by Donna Byrd
I was in Surf City yesterday and happened to go back onto the mainland by way of the swing bridge. As we crossed over, I looked over to my left side and saw Soundside Park,
totally dressed up for it’s July Fourth Celebration. Red, white and blue bunting lined the railing of the wooden boardwalk that ran throughout the park, looking so festive that I had Bill turn the car around and go back. I wanted to take a walk by the Intracoastal Waterway when the park looked its best.
As many times as I have driven by the Soundside Park, I have never been there. We parked the car and got out, standing there trying to decide which way to go first. It was huge and beautiful! There are playgrounds, grassy areas, picnic tables, old gnarled oaks, fishing piers, viewing decks, and the boardwalk that surrounds the sound’s edge.
It has a public boat access too. While we were there we saw a few boats head out into the
intracoastal waters and even a few kayakers, lazily paddling around the edges near the boardwalk. There’s a large amphitheater which I read was available for weddings and events. As a matter of fact, you can also rent out the picnic shelters, too.
Bill and I began our walk by going to where the boardwalk started – out in the marshes near Crabby Mikes and the Surf City water tower. We couldn’t believe how expansive it was. I came home and looked it up on the at Surf City town website. The town of Surf City gave the footage for each segment of the walkway and it totals 5,280 feet: one mile! What an awesome natural walkway for exercise or meditation!
Soundside Park has been around as long as the swing bridge, which was built in 1955 to connect Topsail Island with the mainland. Through the years, the park has grown and become the gorgeous gem of Surf City.
Actually, there is something always happening at Soundside Park. This summer they have free concerts and movie nights (drive-in style) on the weekends for the family. Check out the website here for more information.
This weekend, promises to be the best yet because a big celebration is planned for the Fourth of July. It starts with Snake Malone and the Black Cat Bone on Friday night, July 1st from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The Independence Day Celebration begins on Sunday, July 3rd at 6:00 p.m. with the Mark Roberts Band. Fireworks will follow afterward at dark-thirty – around 9:00 p.m. They ask that you walk or carpool because there’s not enough parking space to accommodate the crowds that seem to grow each year. Also, it would be best, if coming from the mainland, that you come from the direction of the high rise bridge in North Topsail so that the traffic will not be as congested.
Bring your blankets and lawn chairs early, to mark your spot. Some folks even anchor their boats out in the water to watch the show.
There’s going to be a lot of people celebrating our nation’s independence and freedom and I plan to be there watching the magical fireworks, with the awe of a little child! Come and join me for the fun!