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
PATRIOTIC PRE-SHOWS AT ‘THE CAROLINA OPRY’
‘HOT SUMMER NIGHTS’ FIREWORKSwww.davidchaneymusic.com
FIFTH ANNUAL ‘AMERICAN PRIDE MARCH’
THIRD ANNUAL ‘FOURTH OF JULY CUPCAKE EATING CONTEST & FESTIVAL’
‘FAMILY 4TH AT THE COMMON’
ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
‘INDEPENDENCE MUSIC BLAST’
RED, WHITE AND BLUE SOCIAL DANCE
In Georgetown County
31ST ANNUAL MURRELLS INLET ‘FOURTH OF JULY BOAT PARADE’ AND FIREWORKSwww.gardencityrealty.com)
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’
ANNUAL N.C. FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVALwww.theupwa.com
If you watchwww.scetv.org www.unctv.org