Whether you want to celebrate the Fourth with a big bang or you're just looking for some down-home fun, Tampa celebrations follow the American tradition of being as diverse as the melting pot this nation has become.
By AMY ABBOTT
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 28, 2001
Aquafest, noon-9 p.m. Tues., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed., Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 273-4000. After 15 years of oohing and ahhhing Tampa with spectacular fireworks displays, the 15-year Freedom Fest tradition ceases to be. The Florida Aquarium is picking up the torch with Aquafest. And it's a good cause. Proceeds go to Metropolitan Ministries and Law Enforcement Charities. The two-day nautical-themed event will feature Florida seafood set to the music of local and national bands. And of course there are fireworks on Wednesday night.
Amerifest, 4-9:45 p.m. Weds., first fairway of Temple Terrace Golf Course; (813) 989-7004. If your memory of the Fourth involves tasty home-cooked treats and kids' bikes decked out in American flags, then this parade and festival will suit you fine. Put on by the city of Temple Terrace, Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce and First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace, a parade of clowns, Scouts, USF football players and more will kick off the day at the corner of Gillette Avenue and Whiteway Drive. After it winds through Druid Hills and Ridgedale, the procession will meet the party at the first fairway of the golf course. Jump around rides for the kids, games, food, live bands and fireworks at 9:15.
Mutiny's Fireworks Extravaganza, 9:30 p.m. Weds., Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; (813) 386-2000. Following the Mutiny game against the MetroStars, fireworks will dazzle the masses for miles around. Tropicana, the event's sponsor, is spending more than $55,000 to put on a 25-minute musically choreographed pyrotechnics display. Radio stations WFLZ-FM 93.3 and WTBT-FM 103.5 will be at the stadium. The Great Show, an events company that has designed displays for the Super Bowl, Orange Bowl and Disney, is coordinating the event. The first 10,000 fans will receive a set of noisemakers to add to the revelry.
Brandon Roundtable, 10 a.m.-noon Weds., Lumsden Road to Robertson Street, Brandon; (813) 681-4018. This annual parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Lumsden and Parsons Avenue, continue north on Parsons to Robertson and go west to end at the Publix Shopping Center.
Lutz Fourth of July Celebration 2001, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Weds., Lutz Community Center, First Ave. NW, Memorial Park, Lutz; (813) 949-7481. Kicking off the festivities will be a 5K race at 8 a.m. at the Lutz Community Center. A parade will follow at 10, beginning at the corner of Crooked Lane and Lutz-Lake Fern Road. It will go east on Lutz-Lake Fern and take a left in front of the Methodist Church, wind in front of the library, cross Lutz-Lake Fern Road again and disband on Second Avenue. There will be children's activities all day, a cake bake contest and an auction at 11:30 at the Train Depot, and the Fire Department will fix up barbecue chicken dinners at 11 in the community center. There will be entertainment on the Train Depot stage all day.