Town of Port Royal prepares for largest 4th of July celebration - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Port Royal prepares for largest Fourth of July

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Port Royal Councilman Joe Lee Port Royal Councilman Joe Lee

One Fourth of July cancellation is turning out to be big for another town. With federal budget cuts, Parris Island canceled their annual celebration. But Port Royal is stepping up to make sure everyone has a place to party on the fourth.

"Well if it's like this tomorrow, we'll fish all day to begin with and watch the fireworks and fish some more," said Georgia native Tim Coleman. 

There were plenty of empty parking spots and parking lots in Port Royal Wednesday. But you can expect that to change drastically when the town combines two Independence Day celebrations into one.

"We're just excited because we've never had the Marine Band here for one thing. We just don't have any idea how this is going to be received, it's just overwhelming actually. We're working really hard and I think come Friday, we'll all be really relaxed," said Port Royal Councilman Joe Lee. 

But the band isn't the overwhelming part. It's the influx of visitors that will be spending July 4th in Port Royal. After Parris Island canceled its celebration because of federal budget cuts, town officials stepped in to help. Lee estimates roughly 2,500 people celebrate Independence Day in Port Royal. This year, they're anticipating more than 4,000.  Town officials are beefing up security to make sure everything runs smoothly.

"We've got some extra manpower coming from the Beaufort City Police Department, we're also going to have assistance from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Coast Guard and the Marine Rescue Squad," said Lt. John Griffith, Port Royal Police.

The public will have access to a shuttle bus that will drop them off at the police checkpoint. Police have set up the checkpoint at the main entrance to Sand's Beach, which will be closed off to vehicles. The Marine Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Sand's Beach. The fireworks will follow.

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