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
What | Part of annual “SummerFest” of events spread across each week
When | 10:15 p.m Mondays through August, and on July 4
Where | Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach
How much | Free
Also | Summerfest events 7-11 p.m. daily through Aug. 30, including boardwalk entertainers from stilt walkers to magicians, clowns, Nigel & Ally’s Traveling Dance Party, children’s karaoke, and Nick Pike, a unicyclist, juggler and comedian who has competed on NBC’s “America's Got Talent,” and free carousel rides on Saturdays
Information | 272-8349 or www.bflanding.com
BROADWAY AT THE BEACH FIREWORKS
Among | Fourth annual “Coca-Cola Summer Nights” of summer entertainment
When | 10 p.m.:• Tuesdays through August
• Fridays through Aug. 15, including July 4
Where | Broadway at the Beach, bordered by U.S. 17 Bypass, Grissom Parkway and 21st and 29th avenues North in Myrtle Beach
Also | Entertainers: comedy juggler Bryan Dangerous 7 and 9 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays; Mr. Nigel, an interactive musical entertainer from Charlotte, 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, with free face painting for children in that time; and Maddie Hunt, a singer-songwriter-pianist, 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Bands this weekend | 7 p.m. in Celebrity Square: Austin Mowery Band on Thursday, Max Roberts Band Friday, and N’Tranze Saturday.
How much | Free
PATRIOTIC PRE-SHOWS AT ‘THE CAROLINA OPRY’
Who | Clebe McClary of Pawleys Island, former Marine Corps lieutenant who earned Silver and Bronze stars during combat in Vietnam
When | Before “The Carolina Opry” shows: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and with meet-and-greet and book signing during intermission and after shows
Where | Calvin Gilmore Theater, on U.S. 17 Business at U.S. 17 Bypass on north tip of Myrtle Beach
How much | Plus tax: $34.95, $45.95 or $49.95 ages 17 and older, $17 ages 3-16; and $23 for students with ID
Also | Through August, all 7 p.m.:• “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)
Information | 913-4000, 800-843-6779 or www.thecarolinaopry.com, and www.clebemcclary.com
‘HOT SUMMER NIGHTS’ FIREWORKS
What | Part of Oceanfront Merchants Association’s “Hot Summer Nights,” through August
When | 10 p.m. Wednesdays through August – and on July 4
Where | Second Avenue (North) Pier in Myrtle Beach
Also |• 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.
How much | Free
Information | www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com
FIFTH ANNUAL ‘AMERICAN PRIDE MARCH’
By | American Legion Post 186, in Little River
Who, what and where | Volunteers carrying the U.S., S.C. and POW-MIA flags in a parade across parts of North Myrtle Beach, from the north at Cherry Grove Pier and from the south at Ocean Creek, meeting at the Horseshoe, at Main Street and Ocean Boulevard, for a flag-raising ceremony with active duty military, World War II veterans and Sons of the American Revolution, prayer and singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
When | 11 a.m. Friday
Information |• George O’Neill, Legion post event coordinator, at 399-1111 or 503-3062
• Matt Davis, 333-5157, or email email@example.com
THIRD ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CUPCAKE EATING CONTEST & FESTIVAL’
When | 2-5 p.m. Friday
Where | Croissants Bistro & Bakery, 3751 Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach
For contest | At 4 p.m., contestants 18 and older have five minutes to eat as many cupcakes as they can, but registration is encouraged as early as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 448-2253; winner receives a prize package includes tickets to Myrtle Beach area attractions, restaurants and retail stores as well as a vacation package, all valued at more than $1,000.
How much | Free admission
Includes | Live music, carnival games, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals and children’s cupcake decorating
Also | All proceeds from beer sales to benefit the Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach at Horry-Georgetown Technical College
More information | www.croissants.net
‘FAMILY 4TH AT THE COMMON’
When | 4 p.m. Friday
Where | Myrtle Beach’s Valor Memorial Garden and streets by The Market Common shopping/dining district
What/who |• 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
Also |• “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.
How much | Free
Information | 839-3500 or www.marketcommonmb.com.
ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
By | Town of Surfside Beach
When | 6-10 p.m. Friday
Where | Surfside Beach Pier, 11 N. Ocean Blvd., at Surfside Drive
Includes | Entertainment by “Garth and Friends” 6-9 p.m.; free water slides for children; free ice cream for the first 500 children; and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Information | 650-9548 or www.surfsidebeach.org
‘INDEPENDENCE MUSIC BLAST’
When | noon-6 p.m. Saturday
Where | La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School
How much | $8 ages 18-79, otherwise free – bring two canned/dry good items for area food banks and receive $3 off admission
Includes | Music noon-5 p.m. by Tammy’s Tangent, and Latitude, and vineyard tour at 2:30 p.m.
Also | Both with free admission:• “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
Information | 399-9463 or www.labelleamie.com
RED, WHITE AND BLUE SOCIAL DANCE
What | In Independence Day theme, belatedly
By | USA Dance Inc. Grand Strand Chapter 6024
When | 7-10 p.m. July 12
Where | Myrtle Beach Base Recreation Center, 800 Gabreski Lane, close to Farrow Parkway and The Market Common
How much | $7 members, otherwise $9
Includes | Music by DJ Jim Sterner, and beverages
Also | Singles welcome; and everyone asked to bring a snack to share
Information | 808-3397 or www.usadancegrandstrand.com
In Georgetown County
31ST ANNUAL MURRELLS INLET ‘FOURTH OF JULY BOAT PARADE’ AND FIREWORKS
When, what and where | Friday, all free to watch:• 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 or www.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.
Also | “Monday Night Lights” fireworks by Marsh Walk, 9-9:10 p.m. on Mondays, July 7 through August, for free. Details at 497-3450.
FOURTH ANNUAL PAWLEYS ISLAND FOURTH OF JULY EVENING CELEBRATION
Sponsored by | Knights of Columbus Assembly 3272 and Council 11028
What | “A Salute to Our Nation and Our Military in Songs and Remembrances”
When | 6-8 p.m. Friday
Where | Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church Parish Life Center, 1633 Waverly Road, Pawleys Island
Includes | Pawleys Island Concert Band (274-5991 or www.pawleysislandconcertband.org), performing such numbers as “Amazing Grace,” “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle Delight”
How much | Free
Also | Hot dogs, sausage-and-peppers sandwiches, meatball sandwiches, and soft drinks available for purchase
Information | 235-9931
18TH ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CONCERT’
Who| Indigo Choral Society, with Kevin Jayroe, master of ceremonies, with The High Tide Brass Quartet, The Bag Ladies, and Project 9
Part of | “Made in the Shade” concert series
When | 7 p.m. Friday, with Georgetown City Fire Department’s fireworks afterward
Where | Kaminski House Museum lawn, 1003 Front St., Georgetown (rain location: Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 558 Black River Road)
How much | Free
Also | Museum open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, with guided tours 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. daily, for $7 ages 13 and older, $3 ages 6-12, and free ages 5 and younger – and additional $3 for tour of adjoining Stewart-Parker House.
Information | 546-7706 or kaminskimuseum.org
In North Carolina
‘HONOR FLIGHT: ONE LAST MISSION’ MOVIE
About | Four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them a trip to tour the memorials in Washington, D.C.
When | Finale, 11 a.m. Thursday
Where | Museum of Coastal Carolina 21 E. Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. (open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturdays)
How much | Free with admission: $8 ages 13-61, $7 ages 62 and older, $6 ages 3-12, and free ages 2 and younger. Also, seven-day “vacation pass” $69 for two adults and as many as to four children.
Also | Summer lecture series at 6 p.m. Tuesdays resumes July 8 – Peter and Cathy Meyer on hiking, “Coastwalk North Carolina,” with different speakers and topics weekly through Aug. 12, also free with admission.
THIRD ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT THE OLD BRIDGE’
By | Old Bridge Preservation Society
Where | Old (swing) Bridge site, 109 Shoreline Drive W., Sunset Beach, N.C.
What and when | 8:30-10 a.m. Friday:• 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.
How much | Free
Also | Summerlong programs in museum:• “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.
Summer hours at site | 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays
Information | 910-363-6585 or oldbridgepreservationsociety.org
ANNUAL N.C. FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVAL
By | Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce
Where | Downtown Southport, N.C.
When | Events daily through Saturday
Including | On Friday:• 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.
How much | Most events, including wrestling, free
Information | 910-457-6964 or www.nc4thofjuly.com
If you watch
What | “A Capitol Fourth”
Who | With host Tom Bergeron, from ABC-TV’s “Dancing With the Stars” and formerly of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” and these scheduled performers: Sara Evans; Patti Labelle; Michael McDonald; Kelli O’Hara; Kendall Schmidt, founder of Heffron Drive band; Frankie Valli, Maestro John Williams; Phillip Phillips and Jordin Sparks, winners of Fox-TV’s “American Idol” in its 11th and sixth seasons, respectively; the National Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Jack Everly; Choral Arts Society of Washington; U.S. Army Band “Pershing's Own”; U.S. Army Herald Trumpets; U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery; and The Joint Armed Forces Chorus.
When | 8-9:30 p.m. Friday, repeating 9:30-11 p.m.
Where | PBS nationwide, including:• 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.
Information | www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/concert.html