As one of the oldest cities in America, it's only fitting that Charleston is big on July Fourth festivities. Take your pick from one of these events and get ready to celebrate our country's birthday.
If you're interested in celebrating the Fourth a day early, Folly Beach County Park holds its annual fireworks display at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Downtown is host to several Independence Day events. The Joe Riley Stadium hosts the Fourth of Firefly party during the RiverDogs game at 6:35 p.m. Watch the RiverDogs play the Asheville Tourists or take in the live video streams of the eight other parties taking place across the nation while enjoying free merchandise and drink specials. Their fireworks display is a perfect way to end the night.
At the S.C. Aquarium, the Fourth of July Celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes barbecue, entertainment, and great views of the fireworks. Reservations are suggested.
Kudo Coffee House hosts a free July Fourth Extravaganza in its courtyard. Music starts at 4 p.m. and includes sets by local artists Rachel Kate, Sarah Bandy, and Megan Jean & The KFB. Or, try the Uncle Sam Jam at Mad River Bar and Grille for DJs and live music.
For those of you with a little extra cash lying around, check out the Sizzling Southern Celebration at the Wentworth Mansion. For $70 (plus tax and gratuity), guests will enjoy dinner from the grill and live music by jazz soloist Michael Meseck. After dinner, the party moves to the cupola to watch the fireworks.
In Mt. Pleasant, I'On is having the Fourth of July CelebratI'On. The free event is held at Westlake Amphitheater from and includes a parade, lots of patriotic activities, and a concert from Heart and Soul. Guests are welcome to purchase food and drink from vendors or bring their own picnics. If you're looking for a premade basket, restaurants Atlanticville and Cafe Medley are offering ready-made picnics for the Fourth.
The Uncle Sam Jam takes place at Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park at 7 p.m. The event includes live music by the East Coast Party Band, and it's the perfect place to watch the fireworks over the Cooper River.
Also in Mt. Pleasant, the Patriots Point Independence Day Blast will celebrate with live music and a giant Kidz Zone. The celebration's finale is a fireworks display off of the deck of the USS Yorktown. Nearby, the Dave Landeo Band is playing at Red's Ice House and Big Hit & Baby Kit is playing at Wild Wing at 10 p.m.
The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms holds another round of the Bud Light Lime Bikini Bash with music from the Tropix International DJs starting at 3 p.m. For beachfront fireworks, watch the display from the pier from 9:15-9:30 p.m. Afterward, head back over to the Windjammer for live music by The Bushels and Playlist. Walk over to Acme Cantina and listen to music by Two3Ways starting at 7 p.m.
For live music on Folly Beach, head over to the Sand Dollar, where The Cool will be playing.
In North Charleston, a Fourth of July Festival is happening at Riverfront Park. The free event will have live music by CoastRunner, The Blue Dogs, and Quiana Parler & Friends. A fireworks show over the Cooper River will wrap up the evening. This event is very kid friendly, with jump castles, games, and a giant sand box.
Car enthusiasts should head over to C2X Wraps for the Fourth of July Car and Bike Show from 2-9 p.m. Watch the sound and burnout competitions or play on the jump castles while a DJ and local performers play. Guests will also enjoy food and drinks, prizes, giveaways, and a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. If you're feeling competitive, enter your car or bike for $5.
In West Ashley, California Dreaming is having a free party. There will be barbecue, all day drink specials, and music by Jamisum, Lance Starr, and Mirage.
History buffs will appreciate Magnolia Plantation's take on the Fourth. Starting at 8 a.m., ten storytellers located around the plantation and garden grounds will entertain guests with historical tales of America and the Lowcountry. Munch on free popcorn, snow cones, and watermelon while you listen. Military families receive free admission.
History lovers will also enjoy Middleton Place's celebration. On Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., guests at Middleton will mingle with war re-enactors from the Second South Carolina Regiment and view their encampment at the Plantation Stableyards. Formal readings of the Declaration of Independence take place at 1 p.m. on both days. South Carolina residents receive half-price admission with a valid driver's license.
In Summerville, the Woodlands Resort and Inn's American Celebration offers a barbecue buffet, kids activities, local music, and animals for adoption. The event will end with a concert by the Summerville Community Orchestra. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to local charities.
From 9 a.m.-7 p.m. in Moncks Corner, Cypress Gardens is celebrating the Fourth Hawaiian style with a Luau in the Swamp. Break out your best tropical outfit and enjoy music, food, and professional hula dancers. A whole pig barbeque begins at 4 p.m., a hula takes place at 5 p.m., and evening boat rides run until the event ends.
For live music on Seabrook Island, check out Homemade Wine at Red's Ice House.
On Kiawah Island, enjoy live music by The Island Trio at Freshfields Village.
There are lots of other fun activities happening on Kiawah. The annual Patriotic Bike Parade begins at 5:15 p.m. The Kiawah Island Fire Department will lead the parade down Sea Forest Drive, ending at Night Heron Park, where the Independence Festival takes place. From 5:30-9:30 p.m., enjoy fun activities like carnival games, face painting, amusement rides, and more. Food will be for sale on site and the Headliners will provide live music. A fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m. Both the bike parade and the festival are free.
For another Fourth option on Kiawah, try Kiawah Resort's Adult Twilight Paddle. For $55, you can kayak down the Kiawah River and watch the fireworks over the water.
If you're looking to get a little further away for the Fourth, check out Broadway at the Beach's Star Spangled Spectacular in Myrtle Beach. The event begins Sat. July 3 and ends Mon. July 5. Free festivities include fireworks, balloon animal artists, face painting, carriage rides, concerts, and mascot meet and greets. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to win free admission to the American Presidential Experience, an exhibit that's stopped at Broadway at the Beach for the summer.
Pawleys Island is also getting patriotic. The town is hosting the first annual Salute from the Shore in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces. At 2 p.m., a C-17 plane will perform a low flyover along the coast, from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, while filming the crowds below. Beach goers are asked to wear and wave their red, white, and blue. The patriotic footage will later be shown to troops all over the world. The plane is scheduled to fly over Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach at 2:20 p.m.