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Get Away

Fixings for a festive Fourth

By Times Staff
Published June 30, 2005

Here's a list of places to see fireworks, enjoy an Independence Day weekend concert or picnic or join in a parade.

For the fireworks in the beach towns, parking officials suggest arriving early.

"I would arrive at 7, 7:30 and get a spot and relax," said Mike Maxemow, community services director at Madeira Beach. "Then, when it's over, sit it out some more and wait for the traffic to die down."


Red, White & Blues

With blues by the Damon Fowler Group, Patty Sanphy and the All Blues Revue and the Tommy McCoy Band; also car show, fish fry and arts and crafts. Bring lawn chairs or blankets; no alcohol or glass containers. Sponsored by Seminole Recreation Department and the St. Petersburg Times. Activities 3-9 p.m. at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road. 727 391-8345; Free.


Patriotic Evening

Old-fashioned Citrus County "hometown" festival, with entertainment, children's activities, food for purchase and fireworks at dusk. 5-10 p.m. at Wallace Brooks Park on Dampier Street and Liberty Park on Lake Henderson, near downtown Inverness. Bring lawn chair or blanket. 352 726-3913; Free.

Dunedin Concert and Fireworks

Sponsored by City of Dunedin, Knology and others at Knology Park, with entertainment by the Impacs and the Florida '50s Original Rockers and fireworks. Gates open 6:30 p.m. with music at 7; fireworks follow. All at 373 Douglas Ave. Food and beverage vendors; no coolers or food may be brought in. (727) 298-3260. Free.

Clearwater Celebrates America

With concert, rides, games and inflatables, crafts and food vendors. Gates open 4 p.m. Concerts by Mercy at 5 p.m., the Royal Guardsmen at 7 p.m. and headliners the Commodores at 9 p.m. No coolers, food or drink on Sunday. Coachman Park, Drew and Cleveland streets, downtown Clearwater. Lawn chairs and blankets okay. No canopies, personal fireworks, pets or alcoholic beverages. (727) 562-4800. General admission free; reserved seating, $23 through Ticketmaster.


Clearwater Celebrates America

With concerts, rides, games and inflatables, crafts, food vendors, fireworks. Gates open 2 p.m. Entertainment begins 5:15 p.m. with concert by Mostly Pops Orchestra and vocalists John and Mary K. Wilson at 7:20 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Coolers, food and drink permitted on Monday. Coachman Park, Drew and Cleveland streets, downtown Clearwater. Lawn chairs and blankets okay. No canopies, personal fireworks, pets or alcoholic beverages. (727) 562-4800. Free.

Downtown St. Petersburg

Family fun and outdoor stage entertainment by radio station WFLZ-FM 93.3 1-9 p.m. at the Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, with Jeremy Thomas, the New Sensation Band, Live and Let Die McCartney Tribute Band and headliner Aaron Carter (8 p.m.); (727) 821-6164. Also WSSR-FM "The Beat" 95.7 hosts festivities for the family in Vinoy Park, 4-9 p.m. Family entertainment in Straub Park by WMTX-FM "Mix" 100.7 and WFUS-FM 103.5, with music, kid's crafts and more, begins at 4 p.m. Both parks in area of Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive. Fireworks follow at 9 p.m., visible from waterfront area. (727) 893-7441. Free.

Largo Centennial Fourth

City's 100th birthday-Independence Day celebration for the family, with music by Jimmy Buffett Tribute band ParrotBeach, patriotic music by Laura Gossett, other family activities. 6-9:30 p.m. Largo Central Park, Seminole Boulevard and East Bay Drive, with fireworks at 9:30. Blankets and lawn chairs okay. Free parking and shuttle from Largo Middle and High schools and Pinellas County School Board lots. (727) 587-6775. Free.

Safety Harbor Fourth and Fireworks

Expanded Family Zone with music, games, inflatables and miniature golf course, across from Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History, 329 S Bayshore Blvd. and along Bayshore Boulevard; small fee for some activities. Music by solo guitarist David Bearce, beat-boxer Effex and rock & roll jam band Dixie Flatline at end of Safety Harbor Marina, near the bay. 5-9 p.m. with fireworks shot from Safety Harbor Resort and Spa property, beginning 9 p.m. (727) 724-1572. Free.

Brandon Blast

Military Appreciation and Community Celebration on grounds at Westfield Brandon, with entertainment by Strange Brew, the Rosemary Reach, Fatal EQ, Out Drive and others, children's activities, fly-over by KC-135 refueling tanker from MacDill Air Force Base (5:30 p.m.), MacDill static displays, fireworks at 9 p.m, food and other vendors. 4-9 p.m. at 459 Brandon TownCenter. Free admission; fee for some activities. Active, retired and reserve military and families receive free burger or hotdog, drink and kids activities. (813) 689-1221.

Channelside Fourth

With entertainment beginning at 2 p.m. in Channelside Courtyard; wharf area opens at 7 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m. launched from a barge in Garrison Channel, which can be viewed from Cotanchobee Park, Explore A Shore at Florida Aquarium, the American Victory, Marriott Waterside, the Yacht StarShip and other Channelside locations. TECO Line Streetcar System hours extended, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Florida Aquarium open 9 a.m.-9 p.m., with $4 discount for Florida residents; Explore A Shore remains open later for fireworks viewing. (813) 273-4000.

SS American Victory Fourth

Former wartime cargo carrier, now being restored as mariner's museum, has special pricing for self-guided restoration tours and offers views of Channelside fireworks. Also concerts by bluegrass and gospel group, the Ancient Path Old Time Band, at 5 p.m. and Christian acoustic rock group Keilah at 6:30 p.m. Picnic-style food and drink available for purchase after noon. Ship opens 10 a.m.; $10 all-day admission allows guests to tour ship and return for fireworks. Discount for ages 12 and under. Visitors boarding ship after 5 p.m. pay $5. Ship is docked at 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa (behind the Florida Aquarium). (813) 228-8766.

St. Pete Beach Fireworks

City-sponsored display at 8:30 p.m. at the Lido Condominiums, 4450 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, with parking at adjacent county park (space limited). Visible from along St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9207.

Treasure Island Fireworks

Treasure Island Recreation Department hosts fireworks at 9 p.m. from 112th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard, north of Municipal Beach. (727) 547-4575. Free.

Redington Beach Fireworks

With contemporary adult music by Rescued and fireworks after sunset; bring coolers and lounge chairs. 5-10:30 p.m. Redington Long Pier, 17490 Gulf Blvd., Redington Beach. (727) 409-7548. Free.

Kenneth City/Lealman Fourth

July Fourth Safety Festival with public safety equipment and vehicles on display, including Sheriff's Department helicopter, police and fire units and Dare Cruiser, safety displays on accidental childhood injuries; also free hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn and drinks. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Kenneth City Park, 4601 58th Street N. (727) 526-5650. Free.

Tarpon Springs Fireworks

At dusk at Tarpon Springs Municipal Golf Course, 1310 S Pinellas Ave. (Alt. U.S. 19). Parking available at golf course or at Sisler Field. (727) 938-3711.

Madeira Beach Fireworks Mon.

Fireworks at 9 p.m. at Recreation Department ball field behind City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive; can be viewed from City Hall, the Recreation area, American Legion Drive, Madeira Shopping Plaza and Madeira Beach Middle School. (727) 391-3400 or (727) 391-9951. Free.


Family celebration with entertainment, car, truck and motorcycle show, inflatable games, military displays, antique tractor display, skydiving exhibition with U.S. flag, food court, fireworks. Gates open 4 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m., Pasco County Fairgrounds on SR 52, 8 miles east of Interstate 75, Dade City. $2 adults, under age 13 free; $5 parking. Chairs and blankets okay; no personal fireworks, pets, alcohol or coolers. (352) 567-6678.

Weeki Wachee Springs Fourth

Weeki Wachee Springs and Buccaneer Bay Waterpark open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with arts and crafts and local business vendors, game area for children; fireworks display after dusk. 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Admission special for the day: $12.95, $6.95 for ages 3-10. Coolers not permitted. 352 596-2062; or

Dunnellon Boomtown Blast

Family celebration with entertainment, food vendors and fireworks. Activities begin 5 p.m. with fireworks around 9:30 p.m., Tiger Field at Dunnellon High School, SW 180th Avenue Road, between SR 484 and SR 40, Dunnellon. $2 parking donation. (352) 465-8595.

Downtown Dunedin "Hometown' Fourth

The Rotary Club celebration (formerly held at Honeymoon Island) has moved to Main Street in downtown Dunedin this year. Parade begins 10 a.m. at Dunedin Brewery on Douglas Avenue, south of Skinner, and heads south to Albert. Also arts and crafts, continuous entertainment, games and food-eating contests, giant slide, bungee jumping, rock-climbing wall and more, on Broadway Avenue. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (727) 515-7767. Free.

Plant City Fourth of July Celebration

With music, kids activities and fireworks after dark. Parking opens 4 p.m., gates open 5 p.m. Plant City Stadium, 1810 E Park Road. Free admission; parking $2. (813) 754-3707.


The major theme parks plan special events for the July Fourth weekend, all included in the price of admission. See the Get Away Calendar on page XXW for details on each park.

Busch Gardens

Independence Day Celebration Concerts at 8:45 p.m. with Trick Pony on Sat., the Fifth Dimension on Sun. and Davy Jones on Mon.; fireworks follow concerts each night.

Cypress Gardens Adventure Park

Appearance and autographs by Carter Oosterhouse of Trading Spaces, 1-3 p.m. Sat.; music by Simple Plan and Dropping Daylight, 7 p.m. Sun.; concert by Vince Gill and onstage fireworks, 7 p.m. Mon..


Shamu Rocks America, 9 and 10:30 p.m. Sat. and Mon., 9 and 10:15 p.m. Sun. Fireworks, 9:45 p.m. Sat.-Mon. and 10:45 p.m. Sun. Mistify, fireworks show and finale, 10:30 p.m. Sat. and Mon.

Walt Disney World

"Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks 9 p.m. Mon. at Magic Kingdom; "Sorcery in the Sky," 9 p.m. Mon., Disney-MGM; and IllumiNations, 10 p.m. Mon., Epcot.

[Last modified June 30, 2005, 10:16:19]

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