The Greatest Free Show in Charleston. That's how they bill it.
The Citadel Cadets.
At 3:45 every Friday at the Citadel parade grounds, the entire student body of cadets, 1,900 strong, put on a one hour show that you don't want to miss. They start with the bagpipers, then the fife and drums, and then the full assembly. They also fire the cannon to salute the lowering of the flag. It was kind of neat. At the end, when they march by the stands for review, the alumni in the stands wait until the platoon that they served in is passing and then stand and salute. Just a note: one of the “COLUMBO” TV shows was filmed here.
Across the street from the parade grounds is a statue of the school's mascot. When one of the graduates (and later an instructor at the school) was killed in Vietnam (1965), every cadet in the school donated their brass belt buckle, buttons, and headdress. They then had them melted down to cast the statue. A few years later, this officer's son (also a Citadel graduate) was also killed in Vietnam. The statue is dedicated to both of them.
Go about 1 1/2 hours early and tour their free museum.
From Interstate 26 Eastbound: Take the Rutledge Avenue exit (219-A). Follow Rutledge Avenue 1.2 miles, then turn right on Moultrie Street. Follow Moultrie Street until it ends at Lesesne Gate, the main entrance to The Citadel.