If there were such thing as too many ways to celebrate a holiday, York County may just have it on July 4. There are parties everywhere. Too many to celebrate all in one year. So, where to start?
Here's one option for a day filled with fun, fireworks and festivities:
Like any great party, ours starts the night before. Rock Hill hosts Red, White & Boom! in Old Town on July 3. Events start at 5:30 p.m. Black and Saluda streets downtown will have live music from Summerdaze and Uptown Funk, rides, food trucks, an ice cream eating contest, kid zone with inflatables, adult beverages.
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The first of many fireworks shows will follow, at 9:45 p.m. Admission is free.
▪ Carowinds Military Days, free admission through July 8 for active, inactive or retired armed forces members with military ID, carowinds.com
The early crowd
Someday Fort Mill and Tega Cay may have a hyperloop connecting them, but until then we're going to have to make a call here. For a day known for fireworks, there's plenty to do in the morning hours, too.
But only one includes firing a canon.
Fort Mill's annual firing of the canon starts at 10 a.m. with a gathering at the bandstand on Main Street. S.C. Rep. Raye Felder will be on hand. The canon firing comes from Confederate Park.
▪ Tega Cay Land Parade, 9 a.m., Tega Cay Drive, 548-3512
▪ Red, White & Blue Golf Tournament, 9 a.m., Tega Cay Golf Club, 548-3500
▪ Baxter Village July 4 Parade, 9:30 a.m., Market Street in Baxter
Hitting the road
We're hightailing out after the blast in Fort Mill (see what we did there?) and heading to Tega Cay. We'll get to Windjammer Park in time to catch the Windjammer Party, already in progress. It runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Events include log rolling, a paddle boat joust and general fun.
The annual July 4 boat parade arrives at the Windjammer shoreline about 12:30 p.m. The Carolina Show Ski Team performs at 1 p.m.
Gonna have to hurry
Here's where we hop in the chopper and head west. Hey, if we can't have a hyperloop, you at least have to give us a helicopter. It's our adventure, mind you.
Historic Brattonsville is going old school with its July 4, offering a 19th century backyard family celebration. And old-fashioned game of baseball and a paper hot air balloon launch are planned, as is fiddle music from the era. A reading of the Declaration of Independence comes at 3:30 p.m. on the front steps of the antebellum home.
Activities run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Events require a ticket. There's more info at chmuseums.org.
While we're gassing up the chopper and plugging ourselves into a caffeine drip, we'll scout out and patronize one of the fine restaurants in western York County. Because we'll still need to be out that way at 7 p.m. for the July 4 celebration at York Middle School. The city has live music, activities for kids, bounce houses. It's all free.
Events in York run 7-10 p.m., ending with fireworks. But we'll be gone by the time sparks fly.
▪ Splish-n-Splash Summer Bash, 3-5 p.m., Tega Cay Golf Pavilion, tegacaysc.org
▪ Lion's Club Fish Fry & Citizen of the Year, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Glennon Center, Tega Cay, tegacaysc.org
▪ State of the city's birthday party, 6:30-7:15 p.m., Glennon Center, Tega Cay, tegacaysc.org
Going out with a bang
Unless you live in a mineshaft, odds are you could see July 4 fireworks from your own front yard simply by looking up. But we can do better.
We'll head out of York a little early and work our way up S.C. 49 to Lake Wylie (we rented a van, I guess. Let's not lose focus). We'll get to the lake in time for the annual fireworks show over Lake Wylie. Camp Thunderbird hosts the show supported entirely by community donations. So we'll throw a few bucks in the pot (they'll take donations post July 4) at one of several restaurants with great views.
Great spots to watch the show and loads of boats on the water are Buster Boyd Access Area, the T-Bones on the Lake or Rey Azteca decks, the patio at Lake Wylie Italian and Pizza, the outside tables at Bagel Boat, or Long Cove Marina. The show starts at dusk, about 9:30 p.m.
Other fireworks options:
▪ Carowinds, 9:30 p.m., Celebrate America Fireworks Show
▪ Tega Cay, 9:30 p.m., Glennon Center lawn
▪ York, 7-10 p.m. activities, York Middle School