Looking for fireworks and fun on July 4th? If you live in Charlotte, Sarasota or Manatee county we have you covered:
Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay starts at 9 p.m. (for more information contact Marina Jack at 365-4232).
Siesta Key’s 23rd annual 4th of July Fireworks Display and Party blasts off around 9:15 p.m. north of the volleyball courts.
Venice’s fireworks start at 9 p.m. and will be shot from the South Jetty, visible from area beaches and other locations in the area.
Anna Maria Island Privateers’ annual 4th of July Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Coquina Beach and ends at Bayfront Park.
The Chiles Group Independence Day celebration will showcase two days of fireworks starting at the BeacHhouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. On Wednesday, July 3, the BeacHhouse will hold its 20th annual Fireworks Extravaganza. The grand finale is at the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, on Thursday, July 4. This is the 27th Annual Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular.
The Village People (read my interview with cop/lead singer Ray Simpson) with opening act The Guess Who will perform a free concert sponsored by the City of Palmetto at Sutton Park Pavilion, 6th Street West and 10th Avenue West, starting around 5 p.m. At the end of the show, guests are encouraged to take a short walk down to the Manatee River to enjoy a fireworks display that starts around 9:30 p.m. It will also be visible from Bradenton Riverwalk.
In North Port, the 10th annual Freedom Festival at North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Boulevard, North Port, starts at 6 p.m., with fireworks taking off at 9. Englewood’s Cajun Fest on Dearborn Street gets going at 11 a.m., with fireworks around 9.
In Charlotte County, there will be the 21st Annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim. Participants will swim from the beach at the north end of the southbound U.S. 41 Bridge to Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda.
In Englewood, the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club will host a Cajun Festival at the end of Dearborn Street starting at 11 a.m. with food, music and fun from Louisiana. The "Light up Lemon Bay" fireworks show starts at 9 p.m.
In Punta Gorda, Laishley Park will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., featuring water slides, live music and food vendors. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m
Orioles vs. Red Sox – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday (July 4). The Gulf Coast League rivals will play at Ed Smith Stadium Complex backfields. Free and open to the public. 2700 12th St., Sarasota. 893-6300.
The First Brass, Florida Brass and the Jacobites Pipe & Drum Band – 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday (July 4). Free. Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota.
Selby Gardens’ annual Tropical 4th of July Celebration features a fireworks display at Island Park, laid-back live music from Impulse and a variety of outdoor fare, including barbecue, popcorn and ice cream. 6 p.m. until the fireworks end, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota. Tickets are $17 for members, $20 for non-members and member guests. Admission is free for children age 11 and younger, but tickets are required. Guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs and beach blankets for prime fireworks viewing, but no coolers please. Tickets can be reserved online or purchased at the Welcome Center.