There is no better way to celebrate South Carolina in July than with the many fireworks and other patriotic celebrations around the state. Of course, later in the month, there are festivals toasting the wonderful watermelon, sumptuous shrimp and, best of all, barbecue.
Here's how to celebrate Independence Day in style.
If you'd rather be on the water, don't miss the Lake Murray Boat Parade and Fireworks, which features dozens of boats cruising from Bomb Island to the Dreher Shoals Dam. Best viewing here is the Lake Murray Pedestrian Walkway. Fireworks start at dusk.
If you're along the coast, check out the Murrells Inlet Boat Parade – which brings together more than 130 boats a mile long cruising by this beachside town. Docks along the marsh side also are festooned with patriotic flair, and one of the best viewing spots is the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. Parade starts at 5 p.m.
Watch a spectacular fireworks display from the deck of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point in Charleston Harbor. It's free to watch from the shore, or you can buy special tickets and watch on deck. Music and entertainment start at 4 p.m., with fireworks estimated to start about 9:15 p.m.
Stroll the boardwalk at watch the pyrotechnics over the 23-acre Lake Broadway at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. Fireworks start about 10 p.m.
In the Upstate, you can watch the fireworks blasts over Liberty Bridge at the Wells Fargo Red, White and Blue Festival in Falls Park on Greenville’s Reedy River. Events start at 5 p.m., with two stages of music throughout the evening. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. The best viewing is on Main Street between Court Street and Falls Park Drive.
A folksy way to mark the holiday is Hillbilly Day, which celebrates the culture and crafts of Appalachia with arts and crafts, barbecue, a greased pig chase, clogging contests and Bluegrass music. Festivities are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Charleston City Marina’s MegaDock has become a grand billfishing arena. Fisherman can enter to win prizes for top billfish release points, heaviest meat fish, youth anglers and lady anglers. Plus, every evening throughout the tournament, the day’s catches will be on the docks for display. Get in on the action in person or through an online livestream of the event here.
For some real down-home flavor, check out the South Carolina Festival of Discovery in Greenwood. Meet some of the best barbecue cookers from all across the country and sample the goods from a barbecue and hash cook-off. The festival kicks off with a Greenwood Blues Cruise with a free Live After 5 Concert. July 6-8.
Georgia might be called the Peach State, but here in South Carolina, we grow way more peaches and salute the beautiful fruit with a celebration at the home of the most famous peach of all, the Peachoid in Gaffney. Celebrate peaches at the South Carolina Peach Festival, which starts off with dessert and live music followed by a road race, dog show, beauty pageant and tractor pull. The festival also features a new Talent Night and the always spectacular, SC Peach Festival Parade.
Beaufort Water Festival celebrates the river and ocean that define the area’s culture, food and daily life. Kids and adults alike will enjoy water activities, a Lowcountry Supper and nightly concerts during this weeklong celebration.
The next-most Southern food on the festival menu is shrimp, and you will find that at the May River Shrimp Festival. Watch how the pros “head” shrimp, then enjoy their work with cocktail sauce or over grits. There’s tons of local food, crafts and live music.
Most festivals in South Carolina celebrate our homegrown food and nothing says summer in the South like watermelon. The Pageland Watermelon Festival brings together so many Southernisms, you’ll think you’re in a movie. There’s a beauty pageant, with contestants vying for the title of Watermelon World Queen; a seed-spitting contest; a watermelon-eating contest (with some pretty strict rules, mind you) as well as a parade, a car show, food vendors, music and a rodeo.
Have you registered to paddle? Be it kayak, rowboat, SUP or canoe – participants of all ages and disciplines are welcome to enter the Palmetto Paddle on the Charleston Battery and Ashley River. Enjoy music and food by the water while you watch and cheer on the racers. Learn more here.
July 29 - August 5
South Carolina is taking on the Senior League World Series this year – welcoming players from across the globe to J.B. “Red” Owens Complex in Easley. Be ready to experience America’s favorite pastime on a global scale. For more information and tickets click here.