Aiken residents won’t have to drive too far this summer to experience a bit of the beach life.

The Aiken Downtown Development Association once again will host the downtown Beach Blast on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, at the Newberry Street Festival Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

Avery Spears-Mahoney, association executive director, said the organization is looking to grow the event even more this year.

“We’re going to have a lot more vendors throughout the day, and we’ve even added an additional slide and dunk tank with local Aiken celebrities,” Spears-Mahoney said. “If you haven’t come in the past, we’re going to have really exciting activities, both Friday and Saturday.”

On June 13 from 6 to 10 p.m., residents can hang out and dance as DJ ’Fessa John Hook and WKSX’s Tony B spin some family-friendly hits.

For some fun competition, the Aiken Downtown Development Association will even host a “best legs” contest that Friday night.

On June 14 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., children of all ages can slide down water slides and take part in age-appropriate activities.

Wristbands for games and the water slide will range between $1 and $7.

The annual Beach Blast will continue with some shag dancing while The Rick Strickland Band plays on stage from 7 to 10:30 p.m. that Saturday. Food, beer and wine will also be available.

Dumpster Depot will be in the Newberry Street Festival Center both days.

“We are excited to be a part of such a well-attended Aiken event like the Beach Blast,” said Norman Dunagan, founder of Dumpster Depot. “Greenworks enjoys participating in large events to help reduce waste diversion to their landfills. The goal is to reach a 30 percent diversion rate of the waste created from the Beach Blast.”

The Beach Blast sponsoring partner is URS. Other sponsors include The Haven, the City of Aiken, WKSX 92.7, Mac & Company and WJBF News Channel 6.

For more information, call the Aiken Downtown Development Association at 803-649-2221 or visit

Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter for the Aiken Standard.