McCORMICK, S.c. (McCormick Messenger)
The first recorded Independence Day celebration was in Philadelphia in 1777 in observation of the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of our country from England. Since then, municipalities all over this nation from small to grand have celebrated this great historic event with fireworks, concerts, parades and other activities in the style of their own local cultures.
The Plum Branch Yacht Club again was the location of this year’s McCormick County Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 6. As has been in the past, the festivities were held on the Saturday following July 4 and included a boat parade, lots of good food, music, games and other activities. In addition to the Plum Branch Yacht Club and Lakeside Grill, the event was hosted by America’s Boating Club Thurmond Lake (aka Thurmond Lake Sail & Power Squadron) and the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsors for the day included: WESLEY COMMONS, Health Related Home Care, Self Regional Healthcare, Savannah Lakes Village Real Estate, Strom’s Drug Store, Savannah Lakes Village, Twice the Ice, Furniture Doctor Inc., Rhonda Fields & Family Insurance, WCTEL and the Red Rooster Emporium.
The celebration started with a patriotic boat parade on the lake with 26 registered boats participating. This number is up from 16 registered for the 2018 parade (others also participated). Judging was performed by Mayors Roy Smith (McCormick) and Franky Walker (Parksville), and McCormick County Council Vice Chairman Bernie Hamby. Folks lined the surrounding terrain and water to watch the proceedings and cheer on the contestants. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash awards were presented at the club pavilion.
First place went to Scott and Julia Sherfield on their 2008 Ebbtide 2460 Z-Trak Pontoon (#20). Also on board were Tom and Karen Greene, Michael and Nancy Sherard and Steve and Sharon Sherard. “Freedom, Fireworks & Fun on Thurmond Lake” was the theme of this craft that had a huge blow-up firecracker on the top of the boat, many other balloon fireworks, numerous American flags and Buntings along the railing.
Owners Rob and Gail Clancey took second place on their 22’ Crest/Tapertoon Pontoon (#14) accompanied by Harold and Katie Clum and Katie’s daughter, Liz and her friend TJ. Their theme was “Let Freedom Ring,” and the boat held a huge blow-up eagle on the top with many flags hanging along the boat sides and front and all participants waving small flags.
A 20’ Maria Shaba 202 fish & ski boat (#28) was selected for third place with four generations onboard: Al and Wanda Lohr from McCormick; his mother, Irene Lohr; daughter Megan Lohr Rock and her husband, Steamboat Rock and baby Atlas Otter Rock visiting from San Diego. Decorations included many flags, strings of stars, and an American flag runner inside the boat. What stood out were the outfits worn by the occupants: Megan in a red/white striped shorts jumpsuit with stars on the sleeves, Steamboat in a shirt of the same design, Wanda in a white pullover with blue stars, Irene in a patriotic designed shirt and a blue head scarf with white stars and Al in a blue T-shirt and red shorts.
Following the boat parade, attendees of the day enjoyed a choice of BBQ plates, BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and other food throughout the afternoon at the Lakeside Grill. Family oriented games were played on the beach and swimming was enjoyed by many; entertainment was available all afternoon and evening: DJ Lee Stickdorn played karaoke from 3 to 6 p.m., and live music by the Dave Garrick band entertained after 6 p.m.
McCormick’s Independence Day celebration ended when fireworks provided by “Crazy Craig’s Fireworks” started at dusk with several hundred landlubbers and boaters watching from a safe distance. It was a wonderful celebration, and a grand time was had by all.
This story first appeared in The McCormick Messenger.