The Fourth of July is almost here, and in Columbia County there is no shortage of ways to celebrate America's independence.
The area's annual celebrations begin at 3 p.m. Monday with Liberty on the Lake at Little River Marina, just off Washington Road in Leah at Thurmond Lake. This event is alcohol-free and Christian-based.
"It's like one big family reunion," said marina owner Pam Bugg, who organized the event. "It's a great way for families to get out and have fun together."
The celebration will provide family games, including a watermelon-eating contest, horseshoes, sack races, mini-golf and a three-legged race, along with performances of patriotic and gospel music.
A fireworks show will close out the evening at about 9 p.m. Admission to the day's events costs $3 for adults and $2 for children.
The Independence Day Celebration at Fort Gordon also takes place from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday at Barton Field and Freedom Park. The annual event includes children's activities and games, in addition to music provided by the 434th Army Band and three area bands. The event ends with fireworks at about 9 p.m. Admission is free.
On Tuesday, the city of Grovetown holds its 19th annual free barbecue, starting at noon at Goodale Park on Wrightsboro Road.
"It's a great way to kick off the Fourth," said Vicki Capetillo, who helped make the event possible. "Everyone who comes out has a great time."
Lunch, which includes barbecue, hash, rice, baked beans and tea, is free on-site; take-out meals cost $5.
Entertainment will be provided by C.D. Morris and the Southern Boys, along with Polynesian dancers and other performers.
The final Independence Day celebration begins at 4 p.m. at Patriots Park, with Columbia County's 12th annual event.
Activities include sack races, balloon tosses and watermelon-seed spitting contests, in addition to the annual "pig-tossing" contest, with competitors throwing plastic pigs for prizes.
Arts and crafts and children's rides will be included. Musical entertainment will be provided by the bluegrass bands Fret Not and Deepstep, and the event will close out the celebration with a fireworks show at dark.
"We have the largest fireworks display in the county," said Brooke Willis, of Columbia County Community Events.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.