Columbia, SC (WLTX) - People all across the Midlands celebrated the 4th of July. Many were just trying to beat the heat.

"Ice cream is one of the greatest things in the world," Neal Bray said.

Bray spent the day with this wife and mother on Main Street in Columbia.

"Sweat Cream is my absolute favorite ice cream place. They have crazy flavors. We had the Sweet Corn and the Cherry Coke (and) just stuff you can't find anywhere else," he said.

James Hopper and his dog Optimus opted for the shade and shaved ice, relaxing at Pelican's Snoballs in Lexington County.

"Peace of mind. To be present in the moment (and) just be able to enjoy life right now. Just take one minute, one hour at a time," he said.

Linda York and her friend Ed celebrated her birthday at the Kershaw County location.

"Growing up it was always a great day to have a birthday. There would usually be lots of relatives around and aunts and uncles. Usually I'd get a dollar from this one and a dollar from the other one, you know because it was my birthday," she said.

"Getting to go play bridge. We're going out for dinner after a while. It's her birthday. I like to help her celebrate, so we're getting younger everyday," said Ed.

No matter how much she enjoys her special day, Linda said it's all about the men and women who make it possible.

"It is to honor the veterans. We're fortunate to live in the country we live in," she said.