FORT MILL — The town has tossed its decades-old template for celebrating Independence Day. A new format invites residents to come downtown the evening of July 3 for an expanded program that will include craft beer, a cookout, live music and fireworks.
In years past, the town held about a hour-long ceremony early on July 4 and the only flash and bang came from the traditional cannon firings to end the ceremony. Not any more.
Pending approval of what should be a slam dunk resolution at the June 24 Fort Mill Town Council meeting designating Main Street for an event with alcohol and live music, the town is rolling out a party that will also honor long-serving employees and raise money for the 809 Foundation.
The evening will conclude with the traditional cannon firings in Confederate Park and a fireworks show.
The 809 Foundation honors the legacy of the late Det. Mike Doty, a Fort Mill resident who was killed in a shootout with a suspect after responding to a domestic violence call with the York County Sheriff’s Office. Doty was heavily involved with the communities he served before he was killed.
“There was an opportunity to try and expand the event with new and exciting festivities, including a fireworks show that can be viewed from Main Street,” Assistant Town Manager Chris Pettit said.
“Moving the event to July 3 will give people the chance to start their holiday celebrations early and have the entire July Fourth holiday to spend with family and friends. It should be a great event. The only thing better than seeing the cannons fired, is seeing them light up the sky at night, with fireworks to top it off!”
The event kicks off with the cookout at 6 p.m. Bring cash. The food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, funnel cakes and more, will be sold by vendors. Hobo’s is supplying the beer, which will be sold by the 809 Foundation. Come to the bandstand at 8:15 for the start of the ceremony.
Also as part of the program, the town will honor the following employees for more than 30 years of service:
• Robert Frady Jr. – Parks and Rec Department
• James “Monk” Mullinax – Utilities Department
• Fort Mill Police Chief J. Helms
• 1st Sgt. R. Hill – SRO – Fort Mill Police Department
• Chantay Bouler – Finance Department
• Cindy Smith – Fort Mill Police Department
The honorees will also be honorary cannoneers helping fire off the big guns.