Fireworks display are one of the most popular ways Pinellas County celebrates Fourth of July.
Pinellas County joins the rest of the nation to celebrate Independence Day 2014, which is on a Friday this year.
The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the document in which American colonies effectively declared independence from Great Britain.
Celebrations include parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues. Following is a summary of some of the scheduled events around Pinellas.
The city of Belleair Bluff’s Fourth of July celebration is Friday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Belleair Bluffs Community Center and park, 2747 Sunset Blvd. The event, co-sponsored by the Bluffs Business Association, includes the Largo Fire Department and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office units, a dunk tank, entertainment, inflatable bounce house, raffle prizes and a dessert contest. Bring desserts to City Hall by 10:30 a.m. Raffle prizes include a two night stay at Camelot on Clearwater Beach, beach bag/towels/goodies, donated by Creative Design Team; two tickets to a show at Largo Cultural Center, two tickets to the 2014 SPAF Gala, donated by Suncoast Performing Arts Foundation; gift basket with wine and glasses, donated by Belleair Storage and 20-inch bike with beach back pack and helmet, donated by Elizabeth Campa-Flanagan, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Clearwater Celebrates America will be Friday, July 4, 4 to 10 p.m., at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. Sponsored by Bright House Networks, the city of Clearwater and Clearwater Gas, the free event will feature the largest fireworks show in Tampa Bay along with a concert featuring the Mostly Pops Orchestra and the Wilsons. Food and beverage vendors and exhibitors will be on hand.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. and music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Children’s activities will run 5 to 9 p.m. and will include games, face painting and a mascot parade. The night will end with the Clearwater Gas Spark the Sky fireworks show starting at 9:30 p.m. For parking information, visit myclearwater.com/parking. For more information on Clearwater Celebrates America, call 562-4700 or visit facebook.com/cityofclearwater. For details on where to park and a full list of “do’s and don’ts” of Coachman Park, visit www.myclearwater.com. Clearwater Memorial Causeway will be closed beginning 15 minutes before the fireworks show and will remain closed until a little after the show, so people should leave extra time for themselves and avoid that area during the show.
Bright House Field and the Clearwater Threshers will host its Fourth of July Weekend Celebration on Thursday, July 3, 601 N. Old Coachman Road. There will be post-game, patriotic-themed, biggest and best fireworks displays of the year. The game begins at 7 p.m. and the Threshers take on the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Hometown USA will be presented Friday, July 4, at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. The city of Dunedin and the Dunedin Blue Jays will present a free Hometown USA Celebration. Attendees can enjoy a ballgame, live concert featuring The Greg Billings Band, and a spectacular display of fireworks. The ballgame gets underway at 4:15 p.m. The concert will follow the game and fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m. For information, call 733-9302 or 812-4530.
The city of Gulfport’s Fourth of July Celebration will be presented Friday, July 4, at the Gulfport Beach Waterfront Complex and Downtown District, 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport. The day will begin at 8 a.m. with Marina’s Fishing Derby at the Recreation Center Field.
Festivities include the Gulfport Recreation Sand Sculpture Contest on the beach, featuring a nautical theme, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; a Kidzone on the beach behind the recreation center, noon to 5 p.m.; and live music on the outdoor casino event stage, featuring Echo84 Band, 5 to 9 p.m. Attendees also will find plenty of food, arts and crafts vendors in the downtown waterfront district from 4 to 9 p.m.
There will be a parade on Beach Boulevard beginning at 6 p.m. The day will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display, beginning at 9:05 p.m. For information, call 893-1118.
The Kenneth City Fourth of July Parade and Festival will be Friday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The annual event is a relatively new addition to the community, but has quickly gained a reputation as a great hometown parade. The parade begins at 11 a.m. on 62nd Street North and 54th Avenue North. The festival follows the parade at James Ernst Park, 4600 58th St. N.
Largo's Fourth of July Celebration will light up Largo Central Park Friday, July 4, beginning at 6 p.m., at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. The celebration will feature food, entertainment and activities for all ages, followed by a spectacular fireworks show starting at approximately 9 p.m.
On-site parking will be available for $5. Free park-and-walk will also be available from Largo Middle School and Largo High School. Admission to the event is free. Activity wristbands will be available for purchase on-site.
Alcohol, coolers, pets, personal fireworks and sparklers will not be permitted in the park. For information, call 587-6775 or visit LargoEvents.com.
July Fest celebrates with fireworks Friday, July 4, 9 p.m., at Archibald Beach, on Gulf Boulevard at the end of Madeira Way, Madeira Beach. There will be no vendors this year. For information, visit www.madbeachevents.com.
The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 238 will present its annual Fourth of July Parade Friday, July 4, 10 a.m., on Main Street in Safety Harbor. The free parade will feature cars, floats, bands, and many other spectacles. For information, call 726-9601.
A patriotic ceremony will follow the parade at John Wilson Park. Sponsored by the American
Legion Family Post 238 and the Santa Claus Drill Team, the event will feature several patriotic presentations. City officials, legion officials and other dignitaries plan to participate. There will be live patriotic music, free photos and wristbands for the children.
The sky will light up at Safety Harbor's July 4th Celebration later that day. Festivities will run from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Safety Harbor Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Land, Safety Harbor.
The celebration will kick off at 5 p.m. with live entertainment, food vendors, and children’s activities. Attendees should come early to get a good seat for the fireworks display. For information, call 724-1572.
St. Pete Beach
The fun will get underway early on St. Pete Beach with a Fourth of July parade starting at 8:30 a.m., at Gulf Beaches Historical Museum, 115 10th Ave., Pass-A-Grille. Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes with red, white and blue and join in the old-fashioned parade. The parade will follow a circular course between Eighth and 10th avenues. There is no charge to participate.
After the parade, the museum will host a treasure hunt for the children among its exhibits.
The city will host its annual fireworks display on Friday, July 4, beginning around 9 p.m.
The fireworks will be launched from Upham Beach, 6850 Beach Plaza. All normal beach and parking ordinances will be in effect. A portion of the beach will be closed to everyone except essential personnel at 5 p.m. For information, call 367-2735.
The city of St. Petersburg will celebrate Independence Day with its annual fireworks display on Friday, July 4. The spectacular light display, sponsored by HCA Hospitals of West Florida, is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., weather permitting.
Fireworks start as early as 8:30 p.m. or as late as 10 p.m., depending on weather conditions. The fireworks display is visible all along the St. Petersburg waterfront with prime viewing from Vinoy, Albert Whitted, North Straub, Spa Beach and South Straub Parks, which are all on Bayshore Drive.
No alcohol or personal fireworks permitted. Parking lots include South Core, 101 First Ave. S.; and Mid-Core, 117 St. N. Variable message boards will direct spectators to available parking locations. Disabled parking is located in the North Shore ball field lot, 901 North Shore Drive NE and along Beach Drive on the east side and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bicycle racks are located throughout the downtown area. For more information, call 893-7441 or see www.stpeteparksrec.org.
The Independence Day Patriotic Picnic in the Park is Friday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Craig Park, 5 Beekman Way, Tarpon Springs. The event will feature music, a waterslide, a hot dog eating contest, badminton/volleyball and more. Hot dogs, popcorn and beverages will be given away. For information, call 942-5628.
The city’s fireworks display will begin at dusk and will be set off from Sunset Beach. The best viewing will be from Howard Park Beach, 1700 Sunset Drive, Tarpon Springs.
The Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce and the city of Treasure Island will present free fireworks on Friday, July 4, 9 p.m., on the beach at 107th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard. For information, call 360-4121.