July Fourth shaping up to be a dud? Spark up your holiday weekend with a road trip to South Carolina. Whether you make your way to Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia or Greenville, you'll find one-of-a-kind celebrations in some of the coolest spots in the state.
Here are five of South Carolina's most spectacular Independence Day fireworks shows:
1. Patriots Point Fourth of July Fireworks Blast in Charleston
Watch fireworks explode over beautiful Charleston Harbor from one of the most unique viewing platforms in the country - the flight deck of the historic USS Yorktown, the 10th aircraft carrier to serve in the U.S. Navy.
Tickets are $25 and include access to the ship starting at 7:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating; food and drinks will not be permitted on the flight deck but food vendor King of Pops will be selling gourmet popsicles. Tickets can be purchased online at www.patriotspoint.org.
The festivities also will include a free landside celebration from 6-10 p.m. featuring an array of food and drinks for purchase and live music throughout the evening. Guests are welcome to view the fireworks from the museum grounds. Parking at Patriots Point for the day will be $20 per vehicle.
Set to patriotic music, this pyrotechnics extravaganza takes place at 10 p.m. over 23-acre Lake Broadway, the centerpiece of the popular festival entertainment complex.
Broadway at the Beach is also hosting Great American Summer Nights, featuring fire dancers, costumed stiltwalkers, strolling entertainers, character appearances, musical performances and Mr. Nigel's Dance Party from 8 to 10 p.m. New this year is Illumination Park, a free immersive art experience with innovative lighted and interactive intallations. It is located on the lawn across from The Hangout Restaurant in the Key West Village.
With restaurants, specialty stores and attractions like WonderWorks, Ripley's Aquarium Palace Theatre and Hollywood Wax Museum, it's easy to make a day of it. To find out more about Broadway by the Beach's offerings, click here.
3. July Fourth Celebration at Fort Jackson in Columbia
This red, white and blue fireworks extravaganza returns to the Columbia army base after a five-year hiatus. Free and open to the public, the event is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, at Hilton Field and will include an evening of concerts. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a performance by Navy veteran and singer/songwriter Brooks Herring, followed by headliner, country hip-hop artist Breland. In addition, there will be food trucks and vendors and a kid zone with amusement rides.
Visitors should use Gate 4 on Boyden Arbor Road to access Hilton Field. The gate will open at 4 p.m. to allow guests to set up their lawn chairs and blankets. Everyone 16 and older must have a valid state or government-issued photo identification card for entry. Drivers must have a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. For more information, click here.
4. Fireworks on the Fourth at Unity Park in Greenville
Greenville's new Unity Park will host this year's Fourth of July celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. with the fireworks show beginning around 9:45 p.m. Food options will be limited so guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic dinner. Be aware, pets are not allowed within the event site. Greenville's free trolley will provide shuttle service from downtown to the park. For more information, click here.
5. Lake Murray 4th of July Fireworks Show
Now in its 34th year, this popular July Fourth celebration takes place Saturday, July 2, starting with a patriotic boat parade near Bomb Island. The parade can be viewed by boat or from the Lake Murray Dam parks after 1 p.m. Fireworks will launch at dark between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. from two lake locations: Spnce Island and Dreher Island. It will be synchronized to patriotic music show that can be heard on radio station B106.7 FM. The dam parks, on the Lexington and Irmo side, will be open all day. Cost to park is $5. Click here for more information.