COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - Military installations across the state are downsizing or even scrapping their Fourth of July celebrations due to federal budget cuts.
In the Midlands, Shaw Air Force Base has canceled its annual event, although the Sumter facility does plan a small, on-base picnic.
The Army's Fort Jackson still plans to hold a scaled-down celebration.
“We are using funds from our Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation directorate and these are all funds that they have self-generated, so we won't be using the taxpayer dollars for it,” Jones says.
“It does mean, however, that we're not going to have quite as big a production as we normally do. And given that a lot of places have canceled their celebrations, we feel really fortunate that we're just going to be able to do one.”
Fort Jackson spokesman Pat Jones says the Torchlight Tattoo won't be held this year – that's where a cannon salute was conducted for the 50 states as their flags were marched across a festive stage and a narrator gave historical information about each state.
But Jones says Thursday's activities will still include music performed by the 282nd Army Band, a display by soldiers in period uniforms, family games and carnival-type rides, and fireworks to close out the evening.
Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 4 p.m.
Jones stresses that pets, grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms and personal fireworks are not permitted.