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Fourth of July events

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Ooh and ahh Wednesday evening as sparkly pyrotechnics pop over land and sea. From Punta Gorda to Palmetto, there are Independence Day fireworks extravaganzas, festivals and parades packing the calendar. Umbrellas optional, we can only hope.

The Fireworks Spectacular Over Sarasota Bay starts around 9 p.m., and viewing is free from anywhere downtown, including Bayfront and Island Parks. Part of the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix, the event is charity-based, and donation drop points are located at Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota. 371-8820, Ext. 1800; suncoastoffshore.org.

The 22nd annual Fourth of July Fireworks Display and Party on Siesta Key begins at 9:15 p.m., and free viewing is available from Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key Village, and along Crescent Beach (south of Siesta Public Beach). 349-3800; siestakeychamber.com.

Fireworks from the South Venice Jetty begin at sunset. Tarpon Center Drive will be open to local traffic only. Watch from Venice or Nokomis beaches. 486-2626; venicegov.com.

North Port High School’s Freedom Festival starts at 6 p.m. with family-friendly entertainment and food in the stadium. A fireworks display will follow at 9:05 p.m. 6400 W. Price Blvd., North Port. 429-7207; cityofnorthport.com.

Catch fireworks at 6 p.m. at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, along with live reggae tunes by Impulse, barbecue, beverages and face painting. Bring blankets and chairs. Admission is $17 for members, $20 for non-members, and free for children ages 11 and younger. 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. 366-5731; selby.org.

“Light Up Lemon Bay,” Englewood’s annual fireworks display, is part of the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Cajun Festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Garrett Park. The Gumbo Boogie Band and the Naples Dixieland Jazz Band will perform, and there will be arts and crafts. West Dearborn Street, Olde Englewood Village, Englewood. 468-3050; lemonbaysunriserotary.info.

The 26th annual Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular occurs after dark on Anna Maria Island, at the north end of the island. Viewing is free. 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. 778-8709; groupersandwich.com.

Smuggler’s Fourth of July Festival is an all-day event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with waterslides, bounce houses and live music. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 for the full day or $3 for fireworks only. Laishley Park, 120 Laishley Court, Punta Gorda. 628-0702; puntagordafireworks.com.

Three Dog Night

Palmetto’s Independence Day Celebration begins at 5 p.m. at Lamb and Sutton Park, with live entertainment by Three Dog Night, food, children’s activities and a fireworks display over the water near the Palmetto Fishing Pier around 9:30 p.m. Free. 700 10th Ave. W., Palmetto. Free. 723-4988; palmettocra.org.

The two-hour Anna Maria Island Privateers Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. from Coquina Beach, and continues along the entire length of Anna Maria Island to Bayfront Park. amiprivateers.memberlodge.org.

Longboat Key’s Freedom Fest starts at 9 a.m. in Bicentennial Park with a patriotic parade. Decorate your bike, wagon, pet or face. 2730 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. 387-9519; longboatkey.org.

Last modified: June 26, 2012
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