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HAVE A BLAST!

Channelside Fourth of July

Tampa's Channelside District shows its true colors with this Independence Day celebration, including fireworks over the water. Entertainment begins at noon with kids' activities all day. Fireworks choreographed to music will be launched off a barge in Garrison Channel at 9 p.m. Good viewing locations include Channelside Bay Plaza, Yacht StarShip, the Florida Aquarium (which is offering $10 admission after 3 p.m. and will keep its second floor deck and Explore-a-Shore open until after the fireworks), Harbour Island, Bayshore Boulevard, Cotanchobee Park, the SS American Victory, Marriott Waterside Hotel, Tampa Bay History Center and the St. Pete Times Forum. Noon-9 p.m. Monday. Free. Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 223-4250.

St. Petersburg Pier Fourth of July

The Pier will be the base of operations for downtown St. Petersburg's Fourth of July festivities, but the fireworks set to go off at 9 p.m. can be seen from most of the city's waterfront parks. There will be live music off and on between 11:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. Inside, you can get your face, arms or back painted (noon to 9 p.m.) and see various entertainment. Pier Dolphin Cruises is offering a three-hour fireworks viewing cruise for $35 from 7 to 10 p.m. And in case you haven't heard, there's a planned flash mob set to Katy Perry's Firework at 8:55 p.m. If you're interested in participating, the organizers will have a practice session at 10 a.m. Saturday in Albert Whitted Park. See their Facebook page for more info, or Google St. Pete Firework Flash Mob. The Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-6443. 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday.

TradeWinds flag mosaic

The TradeWinds will once again use 975 colored towels to create a giant 13-star flag mosaic along the beach. Guests will lay down the towels to form a mosaic of the original flag, while 13 younger guests staying in the hotel will pose as the stars on the flag, representing the original 13 colonies, according to a news release. It starts at 9 a.m. Monday and is free, but you'll have to park in public lots if you're not a resort guest. The flag will stay on the beach until 1 p.m., weather permitting. The resort also is collecting donations for care packages to be sent to troops, at the hotel's activity center throughout the weekend. The TradeWinds Island Grand is at 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach; (727) 367-6461.

Fireworks

Brandon Blast The restaurant courtyard will be filled with live music, family entertainment and dining. Everyone can register to win a $1,000 shopping spree. The day ends with a fireworks show. 5 to 9 p.m. Monday. Free. Brandon Westfield Town Center Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center, Brandon. (813) 661-5100.

Pinellas Park Freedom Fest Pinellas Park's Fourth of July event has landed a big name in country music, Darryl Worley. The Tennessee singer is best known for his 9/11 lament, Have You Forgotten? and for the lively Awful, Beautiful Life. The festivities also include more live music, a family fun zone and a fireworks finale. Noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free. Town Square Plaza Park, 5120 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park. (727) 967-4031.

Clearwater Celebrates America The city's annual Independence Day celebration will feature a patriotic concert by the Mostly Pops Orchestra with John, Mary K. and Paul Wilson (7:30 p.m.), fireworks (9:30 p.m.), children's activities and food and drink concessions. Gates open at 4 p.m. Monday. No alcoholic beverages, glass containers or bottles, umbrellas, pets or personal fireworks allowed. Free. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. (727) 562-4700.

Clearwater Threshers Watch the Threshers take on Lakeland and stick around for postgame fireworks. 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. $5-$9. Bright House Networks Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. (727) 467-4467.

Dade City Sparklebration Star-Spangled Spectacular With Tony the Balloon Guy, bounce houses, jumpers, slides, carnival games, watermelon, apple pie and hot-dog-eating contests, pony rides, an Elvis impersonator, face painting, a hypnotist, American flag sky-dive drop-in and a fireworks finale. No coolers, alcohol, pets or personal fireworks. 4 p.m. Monday. $5, 12 and younger free, $5 parking. Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 SR 52, Dade City. (352) 567-6678.

Gulfport's Fourth of July Celebration The day starts with a Kid's Fishing Derby casting off from the seawall adjacent to the recreation center at 8 a.m. Also, family sand castle contest at 10 a.m. on the beach, children's activities area, annual auto show (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and live music. A parade on Beach Boulevard kicks off at 6 p.m., with a fireworks finale at 9 p.m. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. Free. Beach Boulevard, Gulfport. (727) 893-1118.

Hometown USA at Dunedin Stadium Cheer on the Dunedin Blue Jays as they face the Daytona Cubs Saturday with children's activities and a fireworks finale. Tickets are $6. 6 p.m. On Sunday, the Blue Jays take on the Cubs with live music by the Greg Billings Band, children's activities and a fireworks finale. 4 p.m. This game is free, but a complimentary ticket must be picked up at the box office. Both at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (Dunedin Stadium), 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. (727) 812-4530.

Largo Fourth of July Celebration Includes live music, activities, food vendors, the "Community Event Friends" vendor area and fireworks. 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday. Free (limited $5 parking available). Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014.

Madeira Beach Fireworks Launched off the recreation center ball fields and over the water, the display is viewable from either side of the Madeira Beach Causeway. 8:30 p.m. Monday. Free. (727) 391-3400.

Tampa Yankees The Yankees face the Brevard Manatees and celebrate Independence Day with postgame fireworks. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $4-$6. George M. Steinbrenner Field, One Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. (813) 673-3055.

Temple Terrace Fireworks The Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club's first fairway booms with entertainment beginning at 7 p.m. Monday with '50s and '60s music and songs from the musical Cinderella by Masque Community Theatre. Fireworks at 9 p.m. 200 Inverness Ave., Temple Terrace. Free; donations to support fireworks supply appreciated. (813) 989-7004.

Treasure Island Rockin' Red Glare Featuring live music, a movie on the beach, a four-story waterslide, food and drink vendors and fireworks. Saturday's highlights include a flamboyant tribute to Elton John by Rus Anderson (6:30 p.m.) and a beachfront screening of the film How to Train Your Dragon (9 p.m.). Monday, bring blankets and chairs for an all-day concert and a fireworks finale (9 p.m.). Free; beach parking $10 all day. Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. (727) 547-4575, ext. 237.

Star Spangled Tropical July Fourth (Sarasota) The night includes live reggae music, children's activities, lawn games, a cookout and fireworks. Bring blankets and chairs. No personal fireworks, sparklers or coolers allowed. 6 p.m. Monday. $20, $17 members, 11 and younger free (food and drink additional). Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave., Sarasota. (941) 366-5731.

You can see fireworks from here ...

'American Victory' Fourth of July Family Funfest Games, food, fireworks, crafts and more family fun. This is one of the closest points to view the fireworks, so plan early. They sold out last year. 6 to 9 p.m. Monday. $12, $7 children. SS American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (866) 468-7630.

Bradenton Fourth of July VIP Fireworks Take the family to a special Fourth of July celebration with a high-end buffet dinner, live music by The Arch and a VIP area to view the fireworks. 5 p.m. Monday. $39.95-$59.95. Mattison's Riverside, 1200 First Ave. W Bradenton. (941) 748-8087.

Cassis Fourth of July Come drench the Cassis staff in the dunk tank while you enjoy an all-day brunch and barbecue buffet, fireworks and family fun. Cassis American Brasserie, 170 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 10 a.m. Monday. $20.11, $10 11 and younger. (727) 827-2927.

Fireworks Sail and Cruise Choose from a silent sail or a motorized cruise on a 65-foot yacht on the calm waters of Boca Ciega Bay for an unobstructed view of fireworks, including St. Pete Beach, Gulfport and Treasure Island. Children are not allowed on the sailing trip, but welcome on the yacht. BYOB welcome on the sailing trip, but not on the yacht. 7 to 9:30 p.m. Monday. $40 sail; $30 adults, $20 children cruise. Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center, 4737 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 360-7411.

History Center Fourth of July The Tampa Bay History Center offers free admission and extended hours on Monday. Stick around in the museum's atrium for an air-conditioned view of the Channelside fireworks. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. Free. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. (813) 228-0097.

Museum of Fine Arts Fourth of July Live music, gourmet barbecue, iced tea, soft drinks, champagne toast and a cash bar. Includes a viewing of the art in the Hazel Hough Wing and one of the best seats in town for the St. Petersburg fireworks. 6 p.m. Monday. $44, $34 members. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-2667.

Parades

Brandon Fourth of July Parade Headline for this year's Brandon holiday parade will be the Tampa Bay Area Sons of the Confederate Veterans marching color guard and float. The parade starts at Lumsden Road and Parsons Avenue and ends at Buckingham Place. 10 a.m. Monday. Free. (813) 857-1616.

Lutz Independence Day Parade Includes 80 to 100 units of fire trucks, bikes, cars, floats, candidates, scout troops, belly dancers and martial-arts groups. The parade starts at Oscar Cooler Park and proceeds down Lutz Lake Fern Road. 10 a.m. Monday. Free. (813) 949-7060.

Safety Harbor July Fourth Parade The Auxiliary Unit of American Legion Post 238 will hold a Fourth of July parade to salute our troops and country. The parade includes motorcycles, fire trucks, cars and marching units. Children age 12 and younger are invited to decorate their bike, trike or wagon and follow the parade. Must be accompanied by an adult. 10 a.m. Monday. Free. Main Street and Second Avenue N, Safety Harbor. (727) 726-9601.

Tarpon Springs July Fourth Boat Parade Tarpon Springs digs into its nautical roots for this Fourth of July boat parade. Hundreds of boats and crews are expected to compete for best decorations, best costumes and other wacky awards. Stick around Dockside for the post-parade party. 7 to 11 p.m. Monday. Free. Dockside Sports Bar and Grille, 37611 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor.

Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade Hometown parade salutes our country with bands, fire trucks, police cars, horse units, rescue dogs, floats and marching units. It all starts behind Greco Middle School and ends behind Corpus Christi Catholic Church. 10 a.m. Monday. Free. (813) 989-7004.

Festivals, parties and events

Fourth of July Special at MOSI MOSI offers a BOGO admission special. Free ticket must be of equal or lesser value. Excludes special exhibitions, films and events. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. $20.95 adults (13-59), $16.95 child (2-12), $18.95 seniors (60-plus). Member discounts available. Separate pricing for IMAX-only admission. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000.

Seminole Mall Sparklebration Escape the heat in the comfort of the mall for some holiday fun with music, inflatables and more. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Free. Seminole Mall, 11201 Park Blvd., Seminole. (727) 392-8174.

Tarpon Springs Fourth of July Patriotic Picnic in the Park An old-fashioned picnic with waterslides, free food, a game area including horse shoes, badminton and volley ball, hula-hoop contest, seed-spitting contest, sack races, hot-dog-eating contest, balloon launching, bubble gum blowing contest, live entertainment and outrigger rides in the bayou. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Free. Craig Park, 5 Beekman Way, Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-5628.

CaBurlesque: Stars and Strips Forever Those 21 and older are invited to come out for a risque night of dance, singing and prizes. Come dressed burlesque. 7 p.m. Sunday. $7. Whiskey Willie's, 1624 Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz. (813) 949-6330.

Fourth of July Playmate Party Hosted by Playboy Playmates Francesca Frico, Shannon James and Runa Lucienne with drink specials and dancing to music by DJ Short-E. Women drink free 10 p.m. to midnight. 10 p.m. Saturday. $5 women, $10 men. Whiskey Joe's Bar and Grill, 7720 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 281-0577.

Theme Parks

Busch Gardens Fourth of July The park has added extra hours and fireworks for the holiday. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday-Monday. $79.99; $71.99 ages 3-9. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. 1-888-800-5447.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Fourth of July Kicks off with the Rock 'n Glow Dance party in front of the giant hat icon (7:30 to 10:30 p.m.). Then fireworks set to a rock 'n' roll soundtrack (9:50 p.m.) with two performances of the extravaganza Fantasmic (9 and 10:30 p.m.). Second show included with Extra Magic Hours for resort guests only. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. Admission to park: $85, $79 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hollywood Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 939-6244.

Epcot Fourth of July Holiday events include the Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert featuring a cast of singers with the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters (12:30, 1:45 and 3 p.m.) on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Also a patriotic finale is tacked onto the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth lagoon show (10 p.m.). 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday. Admission: $85, $79 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Epcot at Walt Disney World, 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 934-7639.

Magic Kingdom Fourth of July Extended hours with a Celebrate America Fireworks show (9 p.m.) and two performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade (10 p.m. and midnight). 8 a.m. Monday. Admission: $85, $79 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Walt Disney World, 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 934-7639.

SeaWorld Fourth of July Extended hours and fireworks display timed to patriotic music added to the Reflections show (10:30 p.m.). 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday. $79.99, $71.99 ages 3-9. SeaWorld, 7007 SeaWorld Drive (Interstate 4, Exit 71), Orlando. Toll-free 1-800-327-2424.

HAVE A BLAST! 06/30/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2011 2:20pm]

    

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