Clearwater Celebrates America 2012 reveals nautical fireworks for the first time. This year more surprises are in store.
CLEARWATER – Clearwater residents won’t have to go far for the best seats in the house on the Fourth of July 2013. The city will once again host the Bright House Clearwater Celebrates America event on Thursday, July 4, 4 p.m. with fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m. at Coachman Park, 301 Drew Street.
“It’s a patriotic celebration, a single day event and is the largest fireworks event throughout Tampa Bay during the year which is the Clearwater Gas ‘Sparks the Sky’ show,” said Brian Craig, events and athletics coordinator for the city of Clearwater.
According to Craig, the Clearwater fireworks show tops rivaling shows in Tampa, St. Petersburg and throughout the area.
Gates open at 4 p.m., and a new addition this year is that Radio Disney has partnered with the city to create the Natalie’s Juice Kids’ Zone, which is open from 5 to 9 p.m. The free event will include games, performers, a mascot parade, face painting, contests, stage performances and giveaways.
“They’ll be featuring their new Teen Beach Movie and Monsters University, and we’ll have make-and-take patriotic arts and crafts,” Craig added.
Last year the Kid Zone saw about 2,000 kids, Craig said, and he expects that number to climb this year.
“And all of the elements in the area are free of charge,” Craig said. “But we’ll have amusement rides as well in the park that do have a small fee, and we’ll have the normal food vendors and exhibitors.”
The Mostly Pops Orchestra will perform a patriotic concert starting at 7:30 p.m. and will feature John and Mary K. Wilson and their son, Paul, as special performers. John is a lead anchor at Fox 13.
Of course, the grand finale of the event is the fireworks display, which starts at 9:30 p.m. Though the fireworks can be seen from many locations in the area, Craig encourages people to actually come down to Coachman Park to view them.
“The show is programmed to be seen from Coachman, so there are certain effects that you won’t see from anywhere else,” Craig said. “Anyone who wants to come out and have a family picnic and enjoy the outdoors should come. Families can bring their kids and have a free and fun day.”
Each year the city tries to “push the envelope” with its fireworks display, Craig said. Last year nautical fireworks and music were added to the show, he said, and there will be more surprises this year.
“We try to make the show as unique and fun as it can be and really program it for those at Coachman to watch it,” Craig said.