The Fourth of July is next Thursday and West Columbia will be the epicenter for eco-tourism on that day.
“It’s our busiest day of the year,” said Michael Mayo, owner of Palmetto Outdoors. “The volume will be tremendous.”
Much of the Palmetto Outdoors activity takes place at the West Columbia Riverwalk.
The river tubing and kayaking provider, said Mayo, is a great example of the development of the tourism industry in West Columbia. “We are embracing the recreational resources of the three rivers, the Saluda, the Broad and the Congaree, in a big way,” he said.
Mayo said his goal at Palmetto Outdoors, with his experienced staff, is to promote the exploration of refreshing outdoor activities in a very unique metropolitan area.
Mayo said preparation for the July Fourth weekend begins months in advance and the number of tubers and kayakers coming to West Columbia increases every year. He said in 2020, when the Enabling Park and the Interactive Art Park are open, it will even be busier for him.
This year, Mayo said he will host a busload of river adventurers from Florida on July Fourth. He has clients from more than a dozen states, many of them coming from Georgia and North Carolina.
“We want to make sure everyone who comes to float down the river has a safe and fantastic Fourth of July,” said Mayo.
Palmetto Outdoor caters to all age groups to deliver a fulfilling experience that truly encompasses what it means to be surrounded in natural beauty on the fast-moving water of the river.
Local families will take advantage of what West Columbia offers, too.
Cole Kaliher and her husband Will, with their two children Emmie and William will come to West Columbia for a Fourth of July celebration, but it will be the day before. The family is planning to get on the Soda Cap Connector in West Columbia and take it to the Columbia Fireflies baseball game. They will enjoy the fireworks at the stadium after the game. The Fireflies play the Greenville Drive at 7:05 p.m.
“We love Nick’s House of Pizza, and we love DeLucca’s Italian. And we may get fried chicken from Zesto. We have not decided yet,” Cole Kaliher said.
She said her family will go to one of those restaurants, and then to Riverwalk before jumping on the bus to the game. “I think it will be fun to ride the bus, and we will not have to pay for parking if we take the Soda Cap Connector.”
In addition to DeLucca’s Italian and Nick’s, Mai Tai on Sunset Boulevard will be open on July 3, as will Grecian Gardens and Arianas.
In addition to the Fireflies fireworks on Wednesday, the annual 4th of July Fireworks Celebration on Lake Murray is Saturday. It is a tradition with many families.
The fireworks will take place around 9:15 p.m. (or at dusk) on Saturday (June 29) from Dreher Island State Park and Spence Island.
Best firework viewing locations are Dreher Island State Park, by boat near Dreher Island and Spence Island or both parks at Lake Murray Dam. Chairs and blankets are allowed for picnics. No alcohol is permitted at any of the locations.
There is a small charge to park at Dreher Island State Park and Lake Murray Dam Park Sites. The viewing sites are available until they reach capacity (First come,)
The walking path on the dam will also be open.
It’s Fourth of July week in West Columbia. Find an activity and enjoy.