Where to see fireworks and other Fourth of July fun

Lucy and George Magembe of Tampa watch fireworks from the Bennigans at Channelside last year.

CARRIE PRATT | Times (2008)

Lucy and George Magembe of Tampa watch fireworks from the Bennigans at Channelside last year.

Pinellas

4th of July at the Pier

Includes live music by Cool Daddies (1-4 p.m.) and Save the Radio (5-8 p.m.), make your own music/dance CD with Dance Heads (for all ages), face painting, drum circle, appearances by George Washington (characters), fireworks (9 p.m.) and more. 1-11 p.m. Sat. Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Also, activities in North Straub Park include bounce houses and Rays staff with interactive games (4-9 p.m.) and live music featuring Suite Caroline (5:30 p.m.), Due West (6:45 p.m.) and Krista Marie (8 p.m.). Free. (727) 821-6443.

Fireworks on St. Pete Beach

Bring your blankets and a picnic basket. The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce fireworks display begins at dusk (they estimate approximately 9 p.m.). Sat. St. Pete Beach Park, 4600 Gulf Blvd. Free. (727) 360-6957.

Beach Blast on Treasure Island

A two-day holiday festival featuring family events including beach blanket bingo, children's activities, kite flying demos, live music by Upfront (Fri.-Sat.), Suncoast Dixieland Jazz Band (Sat.) and Motel Funk (Sat.) and a fireworks grand finale (Sat. only). All events take place on the beach behind the hotel. 5-9 p.m. Fri.; noon-9 p.m. Sat. Bazzies Beach Bar at the Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. Free. (727) 360-4121; www.bilmarbeachresort.com.

Safety Harbor July Fourth

Celebration features family activities area with carnival games, inflatables, a rock wall climbing and DJ music all set on the lawn of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. Fireworks display at 9 p.m. 5-9 p.m. Sat. Safety Harbor, along Bayshore Boulevard at the City Marina, Safety Harbor. Free. (727) 724-1572.

Concert and Fireworks in Dunedin

An Independence Day celebration with a Parrot Head Party twist. Music by the De Lei'ed Parrots; children's entertainer Shana Banana. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Tropical attire suggested. 6 p.m. Fri. Knology Park, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 812-4531. www.dunedingov.com.

Gulfport Fireworks and Fourth Celebration

The Gulfport community holiday celebration includes a Kids' Fishing Derby (8-11 a.m.), Family "Red, White and Blue" themed sandcastle contest (10 a.m.-noon), a car show (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), kids' activities (noon-6 p.m.), community parade (5:45-6:30 p.m.), music by 60's Groove (5 p.m.), arts, crafts, food vendors and fireworks (9 p.m.). 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. Downtown, waterfront area, Gulfport. Free. (727) 893-1118.

4th of July Largo

Largo's salute features DJ music, festival foods and a fireworks spectacular (9 p.m.). No alcohol, pets or personal fireworks. 7-10 p.m. Sat. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. Free. (727) 587-6740.

Clearwater Celebrates America

Clearwater's Independence Day celebration with music by the Mostly Pops Orchestra and John and Mary K. Wilson (7:30 p.m.), craft show, children's activities, food and drink concessions and fireworks (9:30 p.m.). 4 p.m. Sat. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. Free. (727) 562-4700.

Fireworks Cruise, Clearwater

Take a high-speed water sightseeing/thrill ride. Then, watch Clearwater's annual fireworks display from the deck of the Sea Screamer speedboat. 8-10 p.m. Sat. Clearwater Beach Marina at Sea Screamer, 25 Causeway Blvd. $35, $25 children. (727) 447-7200.

Freedom Fest, Pinellas Park

With live Christian music (Fri.), food, crafts, kids' activities, fireworks display (Fri.) and laser show (Sat.). Also, the Post 9/11 Foundation from New York City will kick off its "Follow the Flag Tour" that will continue through the United States leading up to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 to recognize the anniversary and honor all the lost heroes (Sat.). 2-10 p.m. Fri.; noon-10 p.m. Sat. Town Square Plaza Park, 5120 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. Free. (727) 487-3767.

Hillsborough

Fireworks at Channelside

A 20-minute fireworks display launched from a barge in Garrison Channel that's visible all along the waterfront. Also, live music, vendors and kids' activities. 9 p.m. Sat. Channelside district, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 471-1531. channelsidebayplaza.com. You can also see the Channelside fireworks at the following nearby events:

• 4th at the Florida Aquarium

The Aquarium extends its hours until 9:30 p.m. for fireworks viewing and lowers the admission charge to $10 after 3 p.m. Sat. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $19.95, $16.95 seniors, $14.95 ages 3-12. (813) 273-4000; flaquarium.org.

• Holiday Surprise from the History Center

Escape the heat while you're waiting for the holiday fireworks with free admission to the Tampa Bay History Center. The museum also will extend its hours so visitors can view the 9 p.m. launch of the Channelside fireworks from Cotanchobee Park. Galleries open until 8:30 p.m. Lykes Atrium and Columbia Cafe open until 10 p.m. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. Free (Sat. only). (813) 228-0097.

• 4th of July Family FunFest

The former wartime cargo carrier SS American Victory offers a celebration including hamburgers, hotdogs, snacks, drinks, face painting, arts and crafts for kids, watermelon-eating contest, life ring toss and more. View Channelside fireworks at 9 p.m. 5 p.m. Sat. SS American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $10, $5 ages 4-16 (includes food). (813) 228-8766; americanvictory.org.

3rd (or is it 4th?) of July Fireworks Show at Jackson's

Two areas of Top 40 and '80s and '90s music, food and fireworks from a barge in front of Jackson's Bistro (fireworks are at 1 a.m., so it's officially the Fourth of July!) The celebration benefits the Children's Home. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Fri. Jackson's Bistro, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. $10, $25 at the door. (813) 265-1234; www.jacksonsbistro.com.

Independence Day at Busch Gardens

The Summer Nights extended-hours series featuring more coaster rides, street parties, special entertainment, dancing and more adds two nights of live headliner music and fireworks featuring David Cassidy (Fri.) and Starship starring Mickey Thomas (Sat.). Gwazi Park gates open at 6:30 p.m. Headliners take the stage at 8 p.m. Fireworks immediately follow the shows. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. $69.95, $59.95 ages 3-9. Toll-Free 1-888-800-5447; buschgardens.com.

Brandon Blast

A two-day event with bouncy houses, kids' fitness zone, punt and pass competitions, professional and amateur rib competition, fireworks (9 p.m. Sat. only) and more. Event takes place in the field next to Sears. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sat.; Noon-6 p.m. Sun. Westfield Brandon mall, 459 Brandon Town Center. Free admission; fee for food, some games. (813) 661-6255.

4th of July Fireworks at Temple Terrace

Performance by the Florida Wind Band (8 p.m.) precedes the annual fireworks spectacular (9 p.m.). 8 p.m. Sat. Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, 200 Inverness Ave., Temple Terrace. Free. (813) 989-7004.

North Suncoast

Nature Coast Freedom Fest 2009

Hernando County's Independence Day Celebration with a talent show by area winners, family fun zone including inflatables, petting zoo, safe boxing and more, food vendors, music by Bird Songs, Lindsay Taylor and Rodney Atkins and a fireworks finale. Gates open at 3 p.m. 3:30-9 p.m. Fri. Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, Brooksville. $5. Parking: $5 (352) 799-0687; naturecoastff.com.

Old-Fashioned Patriotic Festival

Citrus County's Hometown Independence Day celebration features music, children's activities and games, food for purchase, the Firecracker 5K and 1-mile walk and fireworks that begin at dusk. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. No pets or personal fireworks permitted. 5-10 p.m. Fri. Wallace Brooks Park, 399 E Dampier St., Inverness. Free. (352) 726-3913; www.inverness-fl.gov.

First Americana Music Fest

Live music, food, drinks, craft and art vendors and big fireworks display. The music festival is a benefit for the Angelus. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Angelus, 12413 Hudson Ave., Hudson. $7.50; parking: $2 (727) 856-1775.

Sparklebration

Pasco's old-fashioned family celebration with Elvis tribute, entertainment by Dan Story and the Sez Who Band, watermelon, hotdog and apple pie eating contests, Marcus Magic Show, pony rides, petting zoo, food court and more. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Chairs and blankets okay; no personal fireworks, pets, alcohol or coolers. 4 p.m. Sat. Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. $3, ages 10 and younger free. Parking $5. (352) 567-6678; www.sparklebration.com.

Other events

Tropical Fourth of July

Celebration features a patriotic attire contest and viewing of community fireworks display along the bayfront. Food for purchase. No coolers, food or beverages may be brought in. 6 p.m. Sat. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave., Sarasota. $18, 12 and younger free; $15 members. (941) 366-5731. selby.org.

4th of July VIP Fireworks Celebration

Buffet dinner, live music, dancing and your choice of air-conditioned VIP or front-row outdoor deck fireworks viewings. 6:30 p.m. Sat. Mattison's Riverside, 1200 First Ave. W, Twin Dolphin Marina, Bradenton. $49.95 (includes dinner buffet). (941) 748-8087.

Where to see fireworks and other Fourth of July fun 07/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 3:28pm]

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