CHARLESTON, S.C. — The roar of cannon fire and the cheers of well-dressed citizens lining the waterfront  marked the annual Independence Day celebration in South Carolina, after soldiers of the state’s National Guard shelled Fort Sumter in honor of the holiday, sources confirmed.

Lt. Col. Jefferson Davis Busey, commander of 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, personally started the festivities at 0800 by firing a barrage of 105mm shells into Ft. Sumter National Park, killing a flock of pelicans and two surprised tourists from Cleveland, Ohio.

When interviewed, citizens and citizen-soldiers alike all expressed their enthusiasm for the traditional festivities. “I do declare, sir, this is the greatest day of the year,” gushed Mr. Archibald Barnwell, a greengrocer. “Long live the great state of South Carolina!”

“We bombard that old ruin every year,” Private First Class Gabe Norton told Duffel Blog reporters. “Not really sure why we do it. It’s tradition I guess. Like pretending the Army has a mission in peacetime or wearing berets.”

According to Mayor of Charleston Joseph P. Riley, South Carolina has celebrated every July 4th with traditional destruction of U.S. Government property since 1861, marking their strong belief in states’ rights, the injustice of the commerce clause, Northern domination of industry, sectionalism, free soil protectionism, and “everything else except that whole slavery thing.”

At press time, President Barack Obama and 50,000 federal troops were about to perform the traditional welcoming-back of South Carolina into the Union, by burning the entire city of Charleston to the ground and instituting martial law.