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To be about independence, there sure are a lot of people gathering in groups to celebrate.
A variety of celebrations await locals as they head toward July 4, in all locations and for all ages. Below is a rundown of a few events. Unless noted, all events listed take place on July 4:
For residents in River Hills, theres a relatively recent addition to the July 4 calendar afoot. The Fourth of July Bike Parade begins at 10 a.m. with decoration taking place the hour prior at the River Hills Community Church parking lot. The parade takes place along Hamiltons Ferry Road, including decorated bikes, scooters, baby strollers and golf carts. Bethel Fire Department will visit, and donations will be taken for firefighters.
The annual fireworks display over Lake Wylie begins at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday with best viewing at Buster Boyd Access area, T-Bones on the Lake, the deck at Rey Azteca, the patio at Lake Wylie Pizza and Italian Restaurant or other spots nearby. The fireworks launch from Camp Thunderbird. Viewers are asked not to park on the Buster Boyd Bridge for the show.
The show is funded each year by community donations. Because most donations come in near or on July 4, organizers look to raise about $33,000, which includes an $11,000 down payment for next year.
We will soon have this year's show covered, but need to leave enough in the fund to ensure next year will have enough to make commitment, said Susan Bromfield, president of the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce.
If everyone who likes and enjoys the fireworks will just send a check in any amount $10, $20, $30 or more we will have ample money to pay for 2012 and to continue the tradition, Bromfield said.
The annual display draws thousands by land and boat, and has a decades-long history of lighting up the lake. The tradition will only end when the community contributions do not cover the costs, said Bromfield, who added that shouldnt be soon.
To help, mark donations Camp Thunderbird Fireworks Fund and mail them to One Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie SC, 29710.
Tega Cay celebrates its 30th anniversary on July 4, again offering a variety of festivities. The Red, White & Blue Golf Tournament (call 548-3500 for more information) begins at 9 a.m., followed by the land parade down Tega Cay Drive at 9:30 a.m., the Splish n Splash Summer Bash noon to 4 p.m. at the golf club/Glennon Center parking lot, a noon canoe joust, 12:30 p.m. boat parade and 1 p.m. ski show at Windjammer Park, a 4:30-7:30 p.m. Lions Fish Fry at the Glennon Center and fireworks at the golf course at 9:30 p.m.
In addition to the annual staples, theres a new addition just to celebrate 30 years as a city.
Its never happened before, organizer Sue Hapner said. We wanted to do something special.
Residents will contribute to a time capsule to be opened at the citys 50th anniversary. Included will be letters from mayors, pictures, prices of items today and other memorabilia. There will be the recently found song written for Tega Cays foundation.
Were going to have someone sing it at the dedication, Hapner said.
The dedication will be at the Glennon Center from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. Essays or predictions will be accepted. The time capsule wont actually be sealed until December, giving residents more time to contribute.
A patriotic program begins at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 121 Monroe White St., featuring speaker Manning Kimmel, owner of ara radio station WRHI, followed by the traditional canon firing at Confederate Park.
Later, Skyshow 2012 combines baseball and fireworks at the Charlotte Knights home contest, 2280 Deerfield Drive, Fort Mill. Pregame festivities begin at 5 p.m., the game at 7:15 p.m. Game tickets start at $8. The fireworks display will begin immediately after the final out. For more information, visit charlotteknights.com.
Fireworks also begin at Nights of Fire, where Carowinds shoots them off each evening, weather permitting, July 4-Aug. 12.
Western York County
The city of York will present its fourth annual Fourth of July celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. at York Middle School. The event will feature live music by The Entertainers, games and activities for children, vendors who will sell food and beverages and fireworks. Admission is free.
This year if the weather will hold out for us we are expecting a very large crowd, said Fire Chief Dominic Manera. He said the event drew 7,000 to 9,000 people the second year. Last year, it attracted about 3,000 people despite a large thunderstorm that dampened the fun.
A few days later, the Western York County town of Sharon will host its annual Fourth of July parade at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7.
• The U.S. National Whitewater Center hosts the Coca-Cola 4th of July Festival July 3-4, with music beginning at 4 p.m. each day. The event is free and open to the public. At dark both nights, fireworks will launch from Hawk Island, displaying over the whitewater river. For more information, visit usnwc.org.
• Belmont begins its festivities early, with Red, White & Belmont running June 29-July 1. The Stowe Park festival includes carnival rides, games, vendors, contests, concerts and fireworks. For more information, visit cityofbelmont.org.
• Cramerton hosts a Goat Island grand opening and July 4 celebration June 30, with a farmers market, canoe/kayak rentals, inflatables, boat shuttles and music, ending with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. For more information, visit cramerton.org.
• Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the Legends Big Money 100 July 2-3, including a fireworks show the latter evening. Tickets are $10 for adults, age 13 and under are free. For more information, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.
• Da Throwback Band at Red, White & Boom! plays at 8:15 p.m. July 3 at the Old Town Amphitheater in Rock Hill. The festival begins at 5:30 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. For more information, visit onlyinoldtown.com.