As you’ve likely heard by now, the annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Folly Beach has officially been cancelled. Bummer, right? There’s just something about watching fireworks explode into giant red and blue pom-poms of spark above the sea that makes a person feel super-patriotic.
Per Folly Beach Public Safety, though, “the decision was made by the Folly Association of Business (and agreed to by The City) based on high tides, state law regarding space requirements, and lack of appropriate pyrotechnics vendors.”
If you’re thinking you can still have sparklers and poppers and throw your own little pyrotechnics party, well, don’t. I spoke with a Folly Beach Public Safety officer (a very nice and apologetic one, for the record) who clarified no fireworks are allowed on the Beach this year. That includes sparklers and poppers.
Understandably, locals and visitors alike are sad we won’t get to experience this Independence Day tradition from the shores of our favorite beach. But, fortunately, there are other things to do on or around Folly to celebrate this star-spangled holiday.
Here are a few fun things happening around town — have a blast, stay safe and Happy Fourth everyone!
Take Your Patriotism to the Beach
You don’t need fireworks to enjoy the beauty of Folly Beach! In fact, if you plan your day right, you can have a Fourth you won’t forget when Salute from the Shore VII flies over. The mission of this amazing grassroots group is to give South Carolina beachgoers an opportunity to honor our armed forces by sending up a salute from the shoreline during a military flyover. Participants are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue; wave flags; capture photos of their salutes to share online with armed forces’ members; and anything else to pay tribute to our country’s hard-working patriots.
Have a Red, White, and Blue Water Balloon Fight
It’s gonna be a hot one, y’all — the forecast is calling for a 90-degree weekend with a high UV index and 70 percent humidity. So if you want to stay cool during those days you aren’t at the beach or a pool, have some fun by hosting a water balloon fight in your backyard. It costs next to nothing, it’ll make you feel like you aren’t melting for at least a few minutes, and any kids in the family are sure to love it. If you’re feeling particularly crafty and/or adventurous, mix the water in the balloons with red, white, and blue paint and have everyone wear cheap white T-shirts. Afterwards, when you look like a patriotic Jackson Pollock painting, you’ve got a perfect photo opp.
Support Local Businesses
We should all strive to support our local businesses on a daily basis, and it feels especially fitting on a day when celebrate our nation’s heritage, society, and people. Small businesses imbue our country with so much character and keep our dollars circulating back into our local economy. Whether you’re picking up red Solo cups or a pack of hotdogs, give the small businesses around you your patronage when possible. And if your plans on this holiday weekend include eating out, it’s a safe bet our local restaurants and bars will be running some spectacularly patriotic food and drink specials.
Bake an Apple Pie — and Take It To a Veteran
Baking an apple pie is, you know, “as American as apple pie.” It’s considered so quintessentially American that it is the adage. Fortunately, there is no shortage of easy-to-follow recipes online for making this celebrated dessert, meaning you can cap off your Independence Day with a yummy slice of Americana. Or, better yet, consider baking it and taking it to a veteran. A few great local resources to reach out to (about pie recipients or donations) are the American Legion, VFW Post 445, Disabled American Veterans, and the Warrior Surf Foundation.
Go to the “All American Independence Day Party”
Hey, it might not be on Independence Day, but you can watch fireworks very close to Folly Beach very close to the Fourth! Specifically, you can join Charleston Affair and Brick House Kitchen (at Brick House on Folly Road) on July 3 for the first annual All American Independence Day Party. There will be great live music from Return of the Mac, The Tidal Jive, and the Club Bullies; tasty BBQ; all kinds of fun activities; and, hooray, a fireworks display to cap it all off. Call Brick House Kitchen at (843) 406-4655 for pricing, etc.
Throw a BBQ
If you’d rather stay closer to home on the Fourth, why not host your own finger-lickin’ shindig? Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned Fourth of July BBQ! Thanks to Google and social apps like Pinterest, you can find ideas for anything and everything related to throwing a perfect Fourth party — just search online for things like “free July 4 printables,” “July 4 recipes,” “July 4 party decor,” and more.
Head to a Baseball Game
When it comes to all-American activities, going to a baseball game is right up there with apple pie, am I right? Luckily for Lowcountry residents, we have our very own team and they just so happen to have three home games this weekend against the Augusta GreenJackets at Joe Riley Stadium downtown. On Friday, the Riverdogs will be wearing special red jerseys to support our military. You can either save $1 off your ticket cost, or donate that dollar to the Wounded Warrior Corps. Saturday’s game starts with player autographs on the concourse. For Sunday’s game, fans will enjoy free parking, plus kids under 12 will receive a coupon for a hot dog, fountain drink and chips. Before the games, kids can play catch on the field and, after, they get to run the bases. And to wrap up each night of the Riverdogs’ Independence Weekend Celebration, they’ll light up the sky over the Ashley River with a patriotic post-game fireworks display.
Spend Your Evening of the Fourth at the Aquarium
Another downtown treasure is the S.C. Aquarium, who invites you to join in the festivities as they host Sea Stars and Stripes (well, that’s just adorable). Not only will you get to explore the Aquarium and all it has to offer — in a refreshingly air-conditioned space, no less — but you’ll also have a stellar view of the huge fireworks show on the harbor. A Good Catch event, it will include mouth-watering Southern classics including BBQ and Lowcountry Boil made with local, sustainable shrimp from Good Catch Partners. For pricing and info, call the Aquarium at (843) 577-FISH.
Put on a Patriotic Movie
Let’s hope for the best here, but there is a slight possibility it may rain on the Fourth. OK, OK, more than slight — at the moment the forecast is calling for a 60 chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms. While that’s not ideal, it doesn’t have to be a holiday-ruiner. Cue up Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, AppleTV, Vudu, or whatever streaming program you subscribe to, pick out a few patriotic movies, fix yourself a heaping bowl of popcorn, and spend your Fourth indoors with the people you love. Suggestions? The Patriot (it was filmed in SC, after all), National Treasure, John Adams (the brilliant TV miniseries featuring Paul Giamatti), The Crossing, 1776, Independence Day, and Captain America.
Watch a Festive Fireworks Display
I get it… if the Fourth simply doesn’t feel the same for you without fireworks, here are various pyrotechnic shows being held around Charleston on Independence Day:
Fourth of July Fireworks Blast
Where: Patriot’s Point, Mt. Pleasant
Pricing & Info: (843) 881-5984, www.patriotspoint.org
Uncle Sam Jam
Where: The Mount Pleasant Pier, Mt. Pleasant
Pricing & Info: (843) 795-4386, www.ccprc.com/1327/Uncle-Sam-Jam
4th of July Festival
Where: Riverfront Park, North Charleston
Pricing & Info: www.northcharleston.org/july4th
Summerville’s Red, White & Blue on the Green
Where: Gahagan Park, Summerville
Pricing & Info: www.summervillesc.gov/RWBG
*There will also be fireworks displays at Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island on the beach at dusk.