Beaufort News

Parris Island prepares for the Fourth

    Officials at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island have been busy this week prepping the 96-year-old base for its annual free Fourth of July celebration Monday.

The annual event, featuring free concessions, a performance by the Parris Island Marine Band and a fireworks display, typically draws between 8,000 and 10,000 spectators, according to officials.

Sponsored and organized by Marine Corps Community Service, the celebration is an annual highlight for local military and civilian families and the Parris Island community, said Lt. Melanie Salinas, depot spokeswoman.

"The Lowcountry is home to a very military-friendly community and we look forward to inviting them on our base to ... enjoy a performance by the Parris Island Marine Band and complete their evening with an impressive fireworks display," Salinas said.

Motorists driving onto Parris Island will be asked by military police officers to show their driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration in accordance with the base's security policy.

Salinas said the ID check is not expected to slow traffic in Port Royal, though organizers are encouraging spectators to plan ahead.

"There should be minimal impact to traffic entering Parris Island," Salinas said. "Traffic control will be conducted very similarly to way it is on days of graduations. We do not anticipate traffic spilling into Port Royal."

The front gate will open at 5 p.m., Salinas said.

"Due to the large number of anticipated visitors on the depot for the event, it is recommended that people show up once the gate opens to ensure a good seat for the fireworks and to participate in the numerous other activities," Salinas said.

Follow staff writer Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort

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