Traffic and Large Crowds Expected for Fourth of July Holiday

Larger than normal crowds are expected to attend the Fourth of July Stars and Stripes Celebration at the Oceanfront next week. While plans for managing traffic are in place to ensure the safety of residents and visitors, everyone should expect that traffic will be unusually heavy throughout much of the holiday weekend, especially on Thursday, July 4. 

Performances for the Fourth of July Stars and Stripes Celebration begin at 7 p.m., July 4, in the parks at 17th, 24th and 31st streets, with fireworks launching at 9:30 p.m. from a barge at 24th Street. People are encouraged to arrive early in the day to minimize traffic congestion. Visitors who arrive later in the afternoon or early evening should expect extremely slow-moving traffic as well as heavy pedestrian traffic. A modified traffic plan may be implemented.  

Starting at 7 p.m. on July 4, vehicles traveling eastbound on Interstate Highway 264 may be redirected westbound at Parks Avenue. The eastbound exit at South Birdneck Road and the westbound exit at First Colonial Road are likely to be closed if the diversion is implemented. Routes to the Resort Area that will remain open include Shore Drive and Laskin Road. This traffic diversion may be in place until around 11:30 p.m. 

Residents can sign up to receive event updates and emergency alerts for all major events at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with anticipated attendance of more than 10,000 per day. Text VBEVENTS to 67283 to opt in. Reply LEAVE VBEVENTS at any time to opt out. 

In addition to the celebration at the Oceanfront, residents can watch fireworks at Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation’s July 4th Celebration at Mount Trashmore Park. The event begins at 4 p.m. with main stage performances at 6 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Limited parking will be available for $20 (cash only) beginning at noon, and Edwin Drive between Independence Boulevard and South Boulevard may close to traffic when the parking lots are full. Visitors should arrive early and expect traffic delays and heavy pedestrian traffic along Independence Boulevard, Edwin Drive and South Boulevard. 

Traffic on all of the approaches to these major event areas will be monitored with an emphasis on ensuring efficient and safe travel and maintaining access for emergency vehicles responding to calls for service. Please note that stopping on the interstate to watch fireworks is not allowed, because it is a safety hazard. 

The City has partnered with WAZE to provide real-time traffic updates. For information about where to park in the Resort area, visit or download one of our apps, including ParkMobile and VBGo. These and other apps are available for free from Google Play or the Apple Store. A daily flat rate of $22 on July 4-6 and a flat rate of $15 on July 7 will be charged at all municipal garages and lots in the Resort Area. Residential rates after 5 p.m. will remain at $3. 

Holiday parking restrictions for the Residential Parking Permit Program Area at the Oceanfront start July 2 at 6 p.m. and end July 6 at 6 a.m. The “Permit Parking Only” restrictions will be enforced 24 hours daily during this time. Please make sure all residential and employee permits have been updated to avoid receiving a citation. Vehicles found in violation may be towed at the owner’s expense. Only neighborhood residents and approved business employee parkers can park in restricted areas during these hours. For more information, please call 3-1-1. 

Virginia Beach public safety officials remind residents that fireworks are illegal in the City of Virginia Beach. For details about the fireworks ordinance, visit the Fire Prevention Bureau page.

Residents are encouraged to report illegal fireworks within their neighborhoods via the VB311 online portal,, or by calling the City’s non-emergency line, 757-385-5000. Please do not call 911 to report fireworks unless there is an active or imminent threat to life and/or property.