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Where to watch fireworks, celebrate Independence Day in Tampa Bay

July 4th falls on a Thursday this year, but there are still plenty of places to watch fireworks and parades.


Boom by the Bay

Downtown Tampa will light up Thursday night with four fireworks displays, family-friendly activities and live entertainment. The “all-American” celebration will run along Tampa’s riverfront from Armature Works to Riverfront Park, the Tampa Convention Center and Sparkman Wharf. There will be a hot dog eating contest, food trucks, a water ski show, Tampa Bay Buccaneers experiences and more. HART is also offering free shuttle and streetcar service to the six different event areas. 

More information here.

More: Tampa will have a 2.5-mile waterfront fireworks display for Independence Day

Clearwater Celebrates America

The event in Coachman Park kicks off at 6 p.m. with a Park Pops Orchestra concert, local vendors, food and drink concession, a children’s play area and more live entertainment. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. You can bring a low-profile chair and drinking water. No alcohol will be served in the park, and no outside drinks are allowed. Admission is free.

301 Drew St., Clearwater

More information here.

4th of July Celebration - St. Petersburg

There are six different parks in downtown St. Petersburg to watch this year’s fireworks. Before the show kicks off at 8:30 p.m., pick a spot along Bayshore Drive at Albert Whitted Park, North Straub Park, South Straub Park, North Shore Park, Elva Rouse Park or Flora Wylie Park. The city said this year’s celebration has a new feature that lets you watch the fireworks set to music using the J&M Displays app. The app is available on iPhone and Android phones. 

More information here

4th of July Fireworks Spectacular - Madeira Beach

Watch fireworks on the beach beginning at 8:45 p.m. Thursday. The city said you can see the show from almost anywhere on Madeira Beach, but prime viewing spots include Causeway Park ROC Park and Holten Property. These locations will have limited free parking. Beach chairs and blankets are encouraged. 

More information here.

Temple Terrace Independence Day Celebration

Catch a patriotic parade at 10 a.m. along Whiteway Drive and Gillette Avenue. Then at 6 p.m., head to the Independence Day festival on the first fairway of the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club. Fireworks are at 9:15 p.m. Events are free. 

200 Inverness Ave., Temple Terrace

More information here.

July 4th Celebration - Plant City

Head to the Plant City Stadium Thursday for corn hole, inflatables, live music, local vendors and food concessions and a military salute. The fireworks kick off at 9 p.m. Admission is free, but parking is $5 per vehicle. 6 - 9:30 p.m.

1904 S Park Road, Plant City

More information here.

Fourth of July Gulfport

Gulfport celebrates Independence Day with a fishing derby, a sand sculpture contest, live music, a parade and a fireworks finale. The day kicks off at 8 a.m. and runs through 9:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

More information here.

4th of July Parade in Safety Harbor

The annual parade down Main Street kicks off at 10 a.m. Thursday followed by a patriotic ceremony at the gazebo. Live entertainment and food vendors fill the Marina beginning at 5 p.m. with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. The event is free, but VIP tickets are available and include a BBQ buffet, an open bar and special seating for the fireworks. 

More information here.

Red White and Brew Fest

The Spring Hill festival returns for a second year from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday at the Anderson Snow Sports Complex. There will be food trucks, local vendors and crafters, inflatables area for kids, beer and wine tents, live music, a salute to veterans and fireworks. Admission is free, but parking is $5 per vehicle.

More information here.

Independence Day Buffett and Fireworks on the Manatee River

Pier 22 Restaurant celebrates Independence Day with a pig roast, buffet and a fireworks finale over the Manatee River. Reservations are required for the event. Tickets are $69.95 for adults and children 8 and under are $19.95. Adults 21 and older can also add an open bar wristband for another $30. 6-9 p.m. Thursday, 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton.

More information here.

July 4th Celebration - Largo

Bring chairs and blankets to Largo Central Park for fireworks and food and drink concessions. The fireworks finale kicks off around 9:15 p.m. The event is the first “ocean-friendly” event with no single-use plastics of styrofoam products being used. Admission is free. 6-9:30 p.m.

101 Central Park Dr., Largo

More information here.

American Victory’s Freedom Fest

Watch Tampa’s Boom by the Bay fireworks from an actual World War II steamship. The Amerian Victory Ship will have live entertainment, a kids zone, games, local food vendors and other refreshments aboard the ship docked at Channelside. Boom by the Bay fireworks are expected around 9 p.m. Admission is $13 for adults, $7 for ages 4-12 and $10 for active military and veterans. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. 

705 Channelside Dr., Tampa

More information here.

Independence Day in Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs hosts a Patriotic Picnic in the Park 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in Craig Park. There will be live music, a hot dog eating contest, water slides and lawn games. The fireworks finale kicks off at 8;30 p.m., and the city says the best viewing is at Howard Park Beach. The fireworks launch from Sunset Beach. 

More information here.

July 4th at the theme parks

Independence Day at Busch Gardens

The Tampa theme park hosts four nights of parties Thursday through Sunday night with live music, specialty food items and grand finale fireworks displays. Festival field will also have music, games and patriotic desserts and drinks. Park hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. during Busch Gardens Summer Nights, which runs through Aug. 11. The Independence Day celebration and Summer Nights are included with park admission.

More: Busch Gardens hosts four nights of fireworks for Independence Day weekend

Red, White and Boom at Legoland

Legoland hosts three days of patriotic activities Thursday through Saturday. Guests can help create a giant American flag from thousands of red, white and blue Lego bricks and experience a salute to the troops during the Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty ski show. During the Brick & Boom fireworks show, guests can wear special glasses to see “a gazillion” bricks explode alongside fireworks over Lake Eloise. The celebration is included with Legoland admission.

More information here.

Fourth of July at Disney World

Both Magic Kingdom and Epcot have Independence Day parties on Thursday with finale fireworks shows. Magic Kingdom has Celebrate America! - A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday night. The park also has two themed dance parties from 7 p.m. to midnight in Frontierland and Tomorrowland. Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show gets an Independence Day twist and the American Adventure pavilion hosts the Voices of Liberty. Events and fireworks are included with park admission.

More information here.

July 4th Celebration at Universal Orlando

The Universal Studios park will have entertainment and movie-themed pyrotechnic displays starting at 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The Music Plaza will have live music, a DJ booth, a character dance party and the pyrotechnic display with confetti cannons. Then at 9:45 p.m. the park has its nightly Cinematic Celebration in the Central Park area. Events are included with park admission. 

More information here.

Other places to celebrate

Tampa Red White and Blue Festival

This year’s festivities are held at Grand Central at Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. It all starts with the Patriotic Paws Walk on Madison Street between Channelside Drive and Meridian Street. All leashed dogs in patriotic attire can check in and participate at 3 p.m. The Red, White and Blue Festival will have a southern food court, live jazz music, family-friendly activities, giveaways and chances to meet Uncle Sam on stilts. Admission is free. 3-8 p.m. Thursday. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

More information here.

Tampa Bay History Center $5 for the 4th of July

Head to the Tampa Bay History Center to meet costume reenactors from several eras of military history, including the Civil War, Spanish-American War, the Seminole War and World War II. There will also be displays of historical artifacts, uniforms, crafts and live music. Admission is $5 all day on July 4. 

More information here.

Fish of July at the Florida Aquarium

The aquarium in Tampa will have extended hours on July 4. At 8:30 p.m., guests can find a spot in the Outdoor Plaza to watch downtown’s new Boom by the Bay fireworks, which kick off at 9 p.m. The aquarium also offers a VIP package that includes a “fish-eye” view of the fireworks, a hot dog bar with sides, desserts and specialty drinks. The extended-hours celebration is included with aquarium admission. The VIP package is $55 for adults, $35 for children 3-11 and free for kids 2 and under.

More information here.

Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade

Pass-a-Grille hosts its annual parade of decorated golf carts, bikes, kids and dogs. The parade lines up at the Historical Museum on 10th Avenue at 8:30 a.m. and kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday. There will also be a scavenger hunt for kids and refreshments at Grace Restaurant after the parade.

Fourth of July at Glazer Children’s Museum

The Tampa museum celebrates the Fourth with $4 admission and free admission for military members and veterans. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. 

More information here.

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