July 4th Festivities

July 4th Festivities

July 4th Festivities

Fireworks viewing guide By Wade Tatangelo , Herald-Tribune Fireworks over Sarasota Bay HT 2013
Fireworks explode over Sarasota Bay during last year's Fourth of July celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. (Herald-Tribune staff photo by Dan Wagner)
Every year glorious explosions light up the skies of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties in celebration of Independence Day. This year, concerts and other fun stuff are also part of the festivities taking place Thursday and Friday. From beaches to ballparks, from Palmetto to Punta Gorda, here are the best places to behold some patriotic pyrotechnics. Sarasota Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular
Watch the fireworks within walking distance of all the restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters of bustling downtown Sarasota. The display will be launched from a boat anchored on Sarasota Bay around dusk. Benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children, the show is privately funded and will be focused on charity.
9 p.m. Friday; Marina Jack; 2 Marina Plaza; Sarasota; 955-0991; visitsarasota.org.
Tropical 4th of July Celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Those looking to enjoy the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular in style will want to check out the party being thrown at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Guest will be entertained by the classic reggae sounds of Impulse during a pre-Bayfront show. There will also be a selection of outdoor fare and beverages available for purchase along with activities and entertainment for children of all ages. Attendees are asked to bring folding chairs and lawn blankets for prime fireworks viewing, but no coolers.
6 pm Friday; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave.
Sarasota; $17 (members), $20 (non-members), free for children age 11 and younger; 366-5731; selby.org.
Fireworks Celebration on Siesta Beach
Before and after checking out the numerous hot spots on and around Ocean Boulevard, enjoy the 24th annual Fourth of July fireworks display over Siesta Key. It can be viewed from the Gulf, Intercoastal and, in particular, south Siesta Beach.
9 p.m. Friday; Siesta Key Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota; 955-0991; visitsarasota.org.
fireworks srq
Fireworks over Sarasota Bay. H-T Archive
Fourth of July VIP Party
Ever wonder who pays for all those rockets' red glare over Siesta Key? In support of the annual fireworks display, the vast majority of the cost comes from the VIP package participants. With this package comes reserved on-site parking on Siesta Beach, an on-site catered picnic for two, drinks, a preferred viewing area for the fireworks display, and acknowledgement in the event advertising. For more information, contact the Chamber at 349-3800 or email Chastanna@siestakeychamber.com for prices and availability.
5:30-9 p.m. Friday; Siesta Key Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota
North Port Freedom Festival
Sarasota singer Chris Eisenberg, who became famous at age 12 as "Lil Chris" while competing on "America's Got Talent" in 2010, will perform at 8 p.m. as the opening act for the 9 p.m. fireworks. Local rock band Adrenaline Junkies kicks things off followed by opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. There will also be food and vendor booths, a family activity area as well as an obstacle course and tropical slide.
6 p.m. Friday; North Port High School, 6400 W Price Blvd., North Port, 955-0991; visitsarasota.org.
Venice's Fourth of July Fireworks Display
Whether at Sharky's on the Pier (1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice; 488-1456; sharkysonthepier.com) or just a spot in the famous sand, you'll have a sweet view of this always-impressive display. Shortly after sunset, fireworks will be shot off the South Jetty for viewing pleasure from Venice Beach and the Nokomis North Jetty. The south jetty will be closed all day Friday.
9 p.m. Friday; Venice Beach; 999-1415; venicegov.com.
Scotty McCreery by Russ Harrington
Scotty McCreery by Russ Harrington
Manatee Palmetto 4th of July
Props to Palmetto for throwing an Independence Day bash that not only features first-rate fireworks viewable from both side of the Manatee River but a proven pop star on the rise headlining a free show. Scotty McCreery, the country singer who won "American Idol" three years ago and has since had hits with the songs "I Love You This Big, "The Trouble with Girls" and "See You Tonight," will perform 4 p.m. Friday at Sutton Park, 6th Street West and 10th Avenue West, Palmetto. The Jake Castro Band and Goodbye Eddie open the show. Following McCreery's free performance (there's also a $5 VIP section at stage front), attendees are invited to stroll south to the Historic Green Bridge Fishing Pier on the Manatee River to watch the fireworks being launched at 9 p.m. These same explosions in the sky will also be viewable from most spots along the Bradenton Riverwalk (452 3rd Ave. W.).
4 p.m. Friday; Sutton Park and Historic Green Bridge Fishing Pier; Palmetto; 723-4570; palmettofl.org.
Fireworks Extravaganza at BeachHouse
Who's ready to get the party started early? On Thursday, The BeachHouse Restaurant will blast fireworks off Anna Maria Island for the entertainment of its patrons (call about party packages, reservations, etc.) and everyone else who gathers for this dazzling display on Bradenton Beach.
8 p.m. Thursday; BeacHhouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach; 779-2222; beachhouse.groupersandwich.com.
Fireworks Spectacular at Sandbar
Also part of the Chiles Restaurant Group that owns BeachHouse, Sandbar's 28th annual Fireworks Spectacular promises to be just as potent as in years past. Same as with BeachHouse, it's ideal to call ahead and reserve a table but watching in the sand (gratis) is a fine option, too.
8 p.m. Friday; Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria; 778-8709; sandbar.groupersandwich.com
Firworks Manatee
Fireworks explode in the skies over Manatee River in Manatee County. (July 4, 2013, Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas Bender)
Bradenton Marauders Celebration of America
Patriotic combos don't get much, if any, better than baseball and fireworks. Beer specials? Southern rock? Even better. Kick off Independence Day early at McKechnie Field where the Bradenton Marauders are playing the Fort Myers Miracle followed by a fireworks display and concert by Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Nuthin' Fancy. Being a "Thirsty Thursday" sponsored by Budweiser, there will also be $1 select beers and $1 small sodas.
6:30 p.m. Thursday; McKechnie Field, 1611 9th St. W., Bradenton; $6-$8; 747-3031; bradentonmarauders.com.
Charlotte Fireworks and Stone Crabs
The Charlotte Stone Crabs take the field at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against the St. Lucie Mets and are offering special packages for Independence Day. The Family Pack for $40 consists of four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas and for $15 the Classic Cookout package includes a reserved level ticket and all-you-can-eat picnic. Fireworks display begins immediately afterthe game.
6:30 p.m. Thursday; Charlotte Sports Park; 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte; 206-4487; stonecrabsbaseball.com.
Fourth of July Celebration at Fishermen’s Village Waterfront Mall
Fishermen’s Village will host their annual Fourth of July Celebration on Friday beginning with welcoming Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim participants at 9 a.m. Family-friendly activities can be enjoyed 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and live music with the Sarasota-based Garbage Men from noon to 3 p.m. and The Kollections 5–9 p.m. The evening ends with the fireworks finale over Charlotte Harbor at 9 p.m.
1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda; 639-8721; www.fishville.com.
Englewood Firecracker Festival
Englewood’s Dearborn Street will be a happening spot of patriotic, family fun Friday when the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club hosts the Englewood Firecracker Festival. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a music lineup that begins with Kate Keys and continues through the day with Ellie Lee and Blues Fury as well as The Mulch Brothers. Vendors will serve hot dogs, hamburgers and pulled pork and there will a beer tent along with other chilled beverages. Fireworks over Lemon Bay are anticipated to begin around 9 p.m. Admission is free.
Dearborn Street, Englewood, lemonbaysunriserotary.com.
For additional Fourth of July activities in Charlotte County, visit charlotteHarborTravel.com.
Fireworks viewing guideBy Wade Tatangelo  Herald-Tribune Fireworks over Sarasota Bay HT 2013Fireworks explode over Sarasota Bay during last years Fourth of July celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota Herald-Tribune staff photo by Dan WagnerEvery year glorious explosions light up the skies of Sarasota Manatee and Charlotte counties in celebration of Independence Day This year concerts and other fun stuff are also part of the festivities taking place Thursday and Friday From beaches to ballparks from Palmetto to Punta Gorda here are the best places to behold some patriotic pyrotechnicsSarasotaBayfront Fireworks Spectacular Watch the fireworks within walking distance of all the restaurants bars nightclubs and theaters of bustling downtown Sarasota The display will be launched from a boat anchored on Sarasota Bay around dusk Benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children the show is privately funded and will be focused on charity9 pm Friday Marina Jack 2 Marina Plaza Sarasota 955-0991 visitsarasotaorgTropical 4th of July Celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Those looking to enjoy the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular in style will want to check out the party being thrown at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Guest will be entertained by the classic reggae sounds of Impulse during a pre-Bayfront show There will also be a selection of outdoor fare and beverages available for purchase along with activities and entertainment for children of all ages Attendees are asked to bring folding chairs and lawn blankets for prime fireworks viewing but no coolers6 pm Friday Marie Selby Botanical Gardens  811 S Palm Ave Sarasota 17 members 20 non-members free for children age 11 and younger 366-5731 selbyorgFireworks Celebration on Siesta Beach Before and after checking out the numerous hot spots on and around Ocean Boulevard enjoy the 24th annual Fourth of July fireworks display over Siesta Key It can be viewed from the Gulf Intercoastal and in particular south Siesta Beach9 pm Friday Siesta Key Public Beach 948 Beach Road Sarasota 955-0991 visitsarasotaorgfireworks srqFireworks over Sarasota Bay H-T ArchiveFourth of July VIP Party Ever wonder who pays for all those rockets red glare over Siesta Key In support of the annual fireworks display the vast majority of the cost comes from the VIP package participants With this package comes reserved on-site parking on Siesta Beach an on-site catered picnic for two drinks a preferred viewing area for the fireworks display and acknowledgement in the event advertising For more information contact the Chamber at 349-3800 or email Chastannasiestakeychambercom for prices and availability530-9 pm Friday Siesta Key Public Beach 948 Beach Road SarasotaNorth Port Freedom Festival Sarasota singer Chris Eisenberg who became famous at age 12 as Lil Chris while competing on Americas Got Talent in 2010 will perform at 8 pm as the opening act for the 9 pm fireworks Local rock band Adrenaline Junkies kicks things off followed by opening ceremonies at 7 pm There will also be food and vendor booths a family activity area as well as an obstacle course and tropical slide6 pm Friday North Port High School 6400 W Price Blvd North Port 955-0991 visitsarasotaorgVenices Fourth of July Fireworks Display Whether at Sharkys on the Pier 1600 Harbor Drive S Venice 488-1456 sharkysonthepiercom or just a spot in the famous sand youll have a sweet view of this always-impressive display  Shortly after sunset fireworks will be shot off the South Jetty for viewing pleasure from Venice Beach and the Nokomis North Jetty The south jetty will be closed all day Friday9 pm Friday Venice Beach 999-1415 venicegovcomScotty McCreery by Russ HarringtonScotty McCreery by Russ HarringtonManateePalmetto 4th of July Props to Palmetto for throwing an Independence Day bash that not only features first-rate fireworks viewable from both side of the Manatee River but a proven pop star on the rise headlining a free show Scotty McCreery the country singer who won American Idol three years ago and has since had hits with the songs I Love You This Big The Trouble with Girls and See You Tonight will perform 4 pm Friday at Sutton Park 6th Street West and 10th Avenue West Palmetto The Jake Castro Band and Goodbye Eddie open the show Following McCreerys free performance theres also a 5 VIP section at stage front attendees are invited to stroll south to the Historic Green Bridge Fishing Pier on the Manatee River to watch the fireworks being launched at 9 pm These same explosions in the sky will also be viewable from most spots along the Bradenton Riverwalk 452 3rd Ave W4 pm Friday Sutton Park and Historic Green Bridge Fishing Pier Palmetto 723-4570 palmettoflorgFireworks Extravaganza at BeachHouse  Whos ready to get the party started early On Thursday The BeachHouse Restaurant will blast fireworks off Anna Maria Island for the entertainment of its patrons call about party packages reservations etc and everyone else who gathers for this dazzling display on Bradenton Beach8 pm Thursday BeacHhouse Restaurant 200 Gulf Drive Bradenton Beach 779-2222 beachhousegroupersandwichcomFireworks Spectacular at Sandbar Also part of the Chiles Restaurant Group that owns BeachHouse Sandbars 28th annual Fireworks Spectacular promises to be just as potent as in years past Same as with BeachHouse its ideal to call ahead and reserve a table but watching in the sand gratis is a fine option too8 pm Friday Sandbar Restaurant 100 Spring Ave Anna Maria 778-8709 sandbargroupersandwichcomFirworks ManateeFireworks explode in the skies over Manatee River in Manatee County July 4 2013 Herald-Tribune Staff Photo by Thomas BenderBradenton Marauders Celebration of America Patriotic combos dont get much if any better than baseball and fireworks Beer specials Southern rock Even better Kick off Independence Day early at McKechnie Field where the Bradenton Marauders are playing the Fort Myers Miracle followed by a fireworks display and concert by Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Nuthin Fancy Being a Thirsty Thursday sponsored by Budweiser there will also be 1 select beers and 1 small sodas630 pm Thursday McKechnie Field 1611 9th St W Bradenton 6-8 747-3031 bradentonmarauderscomCharlotteFireworks and Stone Crabs The Charlotte Stone Crabs take the field at 630 pm Thursday against the St Lucie Mets and are offering special packages for Independence Day The Family Pack for 40 consists of four tickets four hot dogs and four sodas and for 15 the Classic Cookout package includes a reserved level ticket and all-you-can-eat picnic Fireworks display begins immediately afterthe game630 pm Thursday Charlotte Sports Park 2300 El Jobean Road Port Charlotte 206-4487 stonecrabsbaseballcomFourth of July Celebration at Fishermens Village Waterfront Mall Fishermens Village will host their annual Fourth of July Celebration on Friday beginning with welcoming Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim participants at 9 am Family-friendly activities can be enjoyed 11 am-4 pm and live music with the Sarasota-based Garbage Men from noon to 3 pm and The Kollections 59 pm The evening ends with the fireworks finale over Charlotte Harbor at 9 pm1200 W Retta Esplanade Punta Gorda 639-8721 wwwfishvillecomEnglewood Firecracker Festival Englewoods Dearborn Street will be a happening spot of patriotic family fun Friday when the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club hosts the Englewood Firecracker Festival Festivities begin at 10 am with a music lineup that begins with Kate Keys and continues through the day with Ellie Lee and Blues Fury as well as The Mulch Brothers Vendors will serve hot dogs hamburgers and pulled pork and there will a beer tent along with other chilled beverages Fireworks over Lemon Bay are anticipated to begin around 9 pm Admission is freeDearborn Street Englewood lemonbaysunriserotarycomFor additional Fourth of July activities in Charlotte County visit charlotteHarborTravelcom
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