There are many ways to celebrate the 4th of July, from parades, festivals, food, and of course, fireworks. From restaurants to beaches or even a baseball game, there are no shortage of options for families. Time to plan your Independence Day celebration!
Celebrations on July 3rd, 2018
NBP Fireworks on the Lake
Get your pre-4th sparkle and boom on early! Enjoy music and a spectacular fireworks show with your family. Bring your picnic, blanket or folding chairs. Personal fireworks prohibited. You can bring your own food and drinks, however, no glass containers are allowed. A variety of musical groups will perform. Do not bring your dogs to this event, as the fireworks display may frighten them.
Free admission. 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Fireworks to begin at 9 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL. For more information click here.
Marauder’s Baseball Game
As all-American as it gets: baseball and fireworks! Take in the Marauder’s baseball game along with fireworks after the game at LECOM Field. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.; game starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by a post-game fireworks show. The first 1,500 fans will receive free t-shirts. During the game, fans will be able to bid on the patriotically-themed jerseys the Marauders wear and winning bidders will be invited onto the field to receive the jersey after the game. Fans will be treated to the largest post-game fireworks show of the season.
Tickets: $6 – $8 and $10. 1611 9th Street West, Bradenton, FL. Click here for tickets.
Charlotte Stone Crabs Baseball Game
Check out the Charlotte Stone Crabs baseball game. There will be a pre-game candy drop and a $20 all-you-can-eat picnic along with live music from musician Tiki Tom.
Tickets $8.50 – $25. Game time: 6:35 p.m. Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL. Click here for tickets.
Celebrations on July 4th, 2018
Enjoy a fireworks display over the Manatee River after dark. The fireworks display is handled by the City of Palmetto. People usually mass along both sides of the Manatee River Riverwalk waterfront in downtown Bradenton and Palmetto. Fireworks start after dark, around 9 p.m. Want to learn more? Click here.
Selby Gardens All-American Barbecue and Independence Day Celebration
Enjoy an All-American Barbecue and Independence Day Celebration on the grounds of Selby Gardens. Enjoy All-American favorites from Michael’s On East, live music from The Hydramatic and family activities as part of the celebration. Plus, enjoy the fireworks over Sarasota Bay from Selby Garden’s bayfront location.
6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Selby Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL. 941.366.5731 for more info or click here for tickets.
Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay
Night time brings the Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay. As part of the Suncoast Offshore Festival, viewing is free from anywhere downtown including Bayfront Park and Island Park. The display is an awesome sight from a boat anchored on Sarasota Bay. Make sure you bring an umbrella just in case of rain. The Sarasota show starts at dusk or around 9:00 p.m. and is privately funded and charity focused and benefits Suncoast Charities for Children.
The Choral Artists of Sarasota Present “Patriotic Spectacular,” a salute to Independence Day with rousing songs celebrating America including perennial favorites “God Bless America,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “America, the Beautiful” and more. A patriotic concert full of choral fireworks celebrating America, the American Dream – liberty and justice for all – forms the cornerstone of this annual sell-out performance.
4:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 104 South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL. Tickets are $15 (students), $35 (advance), $40 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets call 941-387-4900 or click here for tickets and more info.
Englewood Firecracker Festival
The annual Englewood Firecracker Festival, Block Party and Craft Show followed by one of the largest fireworks show in Southwest Florida is presented by the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary. Things get going on Dearborn Street starting at 10 a.m. with All-American food from local restaurants and vendors as well as ice cold beer and frozen drinks. Over 60 craft vendors will be lining Dearborn street along with the area’s largest muscle car show and a kids game area with water slides and bounce houses. There will be 3 live bands with live bands music beginning at noon. Plus they’ll have their World Famous “Chicken Sheet BINGO.” The Fireworks show will “Light up Lemon Bay” from Middle Beach (Blind Pass Beach) on Manasota Key after dark. Free admission. Over 10,000 in attendance last year. Starts at 10 a.m. Dearborn Street, Englewood. More info here.
Freedom Fest and Hot Diggity Dog Parade
The Annual Freedom Fest and Hot Diggity Dog Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road. Commissioners, police and fire rescue personnel are in the parade along with children who wish to dress up and walk with their pets. Put on your best red, white and blue and decorate your bike or wagon. Parade lineup begins at 8:30 a.m. on Bay Isles Rd. Activities, food, and drinks, children’s games all in Bicentennial Park, next to Town Hall, after the parade. 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce for more information: 941-383-2466. Click here for more info.
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island Privateers 4th of July Parade
The Anna Maria Island Privateers hold their annual 4th of July Parade from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Anna Maria Island from Coquina Beach (South Entrance) to City Pier at Anna Maria. The 2016 Parade was attended by 20,000 Parade Watchers along the 7-mile parade route, 115 Parade Entries and over 850 participants. Be in the parade or bring a chair to watch. More info: [email protected] or call (941) 209-2212. Anna Maria Island.
Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks Spectacular
The 31st Annual Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks Spectacular is at the Sandbar Restaurant on the north end of the island next to Pine Avenue. There will be a VIP Party under the open air Sandbar Event Pavilion. Seating is limited. Fireworks after dark, weather permitting. Fireworks show viewing is free. 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria Island.
Siesta Key Fireworks
The 28th Annual 4th of July Fireworks Display is set to go according to the Siesta Key Chamber. Fireworks over the number 1 beach in the nation, Siesta Key, are blasted off just north of the volleyball courts, so viewing is good from anywhere south and along Crescent Beach (south of Siesta Public Beach), out on the Gulf, or from the Intracoastal Waterway. Beach spectators are strongly advised to not bring their own fireworks. With so many people, especially small children, individuals using fireworks can be extremely dangerous. Good weather brings estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 to the fireworks on Siesta Key. Fireworks at around 9 p.m. More info: (941) 349-3800. Click here for best places to watch from.
The Venice area fireworks are fired from the south Venice Jetty in the Venice Beach area and there are a number of good vantage points: anywhere along Venice Beach, Nokomis Beach, or from a boat on the Gulf of Mexico or anchored on the Intracoastal waterway, northeast of the Jetty on the water. Fireworks go up after sunset. Beach spectators are strongly advised to not bring their own fireworks. With so many people, especially small children, individuals using fireworks can be extremely dangerous. Arrive early as thousands line the beaches, jetty and surrounding waterways
Myakka River Kayak Festival and 4th of July Jam Blast
Check out the 3rd annual Myakka River Kayak Festival and 4th of July Jam Blast with kayaking, live music, and craft beers. Live musical entertainment will take place throughout the day with Steve Arvey from 11 a.m. – noon and George Worthmore from 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Kayak and canoe rentals will be available starting at 8 a.m. or you can bring your own. No cover charge for entrance.
Free admission. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Snook Haven, 5000 E. Venice Ave, Venice