Things to do around the Midlands: Celebrate July 4 this week and a new Sumter farmers market with official grand opening this weekend


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Why not catch a baseball game this summer and see the hometown team in action? Watch the P-15's on weekdays through mid-July. Home games are at Riley Park, 655 Church St. The schedule for July: Thursday, July 4, at 7 p.m. against Florence Post 1 at home; Wednesday, July 10, against Horry Post 111 at home; and Thursday, July 11, at 7 p.m. at home against Lexington Post 7.

Splash around at the Sumter Aquatics Center. The center offers classes and activities and a free water aerobics class. You can also rent the center for parties, which includes use of the new lazy river. Usual admission for all guests is $3, and hours throughout the summer are: Mondays: closed; Tuesday: noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday: noon-5 p.m.; Thursday: noon-5 p.m.; Friday: noon-7 p.m.; Saturday: noon-5 p.m.; and Sunday: 1-6 p.m.

Gamecock City Farmers Market is now open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays outside Central Carolina Technical College's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center, 853 Broad St. The market will continue to add vendors so that there is a little bit of something for everybody, from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade jewelry. The official grand opening of the market is Saturday, July 6. The grand opening will include its regularly scheduled vendors as well as dancing, raffles, face painting, performers and more. If you want to get involved, there will be a free meet-and-greet to hear from the community about the market on Tuesday, July 9, at Silver Spoon Event Center from 6 to 8 p.m. If you're a vendor and wish to be a part of the market, reach out to Gamecock City Farmers Market on Facebook.

Sumter Farmers Market is up and running from noon to 5 p.m. Fridays through Nov. 22 at USC Sumter, 200 Miller Road. Grab some lunch at one of the many food trucks and purchase quality, farm-fresh products and unique hand-crafted items all at the market. SFMNP-Senior and WIC vouchers are accepted.

Fourth Fridays has started back up for the summer in front of Sumter County Courthouse, 141 N. Main St. Every fourth Friday through September, a different band will take the stage at 6:30 p.m., and the event will last until 9 p.m. with food trucks/vendors, beer and free entertainment. Palmetto Optimist Club will give out free books to kids and have popcorn for sale, and Sertoma Club will sell the beer. Downtown restaurants will also be open during the event. Bands on the schedule are Chief Complaint on July 26, Second Nature on Aug. 23 and Too Much Sylvia on Sept. 27. Bring your own chairs. Coolers aren't allowed.

The Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St., is bringing back its Summer Movie Series featuring $2 showings and popcorn and water for just $1. The lineup is as follows: July 9, "Under the Boardwalk"; July 16, "Muppet Treasure Island" (1996); July 23, "The Super Mario Bros. Movie"; and July 30, "Ratatouille." Movie times are 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. For additional information, visit

Sumter Original Brewery invites the community to "fill the brewery with comics and vintage toys" on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Comic Sanctum LLC is hosting the event at 2 S. Main St.

Jeep lovers, their friends and family will all come together at the third-annual Krawlin' for Christ Jeep Show and Shine on Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sumter County Civic Center, 700 W. Liberty St. There will be Jeep vendors, live music, food vendors, an RC course and the Show and Shine Competition. The indoor/outdoor event is free and open to the public and supports St. Jude Children's Hospital. To be a vendor or for more information, please contact Minnie Sue Ardis or Ashley Ardis at Learn more about the event at


The City of Manning will hold its Red, White and Blue Celebration from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Farmers Market, 21 E. Boyce St. There will be music, food and of course a fireworks display. Bring a chair and sit for a while.

The Eagle Pointe Community near the end of S.C. 260 South will host what the locals tout as the "smallest Fourth of July parade in the nation." At 10 a.m. Thursday, July 4, the parade kicks off with various decked-out vehicles, American flags and red, white and blue decorations.

The New Zion community is hosting its 4th of July Celebration at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 4. The parade route extends from New Zion Crossroads to the intersection of Salem and Old Manning roads. Everyone is invited to the parade and to enjoy a variety of delicious festival foods, food trucks and entertainment until the fireworks display after dark.

Grab your folding chair, a cold drink and some peanuts to go root on the hometown team, Manning-Santee Post 68, in action this summer. Home games are played at Monarch Field. July games are: Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. against Horry Post 111 at home; Monday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. @ Horry Post 111; and Wednesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. @ Florence Post 1.

The Rev. Effie Hilton Mitchell is bringing back her popular production "Ready or Not" to Weldon Auditorium. "Ready or Not," a Biblically based production, will take the Weldon Auditorium stage, at 7 Maple St., for one day only on Sunday, July 14. Doors open at 2 p.m., and the show will begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. To purchase tickets, visit The Hair Goddess Studio in Sumter at 740 Broad St., Weldon Auditorium, or call Mitchell at (803) 795-7704.


Nelson Racing and BJ Lounge present the Southern Summer Fest hosted by Sandra Harrison and Dreke Nelson on Saturday, July 20, at Walter Thomas Nelson Stadium, 759 Red Top Road in Lynchburg. Gates will open at 6 p.m., and show will begin at 8 p.m. Performers will include Lebrado, Uncle Daddy and Chico Lloyd. Bring your tents and chairs. No coolers allowed, and a clear bag policy will be strictly enforced. Buy tickets at

Black Creek Wildlife Center, 4067 Camden Highway, Bishopville, invites families to hang out with them and tye dye a T-shirt to keep and meet some cool protected species on Aug. 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. This Tye and Dye for Wildlife event will be great for all ages, and parents are asked to stay for the fun. Refreshments will be provided. Buy your tickets at


The Lexington County Peach Festival complete with fireworks will be held Thursday, July 4, at the Gilbert Community Park in Gilbert. The schedule of events is: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., car show; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., arts and crafts vendors; 9:30 a.m., peach parade; noon-9 p.m., live entertainment; and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Visit for more information.

Join the South Carolina Wildlife Federation at The Hollow in Columbia on Thursday, July 11, from 6-9 p.m. for a five-course, wine-paired conservation dinner featuring dishes created by Executive Chef Danté Serra inspired by imperiled bird species. This year's featured species include the Eastern meadowlark, the little blue heron, the Eastern screech owl, the brown-headed nuthatch, the red-winged blackbird, and of course, the roseate spoonbill, whose conservation story inspired this dinner series. As each course is served, SCWF Industry Habitat Manager Jay Keck will share information about each species and the conservation efforts needed to help them thrive. Event tickets for this event are $120 per person, and ticket sales close on Wednesday, July 3. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available. All funds raised will benefit SCWF's conservation and education programs. To purchase tickets and sponsorships please visit This event is sponsored by Columbia Water, our presenting sponsor, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), our wine sponsor, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Jason and Kari Bristol, SCWF Friend sponsors.

The South Carolina Book Lovers Expo and Food Truck Festival will be held Saturday, July 27, at the Gala Event Center, 1801 Bush River Road, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can meet 40 regional authors representing many genres, get writing coaching, get books signed and take your pick of food from among five food trucks. Children are welcome at the event and will be able to explore the newest books, get their faces painted, take part in storytelling and more. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more at


Get ready for Jammin' in July at Historic Camden on Saturday, July 13, starting at 5 p.m. The music starts then with bands including Landslide, Rusty Davis Group, Jim Hayes, Fair Jam, Ten Cent Rich, Melton Moon and Blake Weinbach. The event will be held rain or shine, and drinks, cocktails and food will be available to buy. Bring your own blanket and lawn chairs. Doors open at 4 p.m. at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. 222 Broad St., Camden. All ages are invited to come. Buy your tickets at Davis and Son's Guitar Shop or


The YMCA of Columbia opened its water parks for summer 2024, one in Orangeburg and one in Santee. The Santee Water Park, 1761 Bass Drive, Santee, is open Fridays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Orangeburg Water Park, 2550 St. Matthews Road, Orangeburg, is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for those 48 inches and above and $5 for those 47 inches and below. Free for YMCA of Columbia members. Both parks offer family fun slides, zero-depth pools, tot pools, lazy river, slides and spray features, group pavilions and snack bars. If you have any questions, contact the Orangeburg County YMCA at (803) 268-9622.

Carowinds has announced the final lineup for its 10-day Carowinds Summer Music Fest Amplified by Coke Studio. Grammy, CMA and ACM award-winning singer-songwriter Carly Pearce will take the stage on July 19, accompanied by chart-topping country artist Niko Moon and singer-songwriter Hannah Ellis. The festival will also feature a host of talented openers warming up the stages for other major acts, including Johnnyswim opening for LeAnn Rimes on July 5, 10 Years opening for Skillet on Aug. 2 and Blanco Brown opening for Flo Rida on Aug. 9. Hosted at Carowinds' on-site amphitheater. The fest also features performances by regional bands and emerging artists throughout the park, including 10 acts performing in-park, showcasing a mix of Nashville recording artists and Carolina talent.

- Friday, July 5: LeAnn Rimes with Johnnyswim

- Saturday, July 6: Bret Michaels Parti-Gras Tour 2024

Special guests Dee Snider and Steve Augeri, plus Great White and Slaughter

- Friday, July 19: Carly Pearce with Niko Moon and Hannah Ellis

- Saturday, July 20: TobyMac with Tenth Avenue North

- Friday, July 26: Brett Young with Restless Road

- Saturday, July 27: Brantley Gilbert with Lauren Alaina

- Friday, Aug. 2: Skillet with 10 Years

- Saturday, Aug. 3: Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra and Tonic

- Friday, Aug. 9: Flo Rida with Blanco Brown

- Saturday, Aug. 10: Russell Dickerson with Tyler Rich

The Carowinds Summer Music Fest is free with park admission. Season passholders can enjoy all performances as part of their pass benefits.

For the latest updates on the Carowinds Summer Music Fest, including performance schedules, visit Carowinds, a 400-acre amusement park located on the North Carolina-South Carolina state line, is home to top-rated roller coasters, including Fury 325, the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster, as well as more than 58 rides, attractions, and live stage shows. Carolina Harbor, a 26-acre water park, features a variety of water slides, wave pools, large play structures and a three-acre children's play area. For information on attractions and accommodations at Carowinds, visit or call (704) 588-2600.


The South Carolina Bigfoot Festival is returning to Westminster on Oct. 11-12. Since 2019, thousands of people descend on this small town during the month of October to celebrate and learn about the most well know mysterious creature in the world - Bigfoot! People from all over the United States have come to the festival since 2019 and many have returned every year. Whether or not you believe in the Big Fella, you will have fun listening to expert Bigfoot researchers, tapping your feet to live music, participating in or watching the multiple contests, or perusing the many vendors up and down Main Street Westminster. Vendors may apply to participate by going to or emailing