Gloucester Point will likely be a busy place Sunday as many folks gather to celebrate July 4th at the beach and seek a prime viewing spot for fireworks being shot that night over the York River from Yorktown.
Denise R. Carter, special events coordinator for the Gloucester Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said the county has scaled back its Independence Day activities in recent years as many of the events held at the beach, such as a children’s fishing derby and a horseshoe tournament, were poorly attended. This year, the only Gloucester-sponsored special activity will be a concert by the band Planet Full of Blues, which will perform from 6-9 p.m.
Due to the large crowd expected to gather at Gloucester Point Beach, fireworks (including sparklers) are being banned there this year, said Carol Steele, director of parks, recreation and tourism. Citations for violations may be issued by the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office.
Steele said parking will be at a premium at Gloucester Point Beach on Sunday. The small number of handicapped parking spaces at the beach will be expanded for the day.
Overflow parking will be designed at some lots on the nearby Virginia Institute of Marine Science campus. When the beach lot is full, access to the beach will be restricted to drop-off traffic and boaters only, Steele said.
The county-run Beach House concession stand will be open from 11 a.m. until the fireworks begin about 9:15 p.m. Sunday. All other Gloucester County parks will be open to the public throughout the holiday weekend, but no special activities are planned at any of them.
The 31st annual Yorktown Fourth of July celebration, "A Family Affair," will be held on Sunday. Activities will include a number of free events, capped off at 9:15 p.m. with a fireworks display over the York River, said Christie Phillips, York County’s public information officer.
The activities there will include: 4 p.m., The Fifes & Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument and Voices of the Yorktown Chorale at York Hall; 4-8 p.m., Children’s Fun and Games area at Main and Nelson streets; 5 p.m., Sounds of Liberty bell-ringing ceremony, Nelson House; 6 p.m., parade on Main Street; 7 p.m., Fifes and Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument; 7:30 p.m., "The Story Behind the Hallowed Words of the Pledge of Allegiance," presented by Guy Manchester at the Victory Monument; 8 p.m., U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band at the Victory Monument.
Phillips said public parking for the Independence Day celebration will be on the Yorktown Battlefield at the Cook Road and Ballard Street intersection. Special designated parking, with a golf cart shuttle, will be provided for handicapped individuals. The free Yorktown Trolley will operate from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the Yorktown 4th, visit www.yorkcounty.gov/fourth or call York County Parks and Recreation at 757-890-3500.
Also, the Yorktown Victory Center will hold a "Liberty Celebration," featuring military drills and exhibits, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can enjoy 18th-century games at the recreated colonial farm, a release said, or enjoy programs at the kitchen about the contributions of European, American Indian and African culture to American cooking.
Admission is charged. Call 888-593-4632 for more information.
The Watermen’s Museum will host a tailgate party from 4:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday at its Yorktown facility. That event will include live music by Skipjack, outdoor games, and a guaranteed parking space for Yorktown’s holiday fireworks, a release said. For ticket information, call 757-887-2641.