Ask any college-aged co-ed in Charleston their plans for the Fourth of July, and nine times out of 10 you’ll get the same, short response: “10th.” 10th Street has long been known for its party scene on Folly Beach; it’s the street you avoid with the kiddies and make a beeline for the booze. On the Fourth of July, that party scene reaches epic proportions, and this year was no exception.
On Wednesday, the party on 10th stretched from 8th to 11th streets with no beach visible thanks to the hordes of red, white, and blue revelers and their beer-stocked coolers and corn hole sets. And while there’s nothing quite as patriotic sounding as fireworks on the Fourth of July, unfortunately for the hundreds slamming the shoreline this year, it was hard to decipher between the sound of actual firecrackers and the electric snap of taser guns.
The bash began as early as 8 a.m. for some, with revelers renting buses from downtown in order to beat the heavy traffic on Folly Road. By noon, American flag bikinis could be seen in every direction while others got festive with Dr. Seuss hats, Pabst Blue Ribbon suspenders, sparkly blue bikinis, and even American flag-painted chests and dyed hair. The Folly Beach police kept things patriotic as well with bright blue uniforms as they did their best to quell the inevitable chaos, prompting a number of drunkards to chuck their empty cans at the cops. The melee erupted with the chanting of “USA, USA, USA!” as a group of F-16s zoomed over the crowd, their engines just barely audible over the roar of dubstep music coming from the several party tents complete with amps, DJs, and free liquor and beer for those with wrist bands.
As the tide began to come in and the drinks began to run out around 5 p.m., those looking to get off the island were quickly met by stand-still traffic resulting from a wreck on Folly Road. Stuck for several more hours on the island, the party pushed on until the real fireworks later that night.