Last year, almost all the picnics and pyrotechnic shows were canceled because of COVID-19. But pretty much all the fireworks, barbecues and parades are back for this year’s July Fourth celebrations.
We found 29 ways for families and friends to celebrate Independence Day.
The Fourth at the Pier: The inaugural Independence Day celebration at the St. Pete Pier features three days of activities including a beer garden, silent disco, entertainment, a screening of the film Independence Day (8:30 p.m.), karaoke and food trucks on Friday. Saturday brings main stage entertainment and the inaugural St. Pete Pier Run race pack pick-up (noon), a beer garden, silent disco, food trucks and a screening of Independence Day Resurgence (8:30 p.m.). On Sunday, the run begins at 6 a.m. There will also be pilates (10 a.m.), a PE class for kids (11 a.m.), main stage entertainment, a beer garden, silent disco, buskers, karaoke, food trucks and fireworks (9 p.m.) Free. 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Spa Beach at the Pier approach, 615 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. 727-501-4837.
Tampa July 4th Boat Parade: Decorate your boat with everything red, white and blue for a boat parade with prizes for best small/motorboat, large/sailboat and most patriotic. There’s also three blessing of the fleet stations and fireworks displays at multiple locations. $50 boat registration, spectators free. 5-7 p.m. Sunday. The Tampa Riverwalk, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. 813-221-1539. thetampariverwalk.com.
Boom by the Bay: Following Tampa’s holiday boat parade at 6:30 p.m., spectators can stick around for a giant fireworks display. Good viewing locations can be found at Sparkman Wharf, Armature Works, Tampa Convention Center, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Bayshore Boulevard near the Davis Island Bridge. Free. 9:15 p.m. Sunday. 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa.
Clearwater Celebrates America: This year, the city of Clearwater moves its traditional Fourth of July beach celebration to Baycare Ballpark (formerly Spectrum Field). Billed as “the largest fireworks display in the stadium’s history,” the celebration will have pre- and post-fireworks concerts by the Black Honkeys, games, prizes, giveaways and plenty of traditional ballpark food and drinks. $5 (parking included). 7 p.m. Sunday. 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. 727-467-4457.
Fourth of July Treasure Island: The city of Treasure Island lights up with fireworks on the beach. Bring chairs, blankets and towels for the display launched from the sand near Gulf Front Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. Parking is available in Treasure Island Park for $20 for the day. Free. 9 p.m. Sunday. Gulf Boulevard and 104th Avenue, Treasure Island. 727-547-4575, ext. 221.
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Busch Gardens: The Tampa theme park’s new nighttime spectacular “Spark” is getting even bigger with an extended presentation featuring “an extra patriotic finale” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 9:15 p.m. Included with admission. 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa. buschgardens.com.
Dunedin Hometown USA: The seven-piece Bay Kings Band kicks off the celebration with high energy music. Fireworks explode in the sky starting at 9 p.m. Grandstand seating only and concessions will be open. Free. 7-9 p.m. Saturday. TD Ballpark, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. 727-812-4530.
Freedom Fest: Celebrate Fourth of July aboard the American Victory ship for a view of Tampa’s boat parade (6:30 p.m.) and the Boom By the Bay fireworks display (9:15 p.m.). Includes adult drinks, food trucks, a kids zone, music by DJ Reko, festive characters, photo ops, dancing, games and a silent auction. $14, $7 ages 4-12, $11 veterans, 3 and younger free. 6-9:30 p.m. Sunday. SS American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-228-8766.
Safety Harbor Fourth of July Celebration: Bring the family for a Fourth of July celebration with children’s activities, live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks over the marina at 9 p.m. Free. 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor. 727-724-1555. cityofsafetyharbor.com
Fourth of July Parade: Put on your red, white and blue and join the American Legion Auxiliary for a patriotic parade of floats and marching units down Main Street. Free. 10 a.m.-noon Sunday. Main Street Safety Harbor, 750 Main St, Safety Harbor. 727-726-9601. cityofsafetyharbor.com.
Plant City Fourth of July: Plant City’s 15th annual Fourth of July celebration includes face painting, corn hole, balloon art, inflatables, a rock wall, bungee jumper, food vendors, concession stand, live entertainment and a patriotic musical introduction before fireworks (9:15 p.m.). Free, $5 parking. 6-9:15 p.m. Sunday. Plant City Stadium, 1810 E Park Road, Plant City. 813-659-4255.
Thonotosassa Freedom Festival: Family festival featuring food, drinks, games, live music, inflatables and fireworks. Free (food/drink additional). 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. Fellowship Baptist Church, 13515 U.S. 301 N, Thonotosassa. 813-982-1000. fellowship301.churchcenter.com.
Zephyrhills Summerfest: Pasco’s giant Fourth of July celebration returns with music by Fast4Ward, Crossfire Creek and DJ Express, hotdog and watermelon eating contests, a kids dance off, bounce houses, water slides, food, vendors and a 30-minute fireworks display over Zephyr Lake. Free (bounce houses/water slides additional). Noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday. Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave, Zephyrhills. 727-674-1464.
Fourth of July Avalon Park: Wesley Chapel celebrates Fourth of July with a festival featuring a bounce park, bike parade, bake off, community performances and fireworks starting at 9 p.m. Free. 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Avalon Park, 5060 River Glen Blvd., Wesley Chapel. 813-783-1515.
Rev, White, and Brew: This Fourth of July celebration for motorheads features a car show, drifting, burnouts, a hotdog eating contest, live music by Sherry and the Rockafellas and Jaded, children’s activities and fireworks. $10-$50, 12 and younger free. 6-10 p.m. Friday. Lead Foot City, 17109 Old Ayers Road, Brooksville. 844-532-3366. leadfootcity.com
Pop Goes America: From the pilgrims, to the revolution and the civil war, this musical uses pop music to tell the history of our country. Masks are required unless fully vaccinated. $24, $21 student/senior/military 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Carrollwood Players, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. 813-265-4000.
Independence Day Golf Cart Parade: Members of the Riviera Bay Civic Association decorate their golf carts and dress in red, white and blue for a Fourth of July golf cart parade. Bring chairs and a dish to share for a neighborhood block party in the Oak Street cul-de-sac following the parade. Free. 9:45 a.m. Saturday. Street Location, 9400 Second St. N, St. Petersburg.
Let Freedom Ride: Decorate your bicycle with flags, streamers or anything red, white and blue and hit the streets anywhere in Dunedin for a free patriotic bike ride without a staging area. Free. 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Downtown Dunedin, along Main Street. 727-298-3010.
Brews and BBQ: 3 Daughters celebrates Independence Day early with barbecue food trucks on site and specialty beer pairings. No cover (food/drink additional). Noon-6 p.m. Saturday. 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. 727-495-6002.
Sand Dance Festival: Celebrate Independence Day at this two-day dance in the sand with music by some of the area’s hottest DJ’s, drinks, food and a VIP suite with private bathrooms and air conditioning. $109-$218. Noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Postcard Inn, 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. 727-367-2711.
All American BBQ Festival: Join celerity judges to choose the best barbecue in the Tampa Bay area as more than 10 area barbecue joints serve up their signature dishes and sauces. Also, find music, dancing, a cornhole tournament, biergarten, cocktails, entertainment, vendors and games. $10-$150. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St, Tampa. 813-666-5866. allamericanbbqfest.com.
Pinellas Community Players: Led by Derek Currier, the intermediate instrumental ensemble presents a collection of patriotic songs to mark the Fourth of July. Free. 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday. Pioneer Park, Main Street and Douglas Avenue, Dunedin. 727-298-3010.
Dunedin Goes Carting: Uncle Sam leads the parade as Dunedin residents wear red, white and blue and decorate their golf carts for a Fourth of July golf cart parade. Staging and a party with live music, food, drinks and patriotic performances starts at 3 p.m. Free. 5:30 p.m. Saturday. VFW Post 2550, 360 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. 727-298-3010.
Largo Drive-By: A decorated float in patriotic decor, followed by city vehicles, including Largo Police motorcycles and one of the Largo Fire Rescue station trucks will drive through Largo neighborhoods on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. The parade will start at Southwest Recreation Center, making its way through neighborhoods along Ridgecrest, Largo Central Park downtown Largo, and ending at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo.
Kiwanis Midnight Run: Dress in red, white and blue and paint your face like the American flag for a flat, fast 1-mile, 5K or 10K race over the Dunedin Causeway. Race begins at 11:15 p.m. July 3 and ends in the cool air after midnight July 4. $20-$40. 11:15 p.m. Saturday. Frenchy’s Outpost Bar and Grill, 466 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin. 727-298-3010
Independence Day Rolling Parade: Uncle Sam joins the city of Dunedin Fire Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff Community Police Unit to wave and run the sirens as they drive around town wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday. Free. 1 p.m. Sunday. Downtown Dunedin, along Main Street, Dunedin. 727-298-3010.
Safety Harbor Resort Celebration: Celebrate the 4th of July at the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa with live music by Latraia Savage, a barbecue buffet, two-hours of refreshments and VIP seating on the waterfront terrace for an exclusive view of the fireworks show. $89, $59 children. 5:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday. Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, 105 N Bayshore Drive, Safety Harbor. 727-724-7706. safetyharborspa.com
Tampa Oratorio Singers: The Tampa Oratorio Singers join with the Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet to present a compilation of patriotic songs. Features Eric Ferring (tenor soloist) and Todd Donovan (baritone soloist). Free. 6 p.m. Sunday. Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 San Jose St., Tampa. 813-253-6047.
Sarasota’s Fireworks on the Lake: Families can gather in the park to celebrate with food, exhibitors, live music by the Black Honkeys and Derek Lersch Band, a kids zone, a 4-mile run and fireworks (9 p.m.). The fireworks display will also be broadcast on WWSB ABC Ch. 7. Tickets for parking are required. Tickets are $15-$40 and can be purchased at nathanbendersonpark.org. Free, $15-$40 parking. 5-10 p.m. Saturday. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. 941-358-7275.