Wondering where to go for some Fourth of July activities? You have multiple choices depending on where you live.
In Aiken, there will be a celebration Wednesday at Gaston Livery and Aiken Veterans Park on Richland Avenue with music by Preston and Weston.
This celebration is a free event with cash prizes for a pie-baking contest, corn hole competition, best patriotic tribute and a watermelon seed spitting contest. The gates open at 5 p.m., with music from 6 to 9 p.m. and American Tribute at 9 p.m.
A fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m. and is being sponsored by the UniHealth facilities in Aiken and North Augusta, said organizer Jane Page Thompson on Saturday.
In Augusta, the 16th annual Star Spangled Fourth concert will be held Wednesday at St. Paul's Church on 6th and Reynolds streets at the Riverwalk in downtown. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
The concert will be followed by a barbecue catered by Crum's on Central and the Riverwalk fireworks display. General admission is $15, and the Afterglow BBQ is $20.
Earlier on Wednesday in Augusta, there will be a barbecue at the Augusta Jewish Community Center.
Residents are invited to bring their family to a poolside lunch starting at 2 p.m. with a menu featuring barbecued chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, salad, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon and cake.
For members, the event costs $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and seniors and a maximum of $35 for families. Guests of the community center are welcome but at a higher cost. The price is $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 3 to 12 and seniors and a maximum of $50 for families.
Columbia County will be having its 18th annual Independence Day celebration on Wednesday featuring live entertainment beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the Stephen Lee Band, the U.S. Corps Band and the Vellotones. The event will take place at Patriots Park, 5445 Columbia Road.
The gates open at 4 p.m., so patrons are invited to come early for family games, carnival rides and children's activities. Food and drink vendors also will be available. The fireworks will begin at dark.
If hitting the water is more your thing, there is a boat parade and beach party at the Dorn Sports Fishing and Boating Facility in McCormick and Savannah Lakes Marina Beach.
The inaugural boat parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Lake Thurmond. From noon to 4 p.m., the beach party will continue at the marina beach with free hot dogs, adult activities, children's games and contests.
The weather could be a concern on the Fourth, with temperatures hovering near 100 degrees and a possibility of thunderstorms during the afternoon.
At night, the temperature should dip to the low 70s with a partly cloudy sky.
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Chris Walsh is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from Valdosta State University and hails from Atlanta.