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By Rebecca Fending
Fourth of July is the ultimate summer celebration throughout the country. Barbecue, drinks, friends and family all gather in one place for festive fun in the sun. If you’re looking for events and festivals in your area to help you celebrate this weekend, here are just a few that are sure to be a blast.
Fourth of July Celebrations by Area
- Zephyrhills Summerfest: The 6th annual Zephyrhills Summerfest is set for July 4, from 12 pm to 9:30 pm at Zephyr Lake Park, Zephyrhills. This free celebration includes fireworks, a vendor market, food trucks, games, giveaways and fireworks at dark. Bring your own chairs or a blanket and camp out on the shore as you celebrate the 4th! Visit their Facebook page or call 727-647-1464 for more information.
- July 4th Boat Parade and Blessing of the Fleet: Join your community at the Tampa Bay Riverwalk for this inaugural July 4th celebration. The parade route will be similar to our holiday light boat parade but will include three blessing stations. The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began years ago but is still practiced in many fishing and boating communities around the world to ensure a safe and bountiful season. The boat parade will be followed by fireworks displays at multiple locations. For more information, visit the event website here.
- 4th of July Parade in Safety Harbor: The American Legion Auxiliary will host a patriotic parade down Main Street on the morning of July 4th. Following the parade will be a one hour ceremony, followed by free snow cones, popcorn, cookies, juice and water, stars for veterans, live music. For more information, call 813-230-9254.
- 4th of July Red, White & Boom in Clermont: This free celebration will take place from 7 pm to 10 pm in Waterfront Park. Food trucks, DJ music and ending with fireworks over Lake Minneola at 9:15 pm. Viewing sites include Waterfront Park and Victory Pointe. For more information, visit the Clermont website.
- Freedom on the Waterfront in Mount Dora: This family-friendly, free event has expanded to two large parks to honor social distancing while honoring our nation. The event will take place on Saturday, July 3, from 4 to 9 pm. There will be food trucks, live music, vendors and fireworks as the grand finale to the festival. Guests are welcome to find a spot at Elizabeth Evans Park and Gilbert Park, downtown Mount Dora.
- Independence Day Parade in Leesburg: This free & fun-filled 4th of July celebration at The Lakefront (Ski Beach). The festivities officially kick off at 6 pm, but the opening ceremony at the Lightning Baseball Game starts at 5 pm. All sorts of festive foods will be available and fun vendors. At 7:30, catch an amazing water ski show followed by the Largest Fireworks display in Lake County at 9 pm. It’s great viewing from all around Venetian Cove or from your own boat at the Boat Tailgate Party located between Monkey Island and the boat ramp at Venetian Cove Marina. Visit the website for more information.
- The Bistro at the Sarasota Art Museum: If you’re looking for unique and delicious eats to celebrate Independence Day, look no further. After taking in the artwork at the museum, guests will be able to sip on a Strawberry Bourbon Bramble while enjoying The Bistro Dog, a hotdog topped with house made pickled relish, sauerkraut and Stoneground Mustard and will finish off with a Strawberry Shortcake made with macerated local strawberries and Chantilly cream for dessert. Guests can also take their drink to go with a special Sarasota Art Museum branded Koozie! For more info, visit the website.
- Siesta Key Community Fireworks: See fireworks this year on the island! The 30th Annual Community 4th of July Fireworks! Sponsorships of $500 or more include seating in the preferred viewing area, parking, free beverages and snacks. The viewing area opens at 6 pm on July 4 and fireworks start at dusk. Learn more at the Siesta Key Chamber website.
- All-American Cookout at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: On July 4 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm, celebrate at the bayfront sanctuary. Savor all-American favorites available for purchase, and, of course, enjoy the City of Sarasota fireworks! Selby Gardens Members admission cost is $25, non-members is $35, children 12 and younger $10 and 3 and under free. For tickets, visit the botanical gardens website.
- Fishermen’s Village Independence Weekend Celebration in Punta Gorda: Happening July 3 and 4 from 12 to 9 pm, celebrate our nation’s Independence at Fishermen’s Village. This two-day family friendly celebration will feature music, kids activities, vendors, shopping/dining and a gigantic fireworks display presented by Fishermen’s Village on Saturday, July 3, at 9 pm!
- Freedom Fest Fireworks in North Port: The City of North Port invites the community to enjoy a special fireworks-only display for Independence Day. Attendees will be invited to park in the lots at North Port High School, Heron Creek Middle School and at Butler Park. Parking will open at 6 pm and mobile food vendors will be available on site. Attendees are invited to view the show from their vehicles or parking spaces. Individuals will also be able to bring their chairs or blankets to claim physically distanced spaces designated on the grass at the Butler Park fields. Attendees can enjoy the music for the show by tuning in to WKDW 97.5 FM. The display is expected to end around 9:30 pm. Get more information and updates at the City of North Port event website.
- July 4th Fireworks Cruise with Pure Florida in Naples: Pure Florida will be offering families a unique way to celebrate Independence Day in Southwest Florida with on-the-water views of the fireworks show after sunset while enjoying the natural beauty of our coastal waterways and observing the wildlife native to the region. The Fireworks cruise will depart Naples at 7 pm on July 4. Learn more at Paradise Coast.
- Clearwater Celebrates America: This event kicks off at 7 pm and will conclude with a dazzling, music-choreographed fireworks show at 9:15 pm (subject to change). Attendees can celebrate America’s birthday in style with the largest fireworks display in stadium history, a star-studded concert by The Black Honkeys Band and fun activities and giveaways for kids of all ages. All-American culinary concessions, such as hamburgers, hot dogs and popcorn, will be available on-site for purchase, as well as adult beverages. Event tickets are $5. Purchase your tickets here.
- Cape Coral Red, White & Boom Celebration: This annual Independence Day event takes place at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge on Cape Coral Parkway on July 4, starting at 5 pm. The event will feature live music and over 60 vendors offering food, drinks, novelty items, arts and crafts, and drawings for free giveaways throughout the night. Tickets for Patriot Park time slots are available for purchase online or by calling. The City of Cape Coral American Fireworks Spectacular begins at 9:30 pm. For tickets and information, visit Cape Boom.
- Fourth of July Fireworks Show in Venice: For our Venice readers, enjoy your local fireworks show shot from South Jetty on July 4 at 9 pm. Although the South Jetty and Jetty Jacks Refreshment Deck will be closed to the public for safety July 3 and 4, the fireworks display on Independence Day may be viewed on area beaches from Caspersen to Nokomis, as well as from other locations around Venice. Arrive early to secure your spot. Visit the Venice website for more information.