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4th of July 2016: Fireworks and Parades on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key

July-4th-Fire-Works-Longboat-Key-Florida-e1277328173345.jpgGet out your sparklers! Our waterfront communities are ready to celebrate the 4th of July in style with parades, fireworks and festivities!  Here is a list of all of the 4th of July celebrations going on in Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Sarasota and Bradenton.

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island’s 4th of July Parade for 2016 will take place on Monday, July 4th beginning at 10 am, starting at Coquina Beach and ending at Anna Maria Island City Pier on the North end. The Privateers, a non-profit group, hosts this rollicking parade and their large pirate ship float, the Skullywag, is the star of the show. Look out for pirates flinging beads and pirate booty! Warning to attendees – be prepared to get soaked!  Many float participants bring their Super Soakers to spray the guests.

The Sandbar restaurant will put on its giant fireworks extravaganza on Monday, July 4th, 2016.  The fireworks will begin after dark and will launch from the Sandbar restaurant at 100 Spring Avenue, but you can see them anywhere up and down Anna Maria Island’s beaches. Just bring a beach chair and look up, or anchor your boat off the island’s North end!  The Beach House has canceled their fireworks display this year, due to the nesting black skimmer birds.

Longboat Key

Who’s ready to see some patriotic floats? We are!  In fact, Cannons is offering a $500 prize for the most patriotic business entry in this year’s “Freedom Fest” parade, so make sure that your float is really blinging with red, white and blue! The Longboat Key Freedom Fest parade will take place on Bay Isles Road with a post celebration at Bicentennial Park. The parade begins at 9 am at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.  The Freedom Fest parade is always a fun, laid-back event where adults, kids and pets join police and fire rescue personnel for a walk along the parade route. If you would like to walk in the parade, arrive at the Town Hall at 8:30 am to get in the line-up!

Siesta Key

At the North end of Siesta Key, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce will display their “4th of July Celebration” fireworks on Monday, July 4th, beginning around 9:15 pm.

Sarasota

Anchor your boat in Sarasota Bay, around Marina Jack’s and Bird Key, for the best views of Sarasota’s Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular!  Fireworks will begin around 9:00 pm on Monday, July 4th.

Bradenton – Manatee River

Palmetto hosts the fireworks display on the Manatee River, which can be viewed from the Bradenton’s downtown Riverwalk area or Palmetto’s Regatta Pointe Marina area, or even better, from your boat! Fireworks will begin after dark.

 

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About the author: You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can’t take Florida out of the girl. I grew up in Bradenton and moved to NYC when I got an internship at the David Letterman show (don’t worry, I wasn’t one of the interns who had an affair with the boss!) I eventually scored a job at CosmoGIRL magazine and then at MTV. But no matter how cool the job was, I hated dressing in layers, sweaters make me look bulky and I missed wearing flip-flops every day. I also missed my family. So, after 9 years of drinking waaay too many Cosmos and eating waaay too many BBQ nachos at Virgil’s in Times Square, I moved back to the sunshine state. My life is now ruled by my two-year-old daughter, Eva and six-year-old daughter, Olive. They love going to the beach and playing in the sand. Just like Mommy.

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