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The Town of Chapel Hill’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium will light up the sky on July 4. A display of 6,393 fireworks, including wave willows, red and green falling leaves, silver whirls and lemon and purple crossettes, will start at 9:30 p.m.

Entrance is free, but voluntary contributions of $1 per person or $5 per family of five or more will be accepted at the entrance gates to Kenan Stadium to help offset costs.

Gates open at 7 p.m. with a juggling Uncle Sam on stilts, contests and face painting. The first 10,000 attendees will receive a free glow necklace provided by Grace Church. Mick Mixon (voice of the Carolina Panthers) and the Franklin Street Band are scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. Jessica Carter will sing the national anthem.

The town, along with 1360 WCHL and, is conducting a “Chapel Hill Pride” photo contest. The winner will receive a prize and the opportunity to push the ceremonial button starting the fireworks display.

“Many communities across the country rely 100 percent on community donations to support their fireworks shows,” said Butch Kisiah, director of parks and recreation for the Town of Chapel Hill. “This is new for Chapel Hill, but we believe we can count on residents and visitors to show their support. All are welcome to attend, and while we hope community members will help with the voluntary contribution, no one will be turned away from the celebration.”

Recommended parking for event patrons is in the Craig, Jackson and Cardinal parking decks off Manning Drive. Rams Head Deck is open to public and disability parking. Parking also is available in downtown Chapel Hill parking lots 2 and 3, the Wallace Parking Deck and smaller town lots.

Get more details about parking traffic, safety and access to the stadium and other information about the event.

Published June 25, 2012.