Festivals + Events, City Picks

Hawaiian Luau

When: Sat., July 4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 2009

Independence Day, with all its stars and stripes and all-American wholesomeness, hardly brings up images of our youngest state — Hawaii. But even though it’s thousands of miles away, and even though some of its residents are still reluctant to align themselves with the U.S., they’re still a member of our family, gosh darn it. And this July 4 marks the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. If you’re looking to mix up the crowded beach day or cookout you usually use to mark the Fourth, you might enjoy the Luau in the Swamp at Cypress Gardens. Activities include hula dancers, a ukulele band, pig roast, fire dancer, limbo contest, and more. There will be plenty of fun kids’ activities, along with an ice cream “freeze-off” (bring your best ice cream-making supplies and compete for a prize). Bring cash because food and drinks are not included, and boat rides are $5. Guests are encouraged to dress “Hawaiian” (flowered shirts and hula skirts, duh). If you’re craving fireworks after your tropical day, just head up the street to the Santee Canal Park, where you can enjoy them at dusk. It’s sure to be a memorable Fourth of July — and cheaper than a trip to Hawaii. —Erica Jackson

Erica Jackson

Price: $10, $9/seniors, $5/children

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