We thought it prudent to take a break from posting news about the automotive industry for a review of Raleigh’s Independence Day revelry. 2014 marks the second year for The Works, the city’s full day of events to celebrate the Fourth of July – and supplanted the Raleigh Wide Open event that ended in 2010. There are many spectacles throughout the day, with some modifications based on last year’s event, so let us take a look at all the city of Raleigh has to offer.
Two staples of the city’s downtown events will return: food vendors and beer tents. They will complement the many downtown restaurants and bars, providing an opportunity to get a little grease into your system after some fine dining. We do, however, encourage you to drink responsibly and strongly state that under no conditions should you get behind the wheel of your vehicle after any number of libations. With regards to the food: gorge away!
The day’s events begin at noon and end at eleven. Here is a basic schedule of happenings, but you may refer to The Works page on the Raleigh Convention website.
Gouge Wrestling (Martin and Fayetteville)
You can take the kids to a number of family-friendly wrestling matches with G.O.U.G.E. Wrestling at the following times: 2:30, 4:30, 6:30, and 8:30.
Tasty 8’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (Hargett and Fayetteville)
If you can stomach it – get it, huh!? – take your family and friends to watch abdomen athletes display how they are weapons of mass consumption. The contests will take place at 2:00 and 7:00.
Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest (Martin and Fayetteville)
Have you ever wanted to take home the gold in a competition? If you mosey on down to the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, there await two divisions of competitors: 10 and younger; 11 and older. These contests will take place at 3:00, 4:30, 6:00, and 7:30.
Lumpy’s Ice Cream Eating Contest (Davie and Fayetteville)
Should watermelons and hot dogs not suit your fancy, check out these dairy daredevils go spoon-to-spoon in a cool competition of eating ice cream. They might be able to take the heat, but their ice cream will go quickly – enjoy these contests at 2:30 and 5:00.
Raleigh’s ‘Work of Art (Davie and Fayetteville)
Just like there’s always room for Jello, there’s always time for art. If you want to get away from the wresting and eating, there will be a range of artists who put out their work to view and purchase. This begins with the opening of The Works at noon and lasts the entire day.
If you attend or participate in 4 of the 5 events we’ve listed, The Works will give you VIP Area access. All you need to do is present your four unique stamps at the entrance of the VIP Zone, which opens at 8:00, and view the fireworks from the exclusive VIP area. You may also participate in free raffles.
There are also band stages at Morgan Street, the City Plaza, and the Red Hat Amphitheater with bands performing throughout the day.
We also have to report a change regarding the fireworks show. The city will launch fireworks at two separate times at two distinct locations. This is in response to complaints from last year’s attendees that the show was not visible from Fayetteville Street due to the fireworks not rising above the city’s skyline.
Fireworks will be set off at 9:15 from the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts and will reach 300 hundred feet.
The second set of fireworks will launch at 10:15 from the Red Hat Amphitheater. The shells used during this show are far larger than last year’s and will rise to 600 feet – making them visible from a far greater distance.
No matter what you have planned, we at Leith Volkswagen of Cary hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July in the city of Raleigh. For more information about the day’s events, please check out the Raleigh Convention Center’s website.Photo: Raleigh Convention