July 4th events

Celebrate America’s independence at Charlotte Sports Park

The Stone Crabs Independence Day game is on July 3. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and kids 14 and under can participate in our helicopter candy drop at 5:30 p.m. The Stone Crabs will take on the Mets at 6:30 p.m. and after the game will be our largest fireworks show of the season. To purchase tickets, call 941-206-4487, stop by the box office at 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte or go online at www.stonecrabsbaseball.com.

Fireworks on the Lake

Festive family fun to kick off the Independence Day celebration on July 3. Join us at the biggest patriotic party in the Sarasota area for a festive 4 Mile Race around the lake at Nathan Benderson Park, just before sunset and the annual fireworks display. Experience the feel of a major race with crowds cheering you on as you celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic themed race just before sundown. All participants will receive a race shirt, finisher’s medal, glow gear and the support of a cheering crowd all along the lake at Nathan Benderson Park. Top 100 male and 100 female finishers will be awarded a commemorative prize. Bands at the starting and finish line, plus food and beverages at the after party a spectacular fireworks show make this race an event not to be missed. Come early for the Kids’ Dashes at 6:30 p.m. and get the whole family involved in the summer fun. Parking opens at 4 p.m. Parking is $5 per vehicle in the park or free at UTC Mall. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Register at https://raceroster.com/events/2019/21420/fireworks-4-miler.

Freedom Swim

This year’s Freedom Swim will start at 2 p.m. on July 4 in Punta Gorda.

Because of ongoing construction projects, this year’s swim has been planned with two starting points: one if by land and one if by water. For those arriving by boat: Use the traditional starting point in the water offshore of the public beach at the west side of the north end of the southbound U. S. 41 Bridge. That is Charlotte Harbor. Stay out of the construction site area. Discussion with swimmers before the start will occur at 1:50 p.m. For those who will use ground transportation: Use the public sandy beach at the east end of Gilchrist Park near the PG Waterfront Hotel to enter the water. Swim, paddle or float to the channel and then round Marker 4 to meet up with the rest of the participants and then then proceed to the landing point at Fishermen’s Village. Discussion with swimmers before the start will occur at 1:50 p.m. Parking is available at Fishermen’s Village and at Gilchrist Park.

The Green Hibiscus Trolley will be running between Fishermen’s Village and Gilchrist Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., which is a community service by the owner. No kayaks or inflated inflatables are allowed on the trolley and tips for the driver are appreciated.

This year’s high slack tide will be at 4:20 p.m. Swimmers should expect an incoming tide during the early part of the swim. The landing will be at Fisherman’s Village. Although there will be numerous vessels, including safety vessels from PGI Marine Watch, escorting the swimmers across the river, each swimmer is responsible for their own safety and their own support team. Swim with a buddy, Various governmental agencies will be on the water.

FourthFest 2019

Laishley Park, 120 Laishley Court, Punta Gorda, will be the host for the FourthFest 2019. This festival is a celebration of the USA with nonstop entertainment for the entire family. This year’s event features Water-Mania- a group of 12 giant water slides. Vendors, displays and live music starting at 3 p.m. July 4. Gates open at 11 a.m. and there is a $3 admission or $10 for unlimited daily use of the water slides. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. over the Peace River. Proceeds and all donations helps offset the community fireworks show.

July 4th concert

Bion Cantorum will perform its annual July 4th concert at First Presbyterian Church, 25250 Airport Road, Punta Gorda at 3 p.m. on July 4. Joining the Cantorum will be Philip Eyrich on trumpet and local veterans for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. All veterans are invited to partake in the presentation. Tickets will also be available at the door for cash or check only. For more information or to order tickets, call 941-206-2071.

Fishermen’s Village to host annual July 4th celebration

Fishermen’s Village will host its annual 4th of July celebration on July 4. Admission and parking are free and the public is cordially invited to attend. The always popular Freedom Swim begins at 2 p.m. from the traditional Charlotte Harbor launch as well as Gilchrist Park. Swim ends at Harpoon Harry’s at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda. The Green Hibiscus Trolley will provide transportation between Fishermen’s Village and Gilchrist Park beginning at 1 p.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. (no kayaks, and inflatables must be deflated). For more information, call 941-639-8721 or visit on line at www.fishville.com.

Englewood 4th of July Fireworks Show

The July 4 Lemon Bay Fireworks Display will be launching from Middle Beach (Blind Pass Beach) on Manasota Key. The viewing area is anywhere along the Lemon Bay Intercoastal Waterway, from the Tom Adams Bridge to Englewood Isles and along Manasota Key. Middle Beach area has limited parking so come early. If you are watching the show by boat, stay a safe distance from the launch area. Fireworks are expected to start at approximately 9:05 p.m., weather permitting. The VIP Tent is the closest to the launch site permitted by law. Limited space is available for this party, tickets must be ordered in advance. VIP parking is included with your ticket. Visit www.englewoodfireworks.com. for VIP tickets and additional information.

Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Fireworks Show

Fireworks will be launched from Middle Beach (Blind Pass Beach), 7770 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. The show is expected to begin close to 9:05 p.m., weather permitting. Viewing area is anywhere along the Lemon Bay Intercoastal Waterway from the Tom Adams Bridge to Englewood Isles and along Manasota Key. Middle Beach area has limited parking so come early. For more information, visit http://englewoodfireworks.com.

South Venice Civic Association July 4 fundraising barbecue bash

On July 4 the South Venice Civic Association will host an afternoon Community celebration at the Civic Association building and property at 720 Alligator Drive, S. Venice, featuring Bandana. Cover fee at the door will be $10, but kids under 12 are free. Beer, wine, burgers, dogs and barbecue will be available for purchase, along with outdoor and indoor games for the kids, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets to the July 4 event can be purchased at the door or in advance by phone to 941-493-0006, by email to info@southvenicebeach.org or in person at the SVCA office, located at 720 Alligator Drive in South Venice. Office hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fireworks at South Jetty

At 9:10 p.m., be at your favorite fireworks viewing spot in Venice for the annual show, which will be set off at the South Jetty once again. There is good viewing anywhere along the beach to the north or south but not right at the Jetty, which will be closed to vehicular traffic while the display is being set up and until after the show is over. As the show features an abundance of aerial displays, there are many places in the vicinity of Venice where the show can be seen.

Consider that it is sea turtle season. Do not use any lights at the beach nor make any bonfires, lest you distract nesting turtles that might come up on the beach that evening. While the females usually wait until total darkness (midnight or later), be considerate of them. Just one of 2,000 sea turtles is likely to make it to adulthood. Area turtle patrollers will tell you that sea turtles do not need any additional challenges.

Allow time to find a parking spot near your favorite viewing spot well in advance of 9 p.m., the approximate time the display will begin.

Freedom Festival

A local summer tradition since 2004, North Port’s Freedom Festival, presented by American Irrigation, provides families and friends the chance to celebrate Independence Day together with good food, lively entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display. This year the event will be held at CoolToday Park, 18800 S. W. Villages Parkway, West Villages, on July 4. Gates will be open at 4 p.m.

Seating will be available both inside the stadium or outside on the event lawn. If watching the fireworks show from the event lawn, the public is welcome to bring blankets or chairs to enjoy the show. No personal fireworks, sparklers, animals will be permitted.

Available on the front event lawn of the stadium will be a children’s section which will include a variety of free activities and much more. Local food vendors are welcome to join in the fun and serve outside the stadium.

In addition to the stadium concessions inside the ballpark, there will also be a variety of vendors and community organizations providing informational booths stationed along the concourse. Live music will be performed throughout the night. There will also be free activities to commemorate North Port’s 60th Anniversary, including a chance for kids to run the bases. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. For more information, call 941-429-7275 or email parks@cityofnorthport.com.

Celebrate America’s birthday at the all-American cookout at Selby Gardens

Gates open at 6 p.m. July 4 at 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, and the evening includes children’s games and activities, a family-friendly dance party with Karolina Lira, and amazing views of the Sarasota fireworks. Food from the Michael’s On East grill will be available for purchase. Blankets and chairs are welcome. For an extra special evening, the “Selby Experience” ticket includes complimentary valet parking, open bar, food, and prime viewing of the fireworks display at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens. For more information, contact specialevents@selby.org or call 941-248-3585.

Enjoy a patriotic concert in Sarasota

The Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly known as Gloria Musicae) will present “Sounds of Independence,” the area premiere of Sarasota resident Jerry Bilik’s “Independence,” and “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by René Clausen. That concert will begin at 4 p.m July 4 at the Sarasota Opera House in downtown Sarasota. The Sarasota-based poet and performer Cedric Hameed will narrate.

According to a release about the concert, “the audience will provide the canon fire.” That should inspire thoughts of the fireworks to come at dark but not in the opera house.

“We’ve moved the concert to the Sarasota Opera House due to popular demand,” Dr. Joseph Holt said in a release, adding that another first this year is a partnership with the Sarasota Concert Band.

“A significant addition to our performance is the inclusion of the Sarasota Concert Band.”

The concert band will join Choral Artists for the second half of the program, featuring favorite selections such as John Philip Sousa’s “Thunderer March,” Morton Gould’s “American Salute,” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” a traditional favorite at July 4 programs.

Tickets to the Choral Artists Concert with the Sarasota Concert Band are $20-$45 per person for adults and $5 for students. Visit choralartistssarasota.org or call 941-387-4900.

Fort Myers Fourth

Come celebrate our great nation and town pride as the Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July parade makes it way down Estero Blvd. with its colorful floats and costumed participants.The parade starts at Bay Oaks Recreation Center at 10 a.m. and continues down the boulevard to Times Square. Be aware the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. until noon for the Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July Parade. Anyone interested in participating in the parade should contact Sarah Mayer at Sarah@fmbgov.com or by calling the Bay Oaks Rec Center at 239-765-4222.

The Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July fireworks show begins at approximately 9 p.m. at Times Square. You can bring a beach chair and and enjoy the show as the beautiful fireworks light up the night sky! Closing time for the Matanzas Pass bridge is 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to oncoming traffic.

Consider taking the Beach Trolley to Fort Myers Beach to enjoy a full Independence Day of activities, Paid parking lots are located at Lynn Hall Park, on Old San Carlos Blvd., under the Matanzas Pass Bridge, and across & next to the Lani Kai Resort.For more information, visit www.fortmyersbeach.org.

Celebrate America’s independence at Charlotte Sports Park

Charlotte Sports Park is also hosting the Southern Grand Slam Concert on July 6. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the concert will include acts Darryl Worley, Billy Dean, the Tobacco Rd Band and Jim Brown. And after the concert will be fireworks. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. To purchase tickets, call 941-206-4487, stop by the box office at 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte or go online at www.stonecrabs baseball.com.

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