North Carolina cities rank low on website ranking July 4 events

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Fireworks stock photo

A few weeks ago, personal-finance website WalletHub found Winston-Salem to be a darned good place for a “staycation,” coming in just ahead of Honolulu, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

We’re still scratching our heads on that one.

But now the news arrives that the Twin City isn’t so hot at Fourth of July festivities.

Winston-Salem came in a paltry 95th out of 100 on the website’s list of “Best and Worst Cities for July 4th Celebrations.”

Richmond, Va. topped the list, followed by Irvine, Calif.; Cincinnati; and Oakland. Washington, D.C., barely made it into the Top 5 despite all its patriotic trappings.

It seems things were stacked against us from the start. The website looked at whether a city is known for putting on “great Independence Day celebrations.”

OK, WalletHub got us there. If it weren’t for the Winston-Salem Dash, Forsyth Country Club or the neighbors with beer bottles and bottle rockets, the skies in the city limits would not be lighting up on July 4.

Most folks who want to see fireworks in Forsyth County without hanging around the BB&T Ball Park have to travel to Lewisville or Kernersville.

There is the Heavy Rebel Weekender music festival downtown, and Old Salem’s festivities include puppet shows and fire engine drills. But that’s not the same as things blowing up real good in the night sky.

One of the other things that damaged our chances for a higher spot on the list was the weather which, despite claims otherwise in tabloids, we can’t control. Perhaps the WalletHub folks have something against humidity. Winston-Salem came in No. 90 in that category, with Greensboro at 93 and Durham at 99.

And according to Wallet Hub’s methodology, cities “with an expectation for temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and a low chance of rain were given preference.” That basically knocks the Southeast off the list.

That explains WalletHub’s seemingly bias against North Carolina in general with this list; the bottom 10 also includes Charlotte (No. 94), Greensboro (No. 98) and Durham (100). The state’s best-ranked city on the list is Raleigh, which came in a meager 83rd, tied with Jacksonville, Fla.

Other factors in WalletHub’s calculations of what makes a good city for July 4 celebrations included the price of a three-star hotel, the number of bars and restaurants, swimming pools per capita and whether private fireworks are legal.

And yet, no cities in South Carolina even made the list.

But maybe the most maddening part of it all is that Winston-Salem’s archrival Honolulu is ranked No. 87.

Touché, Honolulu. Touché.