When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, you can’t find a better place than right here in colonial America’s hotbed of patriotic fervor. There’s even a major Revolutionary War battleground a short drive from McLean community. (More on that later). Our waterfront community on Lake Wylie also means some spectacular fireworks displays are just a short cruise away.

This year’s festivities near McLean start on Friday, July 1, and include free concerts, parades on land and water, historical reenactments, a big carnival, a beer festival and several fireworks shows. Get started this Friday in downtown Belmont with a free concert and fireworks.

Monday will feature two daylong festivals and fireworks blowouts. Some of the best viewing is by boat. Need one? Check below for places to rent one for the day or weekend.

So get out your flags, and join in celebrating America’s best birthday party ever.

Friday, July 1

  • The TamsFriday Night Live and fireworks – 7-10 pm – Bring your lawn chairs to Stowe Park on South Main Street, Belmont, for a special edition of the twice monthly Friday Night Live free concert series. The legendary Beach Music group The Tams will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. Then enjoy fireworks sponsored by Belmont’s newest dining hot spot, Nellie’s Southern Kitchen. Drawings, vendors and fun for all. Details


Saturday, July 2

  • Backcountry Militia at Kings Mountain battleground – 9 am-6 pm July 2-3 – Travel west 26 miles to Kings Mountain National Military Park for two days of programs at the site of one of the most lopsided American victories of the Revolutionary War. Backcountry Militia and park rangers will do programs for youth and adults. Sign your “John Hancock” to a Declaration of Independence. Tour the battlefield and visitors center. Take a hike. All for free. Details. Directions
  • Everyone Parade in Mt HollyEveryone Parade in downtown Mount Holly – 9:30 a.m. beginning at Mount Holly Farmers Market – Dress up in patriotic costumes, festoon your trike, bike, scooter, stroller or whatever with red-white-and-blue streamers, and join in this informal holiday parade for all ages. Then shop for fresh local produce at the Mount Holly Farmers Market, 226 S. Main St. Details
  • Red White & Brew beer fest – 3-8 pm at 10 Catawba, Belmont – The popular party venue at 10 Catawba Ave. in historic downtown Belmont hosts this “spirited” celebration with the help of 15 regional breweries. Food trucks and live music, too. $35 general admission. Bring a canned-food donation for Second Harvest Food Bank and get $5 off the ticket price. Details


Sunday, July 3

  • Backcountry Militia at Kings Mountain battleground – 9 am-6 pm – Day 2 of the event (details above)


Monday, July 4

  • Gastonia July 4th Festival – 11 am-10 pm on Main Street in downtown Gastonia – Eight city blocks of fun include live music, crafts, jewelry, games, art, entertainment, eating contests, food (lots of food!) and “the best fireworks show in the entire Southeast!” say event organizers. Flag raising at 11 am; carnival rides start at noon. Bands start playing at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks finale at 9:15 pm. Details
  • Tega Cay 4th of July and 34th Anniversary Celebration – 9 am to 10 pm at Windjammer Park, Golf Course and Glennon Center – Golf tournament and land parade down Tega Cay Drive begin the festivities at 9 am. Other events include Boat Parade at 11 am, Carolina Show Ski Team show at 1 pm, Splish-n-Splash Summer Bash events for all ages at 3-5 pm, Lion’s club Fish Fry and City Birthday Party starting at 4:30 pm at the Glennon Center and, of course fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Details
  • Lake Wylie, SC, fireworks – Shortly after 9 pm from the YMCA Camp Thunderbird grounds – Annual event draws a crowd of boats to the area just south of the Hwy. 49 Buster Boyd Bridge. Several good places to watch from shore, too. Details

Boat rentals

pontoonSeveral businesses rent pontoon boats for the day or longer, including: