I’ve got a handy list for you!
By Laura Knight
America’s birthday is coming up, how are you celebrating? I checked in with some neighborhood experts in Central and SW Florida to find out where the best events are happening, and as usual they delivered big time.
You may notice that the theme parks are not on my list. That was intentional. I think we all know how magical the theme park holiday events are, but I want to shine the spotlight on some smaller, but still amazing shindigs.
Let the sparks fly.
The Speedway has a full day of action planned for the Fourth and is eager to show off their #DaytonaRising progress. Tickets for the whole day start at $35, kids age 12 or younger cost $10. Live music starts at 4:15 p.m. and the race starts at 7:30 p.m. Free parking. 100 laps, 250 miles!
Here’s what Baldwin Park is doing so right: FREE shuttles! They leave from Fashion Square (which has plenty of parking) and run until 10:45 p.m. Food trucks, artisans, a beer garden, live music and more. Fireworks over Lake Baldwin start at 9:15 p.m. Free admission.
So maybe fireworks aren’t your thing … well, Enzian’s got you covered. For $20 you get beer, barbeque and a patriotic movie. This patriotic gathering is low key and just right. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.
- Fireworks across the Bay (St. Petersburg) – A WalletHub Top 10 pick! Bring your own chair and beach blanket.
- July 4 Fireworks Cruise (Tampa)
Tampa Water Taxi Co. offers firework cruises for $20. Bring your own food and drink (no glass, alcohol permitted). I suggest calling (813.900.3288) for complete details.
- Red, White, and Bohemian 4th of July (Celebration)
Lakeside Bar & Grill at the Grand Bohemian is offering a Star Spangled buffet that foodies are sure to love. Your buffet ticket also gets you VIP access to the lakeside terrace for fireworks viewing. Tickets are $32.95 (ages 12 and under $15.95). Check out the menu >> here.
- Charlotte Stone Crabs vs. Palm Beach Cardinals (Port Charlotte) Submitted by Tammy H.
Watch the Charlotte Stone Crabs play ball and then stay for the “best fireworks in Charlotte county”. More info >> here.
Events recommended by local Realtors®
(listed by county)
They never let us down – here’s a great list of July 4th festivities from all over Central and Southwest Florida, with some excellent insider tips.
- Laishley Park 4th Fest (Punta Gorda) Bring your own chairs & blankets, arrive early for waterfront spots, and ladies BYOTP – the ladies restroom supply always runs out!” -Nancy W.
- Englewood Firecracker Festival and Block Party – Presented by Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary, live music, 60 craft vendors. Definitely go to Dearborn Street for their live music and food. There are plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy. –Lynn B.
- More events in Charlotte County >> here.
- Avalon Park 4th of July – apple pie bake-off and fireworks, woo hoo!
- Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola (no SunRail service, but you can purchase a parking permit in advance).
- Winter Garden Party in the Park at Newton Park- live music, fireworks
- Sci-Fi 4th of July at Celebration Town Center – The event is free, park and ride service available from the 215 Celebration Place building, amazing fireworks and a special tribute to veterans. -Sheila P.
- July 4th Celebration at St. Cloud Lakefront Live music, air-boat rides, t-shirts
- Monumental 4th of July Celebration at Kissimmee Lakefront Park – Live music (Spin Doctors and Charlie Cruz), free parking
- City of Largo 4th of July – decorate your own t-shirt ($5), fireworks and more.
- Siesta Key 4th of July Fireworks at Siesta Beach – This is the 25th annual fireworks show at Siesta Beach. There is a VIP option before the show, learn more on their Facebook page. You can get a commemorative Tervis Tumbler® — what can I say? I love Tervis!
- Marina Jack PowerBoat Grand Prix Festival (Downtown Sarasota) – This 9-day festival kicks off on June 27 and wraps up July 6. With 30 race teams competing on July 4 & 5.
- Freedom Festival … psst there’s going to be a gladiator joust (North Port)
A full day in Venice Insider’s tips from Jim M. and Vickie H.
- Start with the Venice Farmer’s Market
- Tour the Historic Venice Train Depot
- Grab some lunch at the Snook Haven Myakka River Kayak Festival
- Fireworks at the South Jetty at 9pm
- Star Spangled Sanford on the Riverwalk at Lake Monroe – Side street parking will be available, bring your own blanket & chair, there is a splash fountain for kids. -Krista T.
- Gulfport’s July 4th Celebration at Gulfport Beach, trolley available. A good viewing spot is in the street by the Gulfport Casino, you can watch the fireworks just overhead. -Linda C.
- City of Oviedo Independence Day Celebration at the Oviedo Mall – Fireworks, live music.
- DeLand – City of DeLand Firecracker Festival at the new & improved Earl Brown Park
- Lake Helen –Parade and special equestrian show, fireworks at 9pm.