NORTH PORT — Since it's the only city within 50 miles that's planning a full Fourth of July fireworks show, North Port leaders needed a good plan to avoid a chaotic traffic situation.
North Port will stage its show July 4 from the football stadium at North Port High School, 6400 Price Blvd. City officials announced their plan Friday for parking and for distributing free parking passes — with North Port residents getting the first shot at the first-come, first-served process that opens up online at 5 p.m. June 25.
If you live in North Port and want to get into one of the two parking lots for the fireworks show, here is how you do it:
Then, starting at 5 p.m. June 25, go onto the site and apply for your space. You can choose one of two parking options:
• The Red Lot, which includes the Butler Park-Heron Creek Middle School parking lots lots. All attendees in Red will exit after the show with a right turn only toward Sumter Boulevard.
• The Blue Lot, which includes the North Port High School lots. All Blue Lot attendees will exit after the show with a right turn only toward Biscayne Drive.
After registering, you will receive a PDF of your parking pass for the event and an email confirmation. You must print the PDF and have it ready to display on the passenger side dashboard for admission. "Don’t lose it!" city officials warn. "Admission to the event without a parking pass will not be permitted."
Only one parking spot per home address will be allotted. No walk-ins to Butler Park, Heron Creek Middle School, or North Port High School will be allowed. Passes will be required for entry and portable restrooms with hand-washing stations will be available in all three parking lots.
If any parking spaces are still available by noon on June 29, then registration will open to the general public without confirmation of residency.
Spectators can start parking at 8 p.m. and the show will begin around 9 p.m. The show will be less than 30 minutes, officials said.
There are other ways to watch. You can watch from outside your home, if you live near North Port High School. Or, you can watch online at www.Facebook.com/NorthPortParksAndRec.
The city has taken precautions to follow safety precautions issued by the Centers for Disease Control for the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Should you choose to attend in person, please remember that larger gatherings mean a greater chance of contact with people, so stay with your vehicles," the city states. "The North Port High School stadium, Butler Park fields, and all the green spaces surrounding the three parking areas, will be closed to public gatherings and seating. Campers, RVs, trailers, commercial grade vehicles won’t be allowed. Also, tailgating, alcohol, and personal fireworks (including sparklers) are prohibited in the designated parking lots."
For the latest information or updates on the show, including any potential impacts of inclement weather or fire restrictions the day of, please tune in to 97.5 FM WKDW or follow the city's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/NorthPortParksAndRec.
Residents may also download the free North RePort city app to receive immediate alerts. For questions, please reach out to North Port Parks & Recreation at Parks@CityOfNorthPort.com or call 941-429-PARK(7275).