Happy Birthday, America! What could be more quintessentially patriotic and American than a huge fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day?
Well, I'd offer up that one thing *more* patriotic than that would be to recognize and thank our troops at home and abroad, and our veterans, for their service and sacrifices to keep us the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Salute from the Shore
If you will be in Myrtle Beach for Independence Day, make sure you are at the beach for the Salute from the Shore.
Salute from the Shore is a 501(c)3 non-profit group that organizes a military flyover down the South Carolina coast from Cherry Grove to Beaufort every year on the Fourth of July with personnel from the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base.
Bring flags or signs to wave, wear your red, white and blue, and offer a salute as the planes pass by. Take pictures and video, and post on your social media using #SalutefromtheShore.
Check their website or Facebook page to learn more about this great event. The F-16s flyover will start at 1:00 PM in Cherry Grove and be in Myrtle Beach by 1:03 PM, and the C-17 will follow afterwards, passing by Myrtle Beach by around 1:06 PM, but to be safe, plan to be on the beach no later than about 12:45 PM so you don't miss a thing!
If you've got kids, I suggest you pace yourselves during the day and get them a nap or some rest time out of the sun, so you don't end up with cranky viewers when the fireworks begin, since the shows generally start at 10:00 PM.
On the Beach
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk at the Second Avenue Pier | 10:00 PM | You'll likely be able to get a good vantage point all along the beach, so you don't have to get too close.
Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach | 9:30 PM | Again, since this is right on the beach, there should be plenty of good viewing spots.
Off the Beach
Broadway at the Beach | 10:00 PM | Fireworks will be sent up over Lake Broadway, so there should be good viewing spots all around the lake.
Barefoot Landing | 10:00 PM | Located at the southern end of North Myrtle Beach, around the lake has good viewing options. There is a bandstand and grassy area across from Lulu's and lawn chairs are free to borrow, but I imagine people will start setting up camp pretty early.
If your kids that are sensitive to noise, ear protection can really come in handy for firework shows. We had Baby Banz ear muffs for my kids when they were little and it kept them from being too startled and scared by the booming fireworks. Baby Banz also makes awesome sunglasses with neoprene wraparound bands that are great for wiggly infants and toddlers.
Selling, possessing, or using fireworks within the city limits of Myrtle Beach is illegal, so when you are in town, stick to enjoying the professionally-produced shows.
However, you can buy fireworks in unincorporated areas of Horry County and we like to hit up Willard's on the way out of town. The kids always love to stock up on smoke bombs (or "moke bums" as my toddler used to say), poppers, sparklers, and black snakes. Check out their website for coupons before you stop in.
Our son was born on the evening of July 3rd and that year the fireworks show we watched was from the maternity unit at UNC-Chapel Hill, so we have a great affinity for celebrating birthdays this time of year!
Happy Birthday, America!