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The Suncoast's best July 4th events, and more

Posted at 8:36 AM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 08:36:00-04

(WWSB) -- Looking for something fun to do for the Fourth of July? Check out these great options all weekend at different locations around the Suncoast.

Fourth of July Highlights:

1. Sarasota Bay Fireworks Show at Marina Jack

Come out to the Marina Jack area to see a great fireworks display. Part of the Suncoast Offshore Festival, viewing is free from anywhere downtown including Bayfront Park and Island Park. The Sarasota show starts at dusk or around 9 p.m. and is privately funded, benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children.

2. Selby Gardens Independence Day Celebration

Enjoy an all-American barbecue and Independence Day celebration on the grounds of Selby Gardens. Enjoy food from Michael’s On East, live music from SoulRCoaster and family activities as part of the celebration. The event runs from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. 

3. Siesta Key Chamber Fireworks Show

The 27th Annual 4th of July Fireworks display is set to be presented over Siesta Key Beach.  They are blasted off just north of the volleyball courts, so viewing is good from anywhere south and along Crescent Beach, out on the Gulf, or from the Intracoastal waterway. Good weather brings estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 to the fireworks on Siesta Key. Fireworks start around 9 p.m. 

4. South Venice Jetty Fireworks Show

The Venice area fireworks are fired from the south Venice Jetty in the Venice Beach area. Fireworks go up after sunset. Arrive early as thousands line the beaches, jetty and surrounding waterways.

5. Longboat Key Freedom Fest

The Annual Freedom Fest Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Town Hall, located at 501 Bay Isles Road. Commissioners, police and fire rescue personnel are in the parade along with children who wish to dress up and walk with their pets. The parade lineup begins at 8:30 a.m. on Bay Isles Rd. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. 

6. Anna Maria Island Parade

The Anna Maria Island Privateers hold their annual 4th of July Parade from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. There will be an after parade party at the Ugly Grouper in Holmes Beach where the Privateers will announce the scholarship recipients of over $20,000. Be in the parade or bring a chair to watch. 

7. Englewood Firecracker Fest

The annual Englewood Firecracker Festival, block party and craft show followed by one of the largest fireworks show in Southwest Florida is presented by the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary. The event begins on Dearborn Street starting at 10 a.m. with food from local restaurants and vendors as well as beer and frozen drinks. Over 60 craft vendors will be lining Dearborn street along with the area’s largest muscle car show. There will be three live bands beginning at noon. The fireworks show will begin from Middle Beach on Manasota Key after dark.

8. Fourth Festival at Manatee River

The City of Palmetto celebrates America’s independence with its 7th annual “Fourth Festival.” This year the fest will feature 2015 Country Music Hall of Fame inductees for a free concert. There will also be food vendors and fun activities for the children. The event is held at Sutton Park on Old Main Street in Downtown Palmetto. The Manatee River is the site for the fireworks starting around 9 p.m.

9. North Port Freedom Fest

Come out to the 13th annual Freedom Festival starting at 6 p.m. with fun, live music and entertainment for the entire family. There will also be food and vendor booths, refreshments and fireworks after dark. Bring your blanket or folding chair for the fireworks. The event will be held at the North Port High School Stadium.

10. Myakka River Kayak Festival & July 4th Jam Blast

Check out the 3rd annual Myakka River Kayak Festival and 4th of July Jam Blast with kayaking, live music and craft beers. Live musical entertainment will take place throughout the day from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Kayak and canoe rentals will be available starting at  8 a.m. or you can bring your own. No cover charge for entrance. The event is held at Snook Haven in Venice. 

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Other events:

Suncoast Offshore Racing Festival (June 24 - July 4)

This festival is held annually and is one of the highlights of the summer calendar! This race between million-dollar boats off one of our finest Gulf of Mexico beaches is a great event. Tickets are not required. The event runs right up to the July 4th holiday.

Firecracker 5K Run (July 4)

The 11th Annual Firecracker 5K Run will take place at the Morgan Family Community Center located at 6207 West Price Blvd in North Port. The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. The early bird pre-registration fee is $25. Packet pick-up and race day registration is at the Morgan Family Community Center from 6:15 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.

Liberty Litter Cleanup (July 5)

Sarasota County is looking for volunteers for the 2017 Liberty Litter Cleanup. Volunteers will help clean up six of the July 4th venues that are utilized the most during the festivities. Cleanup efforts will take place from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. at Siesta Key, Lido Beach, South Lido Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Beach and Blind Pass Beach.  All volunteers should report to the site captain at their cleaning location. To volunteer, call 941-861-5000.