Your Invitation to Independence Day Fun

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There’s always plenty to do in the Golden Isles around the 4th of July. Family activities, 5Ks, and fireworks are just some of the things you can expect. Here’s a brief rundown of scheduled events but be sure to check the Elegant Island Living website calendar and social media for updated information and additional events that may be scheduled as we get closer to the holiday.

St. Simons Island

Thursday, July 4 begins with the 40th Annual Sunshine Festival Run. The 5K race course winds through the beautiful live oak and Spanish moss-lined streets in the Village, beginning at 7:00 a.m. at Kings Park, 601 Mallery St (across from Mallery Park) and ending the same location. This is a USTAF Certified 5k route and chip timing is provided by Second Wind Timing. The 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will start in the same location immediately following the 5k at 8:00 a.m. The starting line will be sorted by expected pace, fastest up front, and walkers in the back. Every participant who completes the 5k or 1 Mile course will receive a Finisher Medal. For Push Rim, riders will receive participant awards and pushers compete in 5K as normal. In addition to the usual 5k and 1 Mile Awards for top finishers, race participants can win awards for Best Costume, Best (Largest) Team, Fastest Team (based on the top 3 fastest on a team, one must be a female. Must have at least 3 people on a team). For those with homes along the race route, you can put on your best patriotic display and compete for three awards: Patriotic, Creative, and Old Glory.

There will be NO Race Day Registration. Pre-Race Day Walk-Up Registration is permitted at Packet Pickup. Pre-Race Day Packet Pickup will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3rd at St. Simons Presbyterian Church, 205 Kings Way. It is strongly recommended that you (or your friends and family) pick up your packet on Monday, the day before the race. Race Day Packet Pickup will begin at 6:00 a.m. on the 4th at Kings Park Basketball Courts. Participants registered by June 12th are the only runners guaranteed a high-quality short-sleeve T-shirt (youth and adult sizes) or Tank Top (adult sizes), so register early at runsignup.com.

Additional race info: Sports in Motion Photography will be photographing the event, and all digital images will be free for participants. Runners will receive an email after the race with a direct link to images or they can visit simphotos.com to view photos. Strollers are allowed, but dogs are not.

Golden Isles Track Club uses the proceeds of this event to support healthy living through motion in our community, including several youth organizations, area high school track, cross-country teams, and local projects that enhance the walking, running, and cycling experience, including water refill stations and trails. Volunteers are always needed, so get in touch if you’d like to participate! Additional race information can be found at goldenislestrack.club.

As part of St. Simons Island’s annual Sunshine Festival, more than 70 vendors with original art and handmade artisan products will be selling their wares at Crafts in the Village from 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 through 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. Shop original art, pottery, jewelry, woodcrafts, plants, specialty foods, candles, soaps, skincare, décor, the Kona Ice truck, and much more underneath the canopy of shady live oaks in the heart of the village. With four days of shopping opportunities, you’ll have ample time to browse at leisure! Check the Crafts in the Village Facebook page for previews of vendors and other special happenings.

There are a few golf cart parades that takes place in the various neighborhoods on St. Simons Island on the 4th of the July. Don’t fret if your block doesn’t have one, just head down to Pier Village to catch the line-up next to Mallery Park ballfields around 1:30 p.m. The parade usually takes place about 2:30 p.m., but this is a bit early for firm details, so keep an eye on the EIL website and social media accounts for more info. That evening, you’ll want to make sure to grab your family, friends, beach chairs, blankets, and snacks and head over to the Neptune Park and Village area early to get a good spot to see the fireworks at the pier. Fireworks begin at sundown, around 9:00 p.m. There’s no charge for parking or admission. The pier and south end of Mallery Street will be closed to cars and pedestrian traffic beginning that morning.

Brunswick

Planning for Brunswick’s Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration is underway as well. This annual event takes place on Thursday, July 4th from 6:00-9:30 p.m. with fireworks at 9:00 p.m. at Mary Ross Waterfront Park. Old fashioned games, including hula hoop competition, sack races and tug-of-war, puppy parade, live music by Hot Banana Coffee, local food vendors, free watermelon, and fireworks at dusk make this a fun evening for the whole family. Bring your chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities at our waterfront park. For more details, follow the Historic Downtown Brunswick social media accounts or visit discoverbrunswick.com.

Jekyll Island

Families will flock to Jekyll Island to enjoy the beach, have fun at Summer Waves Waterpark, and to watch the fantastic Independence Day fireworks that light up the sky on Thursday, July 4th. The spectacular show is scheduled to begin around 8:45 p.m., depending on lighting and weather conditions, when the sky offers the best background for these incredible pyrotechnics. The fireworks display is viewable across an oceanside section of the island, so grab a seat on the beach or park and view the show from your car at the premier viewing locations of Great Dunes Beach Park and Oceanview Beach Park. The Jekyll Island parking fee will be increased for the day of the event. The fee at the parking gate will be an additional $5 per daily pass; annual passes are not impacted. For more information and to see any other events planned for the Independence Day holiday, follow Jekyll Island’s social media accounts or visit jekyllisland.com.

Sea Island

For residents and guests of Sea Island, The Cloister and Beach Club have a full roster of activities scheduled from Sunday, June 30 through Sunday, July 7, including free shuttles running through the week. The festivities include a luau party, a cooking and cocktail demonstrations, the Firecracker 5K, banana split challenge, wine tasting, princess tea party, Low Country Boil and other family-friendly fun. Independence Day begins with an 8:00 a.m. flag-raising ceremony at Summit Park followed by the 24th Annual July 4th Parade on Rainbow Island and a full day of events that includes kids’ talent show, pool games and the annual Red, White, and Boom! Celebration with fireworks display. Stay the week and make memories you’ll cherish forever! For detailed information, visit seaisland.com.

Your Invitation to Independence Day Fun originally posted on by Elegant Island Living magazine.

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