Looking for ways to observe Independence Day? Check out these events happening in Hillsborough County.
Fourth of July Parade in Brandon
The annual July 4 parade, sponsored by the Community Roundtable, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Parsons Avenue and Lumsden Road. The parade route runs north on Parsons Avenue before turning west on Robertson Street. It ends at Robertson Street and Kings Avenue. Nearly 100 entrants are expected to participate in the half-century-old event. (813) 661-4350.
A two-day event with bouncy houses, a kids' fitness zone, punt and pass competitions, professional and amateur rib competition, fireworks (9 p.m. Saturday only) and more. Event takes place in the field next to Sears. 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Westfield Brandon mall, 459 Brandon Town Center. Free admission; fee for food, some games. (813) 661-6255.
Party in Sun City Center
The Sun City Center Community Association invites its residents and guests to a July Fourth party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the association's outdoor swimming pool. It will be on the North Campus on Cherry Hills Drive. The event will feature live music and food. The swimming pool will remain open until about 9 p.m.
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. Saturday. 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. Saturday. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $19.95, $16.95 seniors, $14.95 ages 3 to 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. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. Free (Saturday 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, a watermelon-eating contest, life-ring toss, and more. View Channelside fireworks at 9 p.m. The funfest starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. SS American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $10, $5 ages 4 to 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. to 3 a.m. today. 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 and dancing adds two nights of live headliner music and fireworks featuring David Cassidy (today) and Starship starring Mickey Thomas (Saturday). Gwazi Park gates open at 6:30 p.m. Headliners take the stage at 8 p.m. Fireworks are immediately after the shows. 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. $69.95, $59.95 ages 3 to 9. Toll-free, 1-888-800-5447; buschgardens.com .
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. Saturday. Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, 200 Inverness Ave. Free. (813) 989-7004.