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Where are the best public places to view the N.C. Holiday Flotilla parade and fireworks?

Cece Nunn

The 2013 N.C. Holiday Flotilla will be held Nov. 30, 2013, at Wrightsville Beach.

A map of the route of this year’s flotilla parade is available, along with an event schedule and other more detailed information, at the festival’s website.

Katie Ryan, program supervisor for the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Department, suggested viewing the parade from Waynick Boulevard where the judge’s pier and the Blockade Runner are located, both causeway bridges to the town and Harbor Island around Banks Channel.

Paula Sturdy, who in 2010, along with her husband, Van Marr, had won the flotilla’s Best in Show award for the past two years, had a suggestion: Make an afternoon out of it to avoid the hassles. After parking at Wrightsville Beach Park, go to the Festival in the Park, which begins at 10 a.m. Nov. 30, 2013.

“And then maybe stop and have dinner at one of the many, many fine restaurants at Wrightsville Beach and walk over to the flotilla and fireworks right there on the bridge at Causeway Drive,” Sturdy said in 2010.

Here’s some additional information from an N.C. Holiday Flotilla’s website:

“On Saturday at 6 p.m. you will see a short volley of fireworks that will signal the start of the famous boat parade. There is no official location to watch the parade, but you can park in the Wrightsville Beach park parking lot and walk to any number of vantage points along the parade route, including the Banks Channel Bridge, the two South Harbor Island mini-parks, or the west side of Waynick Boulevard. The parade judges are located at our Host Sponsor the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.” Then the fireworks begin.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the flotilla so finding a parking place early will be critical unless you want to rely on luck or have a friend who owns a place in town. For more detailed parking information, visit the Wrightsville Beach website. Parking in the town is free from Nov. 1 to the end of February.

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