Greensboro’s Ten Best Places to Watch the Fireworks
This town will be booming for real this Fourth of July weekend, with two huge fireworks displays on consecutive nights that are sure to set off some car alarms. On Sunday, July 3, the Philharmonic of Greensboro begins at 8:30 p.m.in the stadium at Grimsley High, and the opening strains of ‘“The 1812 Overture’” are timed to coincide with the fireworks show. On Monday, July 4, First Horizon Park will present a high-octane display after the game against the Charleston RiverDogs. The show, according to Megan Thomas, the Grasshoppers’ media relations director, will be ‘“like twice as big as our regular Friday fireworks thing.’” Catch one or both this weekend and use our guide below to scope the choicest seats.
Grimsley (Sunday night, July 3):
421 Westover Terrace; 336.370.0707
My family and I usually hit the back parking lot at Lucky 32 to make with the oohs and aahs. It’s just off-site from Grimsley and the view is fantastic but this is a pretty popular spot and you’ve got to get there early. The real party here, though, always seems to be at the firehouse next door. Those guys know how to do it.
Mark’s on Westover
1310 Westover Terrace; 336.273.9090
Mark and his neighbors share one of the best parking lots in town to watch the gratuitous display of firepower over at the high school. The mall is on low ground but has an unobstructed view of the proceedings.
2132 Lawndale Dr.; 336.691.0960
You might not be able to see it through the windows, but if you can drag yourself off your barstool and slink out to the parking lot you’ll have a pretty grand view of the Grimsley fireworks. Chumley’s will throw a party on Sunday for the event, with food and appropriate beer and drink specials.
Lake Daniel Greenway
411 Mimosa Dr.
A couple of Greensboro insiders told me that this is the perfect setting to watch the rocket’s red glare. Lee Mortensen, of the Eastern Music Festival and the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, says to go to the bottom of the hill by the bridge. YES! Weekly account executive John Upsal warns that in one section of the park a tree cuts off the line of sight.
The Jamieson Stadium lawn
Grimsley High School; 801 Westover Terrace; 336.370.8180
This is a pretty tough seat to score, but if you can cart your picnic blankets and coolers out on the lawn before the crowd gets thick, you’ll be witness to a patriotic spectacle: an orchestra in full roar with horns and kettle drums blaring, combined with pyrotechnics that will burn afterimages on your retina.
Ballpark (Monday night, July 4):
The YES! Weekly Party Deck
408 Bellemeade St.; 336.268.2255
You didn’t think we’d let a chance slip by to plug the second-happiest place on earth, the YES! Weekly party deck that sits up on high above the third base line. From this lofty aerie the fireworks look like they’re exploding right in front of your face (for details on renting the deck call Todd Olsen at the ballpark).
Bellemeade parking garage rooftop
Corner of Bellemeade and Greene streets
Drive all the way to the top of this garage (free on weekends and after 6 p.m.) and get a good look at the things that flash and go boom. Another parking deck with a rooftop is at the downtown library, all the way at the top and at the Church Street side, where you can see the display juxtaposed with the burgeoning cityscape.
Nicole Crews’ hot tub
When the editor of NC Boating Lifestyle installed a groovy hot tub deck in the backyard of her colonial in Fisher Park, little did she know she’d have the best seat in the house for the ballpark fireworks. Seating is extremely limited, however, and seatholders are advised to show up with wine.
304 N Greene St.; 336.379.8000
This hotel, right on the ballpark, has a whole side facing the fireworks display and General Manager Skip Wagner says that they all offer excellent views. ‘“Up on the eleventh [floor],’” he says, ‘“eleven-oh-six, eleven-oh-eight, anything on that even side. People also come up to the parking deck and watch without renting a room.’” What a bunch of deadbeats.
M’Coul’s Public House
110 W. McGee St., 336.378.0204
Manager Jason Lassiter says that the view of the fireworks is not so great from the rooftop deck ‘— ‘“You can see them above the skyline,’” he says ‘— but you’ve got to admit that the outdoor bar on the second floor of M’Coul’s is definitely a chill place to express your patriotism from a distance, perhaps with a cool pint. Make sure to look up at the appropriate time.