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From sea to shining sea, North Pinellas sparkles with an array of ways to celebrate our country's 233rd birthday this weekend. Starting with Dunedin Hometown USA tonight, there will be concerts, parades, picnics, fireworks and even a midnight run to celebrate the red, white and blue. Here is a closer look at what's going on throughout north county.


Get ready to picnic

Enjoy free food and more at this picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Belleair Bluffs Community Center, 2747 Sunset Blvd. It features Jason the Roving Magician, "Dunk the Mayor," karaoke by "Doc," a bounce house and a slide. Call (727) 584-2151 for information.


Celebrating America

The city's annual Independence Day celebration is Saturday in Coachman Park, 301 Drew St. The free fest features the Mostly Pops Orchestra with John and Mary K. Wilson, fireworks, a craft show, children's activities, and food and drink concessions. Gates will open at 4 p.m. The Mostly Pops Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m., followed by a $50,000 fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. The Memorial Causeway Bridge will be closed from approximately 9:15 to 10:15 p.m. for the fireworks. Expect traffic delays and consider alternative routes.

Alcoholic beverages, glass containers or bottles, umbrellas, canopies, pets and personal fireworks are not allowed. Outside food, coolers and nonalcoholic beverages in factory- sealed containers are permitted for July 4 only. For information, call (727) 562-4700.

Dolphins and more

Get your tail — prosthetic or not — over to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium first thing Saturday morning.

Doors open at 9 a.m. The first 100 visitors (who mention this story) will receive a free reprint of Stars and Stripes, a painting made by Winter, the celebrity dolphin with a prosthetic tail.

Stay for the aquarium's inaugural Fourth of July celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with food, live music, children's activities and special Independence Day-themed dolphin shows at 249 Windward Passage.

Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors (60 and older) and $7.50 for kids ages 3 to 12. Picnic fare will be available for purchase at an additional $5 for adults and $4 for kids. Visit .

Fireworks from water

See the fireworks from the waterways from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday on the Sea Screamer Fireworks Cruise. Board at 7:45 p.m., 25 Causeway Blvd., at the Clearwater Marina. Beer and wine for sale; entertainment. $35 for ages 13 and over; $25 for children 12 and younger. Call (727) 447-7200 or visit .


Hometown USA

This evening, the Dunedin Parks and Recreation Department, Williams Entertainment and the Nielsen Co. present a free concert and fireworks at the Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave. Gates open at 6 p.m. Family musical entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. with Shana Banana, a Grammy-nominated and award-winning children's entertainer, who will conduct an interactive concert.

The fun continues with live music by De­Lei'ed Parrots and a Parrot Head Party. Feel free to dress the part. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Food and beverages available for purchase. No coolers, food, personal fireworks or pets.

Call (727) 812-4531 for information.

Kiwanis Midnight Run

The 30th annual Kiwanis Morton Plant Mease Midnight Run takes place tonight at Causeway Plaza, 2600 Bayshore Blvd.

The runs — 1-mile, 5K, 10K — start and end at the plaza. Register tonight in front of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch Opportunity Store from 9:30 p.m. until each race starts.

The 1-mile run/walk starts at 11 p.m. The 5K begins at 11:25 p.m.; the 10K at 12:15 a.m. Entry fees range from $10 to $45. For information, call Joe Garrison at (727) 535-2257 or visit .


Parade and fireworks

The Auxiliary Unit of American Legion Post 238, Safety Harbor, will host a Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m. Saturday down Main Street from Second Avenue to Ninth Avenue S. Children 12 and younger, accompanied by an adult, are invited to bring decorated bikes and baby buggies and march in the parade.

Parade participants will line up at 9 a.m. on Main Street between Philippe Parkway and Second Avenue N.

Festivities resume at 5 p.m. at the Safety Harbor Marina with a live DJ, food and drink vendors, kids games and inflatables at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. A $25,000 fireworks display begins at 9 p.m. Best viewing is at the Safety Harbor Resort property and at the Safety Harbor Marina. No personal fireworks, sparklers or poppers allowed.

Call Brad Purdy at (727) 724-1555 for more info.


Patriotic Picnic

The second annual Fourth of July Patriotic Picnic in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Craig Park, along Spring Bayou.

The event, sponsored by Waste Management, includes a children's water fun area (wear bathing suits, bring towels); free food; game area with horseshoes, badminton, volleyball and more; sack races; hot dog eating contest; outrigger rides; and entertainment by the Bayou Boys in the bandshell. Bring lawn chairs.

No fireworks are scheduled because of bridge and road reconstruction at Fred Howard Park. Call (727) 942-5628 for information.

FESTIVE FEAST 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:59pm]
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