CHARLESTON, S.C. (CNN Newsource) – While most of the Lowcountry’s traditional Fourth of July celebrations have been cancelled, two men are putting on their own celebration right in the middle of the Charleston Harbor Saturday.
“We haven’t had any live events or anything like that. So, what better way to do it?” organizer Stark Shapleigh said. “Everybody’s out in the water enjoying the Fourth. Let’s give them a destination. Let’s give them some free country music.”
The “Charleston on the Water” concert will feature country music performed from a stage that will be set up on a 120-foot barge. It’s anchored out past Castle Pinchney with a view of the Holy City that’s hard to beat.
“We’ve really created an on-the-water venue,” Shapleigh said. “This hasn’t been done before on this scale. So, you’ve taken something that’s normally done on land, and you’ve just kind of thrown in the chaos and mayhem logistics of now were doing it on the water.”
The event is intended to give boaters a way to celebrate the patriotic holiday while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
“It’s a terrible precedent to set for the government,” organizer Derek Astorino said. “I know COVID’s a real thing and I’m not out here denying it and I’m asking that everyone social distance, but there’s a way to compromise and still have our independence and celebrate our Independence Day.”
The entire event has been privately funded and sponsored by people, but organizers say additional plans for a fireworks display were shot down by local leaders.
“It was a frustrating 30 days to make this happen,” Astorino said. “We got shot down for permits a couple times, and if were going to celebrate it, we don’t necessarily need the governments permission or its assistance if we cant get it.”
Organizers are encouraging attendees to stay in their boats during their event.
“Everyone is welcome to come up, throw out their anchor and enjoy the music,” Shapleigh said.