Making plans to celebrate Independence Day? Whether you’re looking for daytime fun for the whole family or just the biggest fireworks show near you, there are plenty of 4th of July celebrations happening all over the Lowcountry.
4th of July in Savannah:
Does anywhere else know how to put on a giant celebration quite like Savannah? Just like with St. Patrick’s Day, the 4th of July is a huge celebration on River Street — except maybe a bit more family-friendly than the St. Pat’s shenanigans.
Savannah’s Waterfront Independence Day celebration will include live entertainment, food and drink specials from vendors and restaurants on River Street, and a huge fireworks display over the water. Plan on arriving early to this event to ensure you find parking and bring chairs or blankets for your family to sit on. Coolers are discouraged.
In the past, the city has reduced parking rates to $5 flat fee; details for this year’s event have not yet been released, but follow this web page for the latest information.
4th of July on Tybee Island:
If your family is hoping to celebrate on Tybee Island, plan on arriving SUPER early (unless you already have a rental secured for the long weekend). The 4th of July holiday is definitely one of the busiest days on Tybee Island each year, and the little island gets so crowded that later in the day it can be impossible to find parking — and take a really long time to even get on the island.
So as we stated above, unless you have a rental secured or live on the island, it’s best to make a full day of it. There’s plenty to do all day, anyway: At 10 a.m., you can either watch the Tybee Island 4th of July Bike Parade or join in with your own decorated bicycles. Then spend the day lounging on the beach, exploring the shops or checking out the local restaurants.
The fireworks show is staged on the pier, but you can watch it from any of the eastern island’s beaches. The show starts at dusk — between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m.
4th of July on Hilton Head Island:
Hilton Head Island is jam-packed with 4th of July events and firework shows. Here’s a list by location:
Harbour Town — The Sea Pines Resort
The Sea Pines Resort has events all day long to celebrate the 4th of July. Events kick off with the Harbour Town Fourth of July Parade in the morning — and the parade is followed by inflatables, games and more. Spend the day in Harbour Town, or head to the beach in the afternoon to catch the Salute from the Shore (see information in section below).
The main event in Harbour Town kicks off at 8 p.m. with a Greg Russell concert under the Live Oak tree, with fireworks over the lighthouse and Calibogue Sound starting at 9 p.m. There will also be food and other entertainment.
Salute from the Shore (All island beaches)
Salute from the Shore has been a South Carolina 4th of July tradition for over a decade now. This military flyover is viewable from any beach in the state — starting around 1 p.m. Both fighter jets and vintage military aircraft “flyover” for this event. Wear your patriotic colors, grab a flag, and salute the military! The flyover should be over the island around 1:30 p.m.
Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
The island’s largest fireworks display is at Shelter Cove’s Harbourfest event. Festivities kick off around 6 p.m. with kid-friendly performances by Shannon Tanner and Cappy the Clown. There’s face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon animals and other kids’ activities, plus live music.
The fireworks display kicks off after dark over Broad Creek.
Visitors are encouraged to use the free shuttle and parking lot for the event.
Shelter Cove Towne Center
The Island Rec Center’s Summer Jams concert series also includes a special 4th of July celebration at Shelter Cove Towne Center.
All Summer Jams concerts include live music, bounce houses, face painting and concessions. The Independence Day celebration will include a performance by the band Retroroxx.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on the lawn. Families are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. Fireworks end the celebration after dark.
4th of July in Bluffton
The Town of Bluffton is hosting its inaugural Independence Day celebration this year on July 2! Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. and end with the fireworks show.
This event will be super family friendly: There will be bounce houses, a rock wall, a bungee jump station, and carnaval-like kids games where each kid will receive patriotic-themed prizes.
The celebration will also include live music and concessions, followed by a fireworks display over the May River starting around 9 p.m.
4th of July in Port Royal SC
Port Royal holds their own celebration at The Sands beach. This year’s event is being called a “hometown celebration.” There will be live music on two different stages — one at the Community Beer Garden and the other near the boardwalk entrance.
The celebration will also include multiple food vendors/food trucks, plus the Boy Scouts will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers.
Festivities kick off at 2 p.m., with fireworks starting after dark. Find more information on the City of Port Royal’s Facebook page. No coolers; service pets only.
4th of July in Charleston
From the beach to Patriots Point, the Charleston area also hosts a few great 4th of July celebrations.
If spending the day at the beach sounds like the ideal 4th of July celebration to you, head to Folly Beach! A huge fireworks display will be visible from anywhere on Folly Beach starting around 9 p.m.
Patriots Point, home of the USS Yorktown, hosts a Fireworks Blast each year. Families are invited to celebrate the Fourth “at the most patriotic spot in South Carolina.”
A landside party will be held from 6-10 p.m., featuring live music, more than a dozen food trucks and a huge fireworks display. Parking at Patriots Point will be $20 for the day; admission to the landside party is free.
For an enhanced experience, you can purchase tickets at $25 a piece to view the fireworks show from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown.
Arrive early if you want to explore the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum on the 4th! The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with ticket sales ending at 4 p.m.
The City of North Charleston’s annual 4th of July Festival is held from 5-10 p.m. at Riverfront Park. The festival includes food trucks, live music and fireworks over the water starting after dark.
Attendees are invited to bring their own chairs/blankets, and food and water. A list of food trucks can be found here. Parking and entry to the festival is free.
Goose Creek also hosts their own celebration, “Fabulous Fourth in the Creek.” The event includes live music, food vendors and free kids’ activities.
Admission and parking are also free; carpooling is highly encouraged due to space.
Celebrating at home? Make sure you know your town’s ordinances!
If you’re planning a backyard BBQ or at-home celebration, make sure you know your town’s ordinances. Many neighborhoods prohibit the use of fireworks.
- It’s illegal to shoot off fireworks anywhere in Beaufort County, S.C. without a permit.
- The City of Charleston also prohibits fireworks. The county does not have an ordinance, but check with your town and/or homeowners’ association.
- Georgia allows fireworks, but make sure you’re not in a town with its own fireworks ordinance. Here’s the Georgia law and safety tips.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!