There's a party every day and night during the summer months in Myrtle Beach, but the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. That's when all the great things about the Grand Strand come together for one big party along the 60-mile stretch of coastline.
From baseball games and boat parades to free fireworks shows and concerts, the Myrtle Beach area goes all out to put on a major birthday bash for America. And with the Fourth falling on a Saturday this year, expect an entire weekend of hot fun in the summertime. Here are five places to celebrate the Fourth of July in true Myrtle Beach fashion:
Barefoot Landing: Catch the fireworks light up over Lake Barefoot at this North Myrtle Beach entertainment complex. Uncle Sam's birthday party starts before the sun goes down with a human parade around the boardwalk, led by stilt-walkers, magicians and mimes. Live music and other festivities lead up to the main event, a huge pyrotechnics display that starts at 10:15 p.m. For a spectacular view of the fireworks, take the 8 p.m. sunset cruise on the Barefoot Princess and watch the show from the Intracoastal Waterway. The riverboat also offers a special Fourth of July BBQ cruise at 5 p.m.
Broadway at the Beach: Myrtle Beach's most popular hot spot celebrates America's birthday twice with a bonus fireworks show on July 3. But the big party is set for Saturday night, beginning with live music by the Mark Roberts Band beginning at 7 p.m. The crowds head to the boardwalk over Lake Broadway for the big pyrotechnics display at 10 p.m., and the party continues into the early morning hours of July 5 at Celebrity Square, the nightlife district that features a dozen bars and dance clubs.
Murrells Inlet Fourth of July Boat Parade: Only a fishing village like Murrells Inlet could come up with this unique aquatic parade, but this is the 32nd year the folks decorate their vessels in red, white and blue and form a caravan that sails all over the inlet. From small John boats to large yachts, the boats begin at noon Saturday from Garden City Beach and sail along the shore so visitors can catch the spectacle from dry land. The parade eventually moves through the inlet to the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, a collection of waterfront restaurants and bars where the party continues into the night.
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: Live music and loud fireworks are the big draws to the downtown district of Myrtle Beach for July 3 and 4. Friday night kicks things off with the Battle of the Bands on the Plyler Park stage from 5 to 11 p.m. See local and regional acts compete for prizes and exposure in a showcase of musical genres ranging from country and Southern rock to bluegrass and Americana. The fun continues with an all-day party on Saturday, capped by a huge fireworks display at 10 p.m. Launched from a local pier out over the ocean, visitors can see the display from any point on the beach.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans: Take me out to the ball game for some peanuts, Cracker Jacks and fireworks. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the local Class A minor-league baseball team, play at the corner of Grissom Parkway and 21st Avenue North, just across from Broadway at the Beach. Although the team is on the road for the Fourth, they host a patriotic night at the ballpark on Friday, July 3, with several Independence Day events on the schedule. Kids can run the bases and get autographs from the players after the game, and the highlight is the post-game fireworks show that large crowd can see from their seats.