleet in World War II;
  • She was commissioned on April 9, 1941,
  • She had 144 commissioned officers and 2,195 enlisted men, including about 100 Marines. She lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded.
  • During World War II, she participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars.
  • In 1958 the announcement of her scrapping led to a statewide campaign by North Carolina citizens to save her and bring her back to her home state. The Save Our Ship (SOS) campaign was successful, and the she arrived in her current berth on October 2, 1961. On April 29, 1962, the site was dedicated as the State's memorial to its World War II veterans and the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during the war.

She is open for tours every day of the year, including all holidays, because She serves as a memorial.

Summer Hours: Friday before Memorial Day (May 24, 2013) through Labor Day (September 2, 2013): 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, EXCEPT Independence Day (4th of July) when the ship closes at 5:00pm for enforcement of firework safety zone.

Winter Hours: Tuesday following Labor Day (September 4, 2012) through Thursday before Memorial Day (May 23, 2013): 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, EXCEPT Christmas Day when the Ship opens at noon.

Ticket sales end one hour before closing.

The tour is self-guided and is well-marked so that you can tour at your own pace.

Admission: Adults: 12 and over - $12.00; Seniors: 65 and over - $10.00; Military: Active or retired with military ID - $10.00 (Does not include dependants): Children: 6 through 11 - $6.00; Children: 5 and under – Free.

For more info on the battleship, visit For more info on events happening in Wilmington, visit

Have a safe, happy and thoughtful 4th of July.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy these:
• Other stories by Newbern and Fletcher
• Other Stories by Kathy M. Newbern
• Stories by J.S. Fletcher, International Travel Examiner

Luxury Travel Examiner Kathy M. Newbern and spouse, J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created and, their personalized romance novel business.

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