The war for independence wasn’t won in a day, so why celebrate that way?
This year’s patriotic festivities in York and surrounding counties span several days, including fireworks and fish frying, parades and paddleboard jousting. They also include something new in one of the area’s most historic places.
Downtown Fort Mill starts the celebration early this year with a Main Street party 6-9 p.m. July 3. Vendors will sell hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, funnel cakes, craft beer and more. The cookout starts at 6 p.m. at the bandstand, followed by an Independence Day ceremony at 8:15 p.m.
For anyone concerned about losing the long-standing staple of July 4 in Fort Mill, it needn’t be. The canon at Confederate Park still will be fired, only this time at 8:45 p.m. during the July 3 celebration. Six staff members with more than 30 years working for the town will be honorary cannoneers. Fireworks will follow at 9 p.m.
Baxter Village holds its annual July 4 parade starting at 9:30 a.m. It starts on Market Street and has more than 125 participants including military honor guard, bands, sports mascots, dancers and more. Riverview Fire Department will help with a flag raising and hose down, too.
Lake Wylie has its annual Fourth of July fireworks show at dusk, about 9:30 p.m., on Independence Day. The show shoots off from Camp Thunderbird and is viewable by land or by boat. Boaters can put in or congregate near Buster Boyd Access Area. By land, options are Lake Wylie Plaza restaurants along with Papa Doc’s Shore Club.
The show is free but put on each year with community donations. Send donations to Camp Thunderbird Fireworks Fund, One Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710.
Tega Cay annually hosts the most July 4 events, as the date coincides with the city’s birthday. A full day of events starts with a land parade at 9 a.m. on Tega Cay Drive. Paddleboard jousting and log rolling are up next at 11 a.m. at Windjammer Park, followed by the start of a boat parade. Boat parade viewers can follow the shoreline and map to see all the entries. Windjammer also hosts a Carolina Show Ski Team performance at 1 p.m.
The Splish-n-Splash Summer Bash runs 3-5 p.m. at the Tega Cay Golf Pavilion area with water slides, face painting and snow cones. The Lion Club will host their annual fish fry at the Glennon Center 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tega Cay will also host a birthday party for the city’s 37th year, complete with free cake at the Glennon Center, followed by fireworks beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Carowinds holds its Celebrate America Fireworks Show at dark on July 4-5. One of the larger fireworks displays in the area will be visible from surrounding Fort Mill areas, or from the park along with a patriotic soundtrack with the price of admission. Those dates fall into military appreciation days at Carowinds, when active or retired military, National Guard, veterans, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and veterans with honorable or medical discharge get in free. Up to six family members get reduced ticket rates.
Chester is hosting its Red White and Boom celebration June 28 at Joe Collins Stadium. The celebration will have fireworks, food and slides, and will be open 6-9 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dark.
Heath Springs holds its Summerfest starting at 6 p.m. July 4. A parade starts it off with live entertainment on the town hall and train depot grounds. The celebration includes music, a bounce house, vintage car show and salute to the military.
Historic Brattonsville celebrates 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 4 with an 1850-era Carolina Piedmont flair in McConnells. Hourly events include two readings of the Declaration of Independence, firing demonstrations, relay races, milking and dance. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for youth age 4-17. Members and younger children are free.
For anyone wanting an early start, Brattonsville offers a Conflicting Freedoms program 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 2 as part of its Time Travel Tuesdays series. The event highlights the ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Carolina Piedmont during the American Revolution for backcountry farmers and the enslaved. Blacksmithing and other demonstrations are included.
Rock Hill hosts Red, White and Boom! at 5:30 p.m. July 3. The Old Town Amphitheater at 144 E. Black St. hosts music from Cat 5 and The Tams along with mechanical rides, a kid zone with inflatables, food trucks, adult beverages, an ice cream eating contest and fireworks at dark. The event is free admission.
The city of York and its fire department host a July 4 celebration at York Comprehensive High School. Events runs 7-10 p.m. starting with music by The Entertainers and a 7:45 p.m. opening ceremony featuring presentation of colors and the national anthem. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. Inflatables and games are free at the event, with food and drink available for purchase.
For more on many of the York County events, go to visityorkcounty.com.