The Fourth of July is the holiday of summer, and we can’t think of a better place to spend it than at Palmetto Dunes. There will be special events happening all day long, ending with the biggest display of fireworks on Hilton Head Island at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina!
Before you “ooh and ahh” at our spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display, head to Shelter Cove Harbour for music and entertainment by Shannon Tanner, our beloved entertainer and musician from HarbourFest at Shelter Cove Harbour. Tanner will host two performances at 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. on July 4, so get your dancing shoes on and your singing voice ready! Cappy the Clown will also be there with kids activities, face painting and more from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.!
Take the time to stroll around the largest, beautiful marina and visit shops and boutiques while waiting for the fun to begin. Pick one of the six restaurants at Shelter Cove Harbour and make the most of your Fourth of July holiday by dining in style. Many of our restaurants offer outdoor patios, live music and water views.
Because our Independence Day celebration is so popular, parking can fill up quickly at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina. Two additional parking lots along Highway 278 will be made available nearby on July 4th. Leave your car in one of these secure parking lots and hop the free shuttle, which runs from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., over to Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and back.
If you’re staying with us at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, an even better way to get to the fireworks is to walk or ride your bike (Hilton Head Outfitters) is happy to help you with bike rentals!). Take the pedestrian access that runs underneath Highway 278 for safety and to avoid traffic. The free Dunes Buggy shuttle will also be running between the resort and Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina for guests of the resort.
This year’s Fourth of July fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. If, due to weather or safety concerns, the fireworks are postponed or cancelled the make-up night will be the next evening, July 5th. For show updates, call the fireworks hotline at 843-400-4344.
The weather is heating up on Hilton Head Island, and as we inch closer to summer, we at Palmetto Dunes can’t help but be excited for HarbourFest 2016 at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.
If you’re planning on visiting Palmetto Dunes this summer and you’re looking for things to do on your Hilton Head Island vacation, make sure you add HarbourFest to your list! There’s something for everyone at this family-friendly local event, and it runs all summer long. To help you plan, and get you as excited as we are for all of the exciting summer festivities at Shelter Cove Harbour, here’s your guide to HarbourFest 2016. Arguably the most famous thing about HarbourFest is also the most fantastic – the fireworks at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina! This year, fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. to make sure everyone is able to get to Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and settle in for the show.
HarbourFest fireworks will be held Tuesdays on the following dates:
June 14, 21 & 28
July 12, 19 & 26
August 2, 9, 16 & 23
We want to make sure your Palmetto Dunes vacation is as sunny and stress-free as can be, so if it should rain, we’re planning on holding HarbourFest Fireworks the next day, Wednesday, if the weather permits.
HarbourFest is an event for the whole family, and there is entertainment happening at Shelter Cove Harbour virtually every night of the week, all summer long! Kids will love clowning around with Cappy the Clown, a recurring guest at HarbourFest who has been entertaining kids of all ages for over 25 years. Cappy the Clown will be performing Monday through Friday between 6 and 9 p.m.
Enjoy a long lowcountry summer evening at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina while taking in the tunes of Shannon Tanner, who is returning to HarbourFest again this year to perform every weekday evening at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
If you’re really enjoying living the island lifestyle on Hilton Head, you’ll want to swing by Parrot Palooza on Thursday nights, beginning June 16. Live music and entertainment with an island vibe, what a perfect way to wrap up your Palmetto Dunes day!
Of course, there is a ton to do and see while at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina. Head out onto the open water with one of the Shelter Cove Marina water cruises before heading to the concert; or grab a bite before the fireworks at San Miguel’s, Scott’s or any of the incredible dining options at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina.
The excitement of HarbourFest is sure to be a highlight of your Hilton Head Island summer vacation. Don’t forget to capture the fun and share with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! We love seeing your #HarbourFest2016 photos!
Everyone loves fireworks; it is hard to imagine someone who cannot associate the magic of fireworks to a childhood memory, favorite holiday or great story. Often, when people recount their favorite fireworks memory, they remember their family’s summer vacation and the Tuesday night fireworks at Shelter Cove for HarbourFest Summer Celebration. After 27 years of sending fairy dust into the sky and watching everyone’s eyes light up, we figured it might be fun to give you the inside scoop.
How much really goes into setting up a fireworks show? You just light the fuse and let them do their thing, right?
HarbourFest and Tuesday night fireworks begin in mid-June and continue through mid-August, but planning for the event begins immediately following the closing night of HarbourFest. Applications & Permits with a variety of law enforcement entities involved are required to stage such an event. We work closely with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire Department, Beaufort County Sherriff’s office, the South Carolina State Fire Marshal’s office, SC Department of Natural Resources, etc. Once all the logistic & planning details are approved, the Tuesday night fireworks events are given the green light. The Shelter Cove HarbourFest event has been fortunate to have the continued and generous support of Greenwood Communities and Resorts, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, the Shelter Cove Harbour Merchants Association, the Town of Hilton Head Island & local business sponsors for many years and has received funding to help offset the cost of producing the shows, security, traffic management and facilities maintenance. This additional funding has helped sustain and keep this event going even through the economic downturn.
With six to eight months of planning complete, it is show time (literally!). Preparation for a Tuesday night fireworks show begins around 2:00pm with fireworks scheduled to shoot at dusk (usually 9:00-9:30pm). As is the case with all outdoor events, weather and safety conditions play a huge part in the execution of the event. Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, afternoon thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence. The daily weather conditions and forecast are tracked constantly and they dictate when and if we can set-up a show.
On the show dates, the Fire Marshal & Marina Dockmaster are called by the pyrotechnic company to alert them of their arrival time at the designated location. Once the crew and marina team are assembled, a safe zone clearance of 50 feet is created around the area and boat where the fireworks are being moved. The pyrotechnic company and crew can then begin to transport more than 500 pounds of fireworks (the July 4th show generally exceeds 1,000 pounds of fireworks and entails an 8-10 hour set-up time) onto a boat which is then driven to the barge that is positioned outside the Shelter Cove Marina in Broad Creek.
The loaded vessel leaves the marina and makes the trip to the barge just a few miles away. All of the fireworks are then offloaded onto the barge, individually wired and covered, if necessary, in case of inclement weather. The fireworks crew then gets back on to the boat to shoot the fireworks remotely from a safe 100 yard distance from the barge. Two additional boats must secure the perimeter of the barge for additional safety measures until the end of the fireworks show.
The entire loading, unloading and set up process takes four to five hours, weather permitting. As mentioned, factors like rain, wind, lightening and even heat advisories can disrupt the set up of the show and cause a show delay or cancellation. Simply put, if there is a threat of severe weather or any inclement weather during the set-up or firing of a fireworks show, our staff has no choice but to delay or cancel the show.
We have faced nights where we had to cancel a show at 4:00pm because the fireworks crew cannot set up in thunder and lightning conditions. But when the weather clears and it is sunny and nice by 6:00pm, people want to know why on Earth the fireworks were cancelled. The answer? Safety. The safety of our staff and guests is our main priority and is not something we take lightly.
Trust us when we say there is no one more disappointed than our staff when a fireworks show is forced into cancellation. We speak to residents and visitors every week who tell us that the Tuesday night fireworks at HarbourFest is the event they look forward to the most every summer with their family. We hate to let these folks down, but unfortunately, sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate.
We hope that by explaining the process of Tuesday night fireworks, guests, visitors and locals will gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind a cancelled show. No matter, the magic occurs every Tuesday night, mid-June to mid-August! … Weather permitting. : )