Tuesday, July 2, 1776. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was on this day in history that the Second Continental Congress voted unanimously for American independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Two days later, John Hancock affixed his epic signature to the Declaration of Independence, followed by the other Congressional delegates, and the United States of America came into being.
On July 4, 1877, the City of Philadelphia celebrated the anniversary of American independence with music, parades, and fireworks, among other events. And since then, not much has changed. Almost two and a half centuries later, the Fourth of July still ranks as the national holiday. Today, our nation of 316 million celebrates with fireworks, parades, and music, with barbecues, carnivals, picnics, baseball and more as we observe the history, government, and traditions of the United States.
As one of the original thirteen colonies, South Carolina always does up the Fourth of July with a bang! However, this year’s celebration will not include Jammin’ July 4th at Dillon Park, which has been hosted for several years by Shaw’s 20th Force Support Squadron. But there are a lot of things happening in the Midlands, and most of them include the highlight of any big celebration—fireworks! Following is a listing of nearby events:
- Fort Jackson’s “Torchlight Tattoo” Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 2013
Fort Jackson’s annual celebration of America’s independence is scheduled for 8 p.m., July 4, at Hilton Field. This year’s formal ceremony features a cannon salute to each state and territory of the United States, music by the 282nd Army Band, and a 30-minute fireworks display.
Fort Jackson’s neighbors (the event is open to the public) are invited to share in the evening’s festivities, and should plan to arrive early for the best seats and parking. Prior to 5 p.m. non-DOD registered vehicles should enter post through Gate 2 (Forest Dr./Strom Thurmond Blvd.), Gate 4 (Percival/Boyden Arbor Rd.) or Gate 5 (Leesburg Rd.). All persons must possess a valid state or government issued identification card for entry. The vehicle driver must possess a valid driver’s license, valid proof of insurance and a valid registration. After 5 p.m., all gates may be used for all categories of vehicular traffic. Once entering the installation drivers should follow signs and the instructions given by traffic control personnel.
Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 4 p.m. Pets, grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms, and personal fireworks are not permitted, and coolers are discouraged in the bleachers. Bleacher and main grandstand seating are available and guests may bring lawn chairs and blankets for use on the field. The softball complex will be open to families with small children and will include games, crafts and rides. The evening’s festivities will conclude at approximately 10 p.m. Hilton Field, Hartsville Guard Road, Columbia, 29207 (about 45 minutes from Sumter).
- Star-Spangled Symphonic Salute, Laser Show: Saluda Shoals Park
July 4, 2013
Join Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra on July 4th at Saluda Shoals Park! Come early and bring your family for a picnic on the lawn and then enjoy an old-fashioned 4th of July as we pay tribute to our country and our freedom with some of the most beautiful and inspiring music ever written.
Saluda Shoals Park will be hosting a laser light extravaganza. Games for kids will be available at 8:00 p.m., and the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra performance and laser light show will begin at 9:00 p.m. The Symphony will perform a range of music from Broadway songs to patriotic music to sing-alongs! Concessions will be available for purchase from Food on the Move. The performance is free with admission to the park. Admission for car or minivan is $4 for residents and $5 for non-residents. Splash wristbands are an additional $3. 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, 29212 (about 75 minutes from Sumter).
- Freedom Festival 2013 @ Village at Sandhill
July 4, 2013
Village at Sandhill’s “Freedom Festival presented by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union” returns on Thursday, July 4th with a day of inflatable rides from 1pm-10pm and free concerts featuring jazz guitarist Terence Young and The Terence Young Experience from 5pm-7pm and party band Finesse, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The evening will be capped off by the mid-state’s premier fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Balloon art, glitter tattoos, a car show by the Wildhorses Mustang Car Club, and exhibits by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department are also scheduled from 1- 4 p.m. All of the day’s activities are free and open to the public. 481-2 Town Center Place, Columbia, 29229 (about one hour from Sumter).
- Lexington County Peach Festival
July 4, 2013
For a peach of a celebration, head to this annual festival, which is held every year on July 4th (or July 3rd in years when the 4th falls on a Sunday.) Throughout the day, enjoy entertainment, arts and crafts and plenty of yummy peach creations such as peach ice cream, peach tea, peach sundaes, peach cobbler, peach slush, fresh sliced peaches and more. In the evening, there is a street dance and the “Peachy and Patriotic” fireworks display held at 10 p.m. Gilbert Community Park, Rikard Circle, Gilbert, 29054 (about 90 minutes from Sumter).
- Newberry Fireworks Celebration
July 4, 2013
The 2013 Fireworks Celebration will take place at Newberry High School on Independence Day. This family friendly event features games for the kids and food for all ages. Childrens activities will start at 6:00 pm and the fireworks will begin at dusk. All activities are free and open to the general public. For more information contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211. Donations can be made to the Newberry County Law Enforcement Association at Post Office Box 247, Newberry, SC 29108. Event location: 3113 Main Street, Newberry, 29108 (about 90 minutes from Sumter).
- Elloree Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 2013
Join us as we celebrate the Fourth of July. Town picnic will be from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Town’s civic groups will provide hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, corn on the cob, ice cream, and watermelon. Tickets are $1.00, and all items are 1 ticket, except hamburgers (2 tickets).
The program and concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. Join us for special music from the Sugarloaf Mountain Boys. The Elloree Police Department will host the Fireworks Display, immediately following the program. Joe Miller Park, located at 6207 Old Number 6 Highway, Elloree, 29030 (Harlin Street and Highway 6, about one hour from Sumter).
- Saint Matthews Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 2013
The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and the Calhoun Convalescent Center are the joint hosts for our local Independence Day Celebration each year on July 4. This event is held on the grounds of the Calhoun Convalescent Center and the fireworks display is inside the ball field on Richland Avenue (David Grubbs Field). The adjacent area is a perfect area for viewing the fireworks. Bring your blankets, picnic baskets and chairs to enjoy the evening.
The Convalescent Center brings their residents outside for them to see the fireworks, hear the music and all the other activities that takes place during the event. For those who wish to purchase food, the Convalescent Center has hot dogs, chips, and popcorn. Again, this is a wonderful community event and an opportunity for families to gather and share in a lovely summer evening and celebrate our country’s independence. 601 Dantzler Street, St. Matthews, 29135 (about one hour from Sumter).
This is a great time to gather family and friends for a road trip, and celebrate our independence in style! For those who intend to celebrate at home, please do so safely. For tips on how to do so, check out the following link from the National Fire Protection Association:
And have a happy Fourth!
by Colette Daniels