Independence Day to fire up the start of a long weekend gives the Grand Strand even more reason to celebrate.
Special events, parades, concerts and fireworks dot many communities, some with parties that have become traditions, such as such as the third annual “Fourth of July Cupcake Eating Contest & Festival, 2-5 p.m Friday at Croissants Bistro & Bakery in Myrtle Beach, and others for which the fuse remains hot to make them annual affairs.
The Market Common in Myrtle Beach will have its “Family 4th at The Common,” at 4 p.m. Friday, with activities stretching into the city’s Valor Memorial Garden, and reaching into the evening.
Jenni Austin, event coordinator for The Market Common in Myrtle Beach, said “we did so well for New Year’s Eve” – “A Southern Times Square” – that the spirit almost six months later also resulted from a spark for “Family 4th.”
“Celebrating July Fourth is is just growing everywhere,” Austin said, pleased that The Market Common retailers and the city want to continue giving families another holiday outing with free admission “to keep them coming back out.”
Besides carnival games and inflatable bounce houses for children, Eastbound will give a concert in front of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and the baseball movie “Field of Dreams” will play at dusk in Valor garden.
Such events also increase awareness about the hub into which The Market Common continues growing.
“People are still learning where The Market Common is,” Austin said, adding that with its proximity to the coastline, people also have their choice of fireworks displays “all over the beach,” a short drive away.
March in North Myrtle Beach
George O’Neill, event coordinator for the American Legion Post 186, in Little River, has helped put together the fifth annual “American Pride March” on Friday in North Myrtle Beach. Two processions of volunteers stepping off at 11 a.m. – one each from north and south ends, carrying the U.S., S.C. and POW-MIA flags – will meet up at about 1 p.m. the city’s Horseshoe, at Main Street and Ocean Boulevard, for a ceremony.
O’Neill called this Independence Day event an extension of the enthusiasm for the Lions Club in North Myrtle Beach starting a 9/11 candlelight vigil in 2012 and getting a group together to hold flags on an overpass every Sept. 11 from 8:45 until 10:05 a.m. He also spelled out an acronym for Lions: “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.”
A few years ago, that movement inspired “doing something for the Fourth of July,” O’Neill said, remembering such questions for this concept as “What is really patriotic and really stimulating? ... Why are we celebrating?”
About eight miles are covered in all between both marches, O’Neill said, thanking all the teams of volunteers who take a turn with the flags. Having “the military of today in uniform” and Sons of the American Revolution dressed in 1776 attire each carrying flags makes this overall march more special, especially this year with saluting World War II veterans at the ceremony, and having the fifth annual “Salute from the Shore” aircraft fleet breeze by the beach shortly after 1 p.m.
O’Neill said sadly that the 20 percent of the personnel who served in World War II “is all that’s left” from that generation.
“Where would we be if not for them?” he asked. “The real reason for this is that it’s not just another day.”
Ed Fennell, who lives near Briarcliffe Acres, said he got confirmation from O’Neill that he’s slated to ride as a guest on one of the “Salute from the Shore” aircraft. He and wifeBetty also have family from as far as Michigan joining them to celebrate this Fourth of July.
The 87-year-old World War II veteran remembered serving in the Navy, on a ship that invaded Okinawa, Japan, on “an Easter Sunday morning” in 1945.
Fennell said he also flew on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., from Myrtle Beach in October 2011, which he ranked “a big, big, big thrill.”
Ready for the “Salute” flight, Fennell said upon learning of this opportunity, “if there was a place, I’d be honored and glad to go.”
Celebrate Independence Day
BROADWAY AT THE BEACH FIREWORKS
• Tuesdays through August
• Fridays through Aug. 15, including July 4
PATRIOTIC PRE-SHOWS AT ‘THE CAROLINA OPRY’
• “Opry” shows on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Satrudays, and July 6 and Aug. 31
• “The Good Vibrations Show” Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (but not July 4)
‘HOT SUMMER NIGHTS’ FIREWORKS
• Boardwalk and park performers –Sunday and Friday nights through Aug. 31, including “Boardwalk Elvis” by David Chaney of Myrtle Beach (www.davidchaneymusic.com
), who performs 7-10 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Plyler Park, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in front of Boardwalk Coffee House and The Bowery at Ninth Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard.
• Concert series – 8-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Saturdays, on Plyler Park stage, including C2 & the Brothers Reed on June 28, Austin Mowery Band July 1, Jimmy Mowery July 2, BPL July 3, and Bullfrog July 5.
• Live music 6-9 p.m. Wednesday on Ninth Avenue Stage
• “Kids’ Carnival” 7-10 p.m. Mondays, including youth bands, inflatables, face painting, caricature artist, games, balloon twisting, and stilt walkers.
FIFTH ANNUAL ‘AMERICAN PRIDE MARCH’
• George O’Neill, Legion post event coordinator, at 399-1111 or 503-3062
• Matt Davis, 333-5157, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THIRD ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CUPCAKE EATING CONTEST & FESTIVAL’
‘FAMILY 4TH AT THE COMMON’
• Carnival games, inflatable bounce houses, and dunking booth
• Concert by Eastbound, in front of Barnes & Noble Booksellers
• “Movies Under the Stars,” with “Field Of Dreams,” from 1989, at dusk, about 9 p.m. in Valor garden
• “Music on the Green” concert series, 7-10 p.m. Thursdays, with Painted Man on July 3, and Aug. 7 and 21; Tracy Thompson and the Denny Hess Trio July 10, and Aug. 14 and 28; Josh Brannon Band June 26 and July 31; Paul Grimshaw July 17; and Hot Sauce July 24.
• Other titles in movie series, 9 p.m. Fridays: “A Bug’s Life” (1998) July 11; “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” (1989) July 18; “Space Jam” (1996) July 25; “Cloudy with a Chance Of Meatballs” (2009) Aug. 15; “Monsters University” (2013) Aug. 22; and “G-Force” (2009) Aug. 29.
ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
‘INDEPENDENCE MUSIC BLAST’
• “Wine Wednesday,” Wednesday, including music 1-5 p.m. by T.J. Walsh Admission Free. Food from Vineyard Grill
• “TGI Wine Friday,” Friday, including music 1-5 p.m. by Laidback Larry
RED, WHITE AND BLUE SOCIAL DANCE
In Georgetown County
31ST ANNUAL MURRELLS INLET ‘FOURTH OF JULY BOAT PARADE’ AND FIREWORKS
• Boat parade, noon in “Saluting Our Founding Fathers” theme, on ocean shoreline from Garden City Point, sailing southward past the Marsh Walk to Jetty View Walk, behind King Street Grille and the Hot Fish Club. Register for parade through July 3 at these merchants: Booty’s Outdoors, 3908 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet (651-2593 or bootysoutdoors.com); Crazy Sister Marina, 4123 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet (651-4285 or crazysister.com); or Garden City Realty, 608 Atlantic Ave., Garden City Beach (651-2121, 651-0900 orwww.gardencityrealty.com)
; or sign up at 11:15 a.m. July 4 with the committee boat in the water at Garden City Point. Details at 652-4236.
• Fireworks 10 p.m. from Marsh Walk area, on U.S. 17 Business.
FOURTH ANNUAL PAWLEYS ISLAND FOURTH OF JULY EVENING CELEBRATION
18TH ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CONCERT’
In North Carolina
‘HONOR FLIGHT: ONE LAST MISSION’ MOVIE
THIRD ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT THE OLD BRIDGE’
• Parade with decorated bicycles, tricycles, strollers, scooters, wagons, skateboards and anything that rolls, 8:30 a.m. to actual Old Bridge
• After parade: children’s games and a number of other activities, including face painting.
• The Tender House, housing the newly opened Old Bridge Museum, will be open, with a volunteer recounting when the former swing bridge was operational and elaborating on artifacts that are on display, some of which help tell the story of the Vesta, the Confederate blockade runner that ran aground at Sunset Beach more than 150 years ago.
• “A Moment in Time,” 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 12, with local volunteers and storytellers sharing history of the bridge and town.
• Young Explorers Program, 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 13, for children of all ages, with adult accompaniment, with different topics weekly and making of crafts to take home
• “Family Fun Nights,” 5-7 p.m. Thursdays, with “If Bridges Could Talk” history talks on July 10 and 31; cookouts July 17 and Aug. 7, and $3 donation for a grilled hot-dog combo; and “Pirate Night” July 24, with dressing up encouraged; and “Snakes and Turtles and Birds – Oh My!” animal program Aug. 14.
ANNUAL N.C. FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVAL
• Parade at 11 a.m., from Moore and Howe streets (and shown 8-9 p.m. on WECT-TV 6 of Wilmington)
• Shine & Show Classic Cars, by Cape Fear Cruisers club, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Bay Street, by Waterfront Park
• Waterfront stage entertainment by Nothing Without 1-2 p.m., Mike’s Garage Band 2:30-4:30, and Liquid Pleasure Band 6-9 p.m.
• United Professional Wrestling Association (www.theupwa.com
) matches, 3-5 p.m. on Garrison Lawn, including Nick Ferrero, Mo Hill, Justin Lee, Pete Nixon, Josh Orton, Nate Roberts, Ulrich von Worse and Travis Young, and The Stro signing autographs.
• Fireworks at 9 p.m.
If you watch
• ETV across South Carolina (www.scetv.org
), including WHMC-TV 23 of Conway and WITV-TV 7 of Charleston
• UNC-TV across North Carolina (www.unctv.org
), including WUNJ-TV 39 of Wilmington, N.C.