Braving the hot, humid Lowcountry weather, thousands of Charleston-area residents brought their beach chairs and blankets to the North Charleston Riverfront Park to celebrate Independence Day 2012. Attendees were treated to live entertainment by soul/R&B singer Ruben Studdard from American Idol, bluegrass band Common Ground, beach/oldies group the CoastRunners, the funky Atlanta Pleasure Band, and the Equinox Jazz Band from Savannah. Speakers placed throughout the park were set at a pleasing decibel level for listeners to enjoy the live music as they danced, ate, and socialized on the expansive lawn.
Children played in the cool fountain to combat the summer heat. Boaters anchored in the river to await the fireworks display, which was an impressive show lasting about 15 minutes, while the Equinox Jazz Band played. Face painting, light sabers, and inflatable jump castles — one in the shape of the sinking Titanic ship — kept the young’uns entertained.
Food trucks and vendors provided sandwiches, burgers, funnel cakes, hotdogs, nachos, and flavored ice treats. The smarter tailgaters set up their picnic spreads under the canopy of huge trees or under their own canopies.
Kudos to the organizers for their traffic/parking guides and shuttle trams. Set at the historic Navy shipyard on the Cooper River, Riverfront Park has become a gem for North Charleston with its flowing design, natural beauty, modern sculpture, and permanent stage.