People flock to Norfolk's Town Point Park to celebrate Independence Day

Great American Picnic Town Point Park Norfolk (July 4).PNG
NF Town Point Park July 4 prep.PNG
Posted at 6:34 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 23:36:24-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Hundreds of people are enjoying July 4 festivities at Town Point Park. With several food vendors, many are enjoying funnel cakes.

"I was with my family last year, and we came down and watched them. It was very impressive. It was a really nice show to be able to sit back and all the kids having fun and having a good time," April Rahn said.

Rahn traveled from Jacksonville, Fla., to enjoy the show.

Another family came to spend some quality time together.

"Every year, I usually come out here. We missed last year, so we wanted to come this year," Violet Calhoun said.

Calhoun's family is looking forward to some live entertainment and great food.

"Sitting by the water, having a picnic, listening to the music and funnel cakes."

A lot of preparation has gone into Monday's event and the fireworks show. We've seen crews setting up the stage for a live band to perform and vendors getting ready.

"This was our first event back last year. We’ve been planning for a year to come back for the second time since the pandemic," said Jordan Lett, the marketing director for Norfolk Festevents.

The City of Norfolk is expecting thousands of people to attend the fireworks show.

"We’re ready to bring everyone back together as a community," Lett said.

A sea of red, white and blue is filling the park.

"We have beautiful weather today, so it's nice to just walk around and enjoy the day. You know, we're thankful," said Great American Picnic attendees.

Thankful not only for good weather, but for celebrating this July 4 with family.

Mina and Pat live in Virginia Beach but wanted a change of scenery, leading Mina to bring her sister, Eunice, all the way from London to experience the Mermaid City.

"I was surprised, especially with the ships and other things that I've seen around. I'm enjoying the scenery, and it's a nice exposure for me coming all the way from the UK," said Eunice.

And with a hot day like today, you can't have fun without some good food! As food vendors prepare for customers, News 3 spoke with the manager of MacBrand Foods, which is serving up fries, lemonade, deep-fried pickles and more.

"Hopefully this year, we at least do as good as last year because COVID has hit pretty good, so a lot of us have been hurt, But this is a Fourth of July celebration," said Dan Bohanan.

They're making sure they have enough food and drink for a July 4 like they have never seen before.

"We got two big freezers back here, so we're ready" said Bohanan.

Families of all ages showed up, some showing patriotic pride from head to toe, with many saying it's a tradition.

"I love the stands - the concession stands - the food, the music. My son, he plays in the band, so the music is really nice to our ears," said Annette Parker.

Musical performers included the U.S Fleet Forces Band, and U.S Navy Rock band.

Parker, a Norfolk native, says this July 4 celebration is one she will never forget.

If you’re not attending any fireworks shows, here are some tips our News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light recommends for staying safe.

"The big thing is sun safety - making sure you have sunscreen on. You wanna avoid sunburns. That makes you more susceptible to heat injury, heat stroke," Dr. Light said.

If you want to indulge in some adult beverages, here’s what Dr. light recommends:

"Avoiding the alcohol as much as possible because that will dehydrate you. We want you to get through this holiday and return to work safely," he said.

Related: List of local July 4th celebrations, fireworks displays