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Fourth of July Weekend Fishing & Fireworks

This Fourth of July weekend looks to be promising! As the storms pass and the skies clear, anglers will have the opportunity to get out and enjoy some great Florida fishing. The reports from our Weekend Fishing 4Cast writers are packed full of information on where to fish this holiday weekend, along with what baits and methods have been producing the best bites in your area.

In the photo above, Capt. Roger Bump led his client John Sheppard to the fish of a lifetime while freelining a live finger mullet in a backwater creek, a 16 ½-pound pound tripletail. Surely, there is another fish out there like this, just waiting to be caught!

Yet, if you find some couch time, The Sportsman Channel will be airing video vignettes hosted by Gary Sinise – courtesy of the Department of Defense – from active military serving throughout the world. These “Salutes to Service” will offer an innovative chance for active military personnel to connect with their families back home through multiple media sources including a second screen application.

Now, we can’t forget the fireworks. To further help you enjoy the holiday weekend, you will find below a comprehensive list of the places you can view the Fourth of July fireworks displays from your boat. That is, if you can put down the fishing rods for a while!

Have a fun-filled and safe weekend on the water, Happy Fourth of July from the staff here at Florida Sportsman!


The 2013 Fourth of July fireworks show over the St. Lucie River in Stuart, FL. Photo by Christopher Collins.

Anna Maria Island

28th Annual “Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular” FIREWORKS that will light up the night sky on the north end of Anna Maria Island. Sandbar celebrates our country’s freedom like no other so make sure you get there early for a seat on the deck or on the beach. Better yet, watch from your boat!

Apalachicola

July 3rd 2014, 8:00 pm to 1:00 am

The Historic Apalachicola Main Street Program will be sponsoring a July 3rd Independence Day Celebration on the Riverfront Park in downtown Apalachicola. The day begins with the traditional Red, White and Blue parade at 6:30 pm with an ice cream social after the parade on Riverfront Park. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and music will continue throughout the evening until approximately 9:00pm when a professional FIREWORKS DISPLAY will take place over the Apalachicola River at Riverfront Park. The Apalachicola Main Street Program invites everyone to come out and celebrate this wonderful day.

Bal Harbour Beach

The Village of Bal Harbour 4th of July will be held on July 4, 2014 between the hours of 9:00pm and 9:25pm on the jetty at Bal Harbour Beach, East of the bridge in Bal Harbour, Fl.

Big Pine Key

The Big Pine & Lower Keys Rotary Club is set to host the annual 4th of July Fireworks at the Big Pine Community Park, located at 31009 Atlantis Road. Co-sponsored by the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, activities include live music headlined by the Ray West band, food and ice-cold beverages accompanied by games and activities for both adults and kids. An expanded fireworks show is set to go off at nightfall or about 9 p.m. Admission is free, but no coolers, pets or personal fireworks will be allowed. Gates open at 5 p.m. and a rain date, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday, July 5. For information, call 305-872-2411.

Boynton Beach

From the hours of 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. It will be northwest of Ocean Inlet Park in the Intracoastal Waterway.

Bradenton

There will be a Fireworks display over the Manatee River around dark.

Delray Beach

9:00 pm Fantastic Fireworks Shot from the Beach.

Carrabelle

On the riverfront and along the harbor. Great fireworks display!

Cape Coral

Red, White and Boom

The Storm Smart Red, White & Boom will be Friday, July 4 from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge on Cape Coral Parkway. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. For more than 20 years, the best of Cape Coral’s business community have come together to celebrate the 4th of July with a day of patriotic fun, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show. This event is free and has won the reputation as the best place to honor America in Southwest Florida. By land or by sea, the experience is remarkable as more than 30,000 people come together in the spirit of Independence Day.

Storm Smart also is the new major sponsor. Several other businesses are providing support: American Brokers, LCEC, Achieva Credit Union, Harley Davidson of Ft. Myers, Sky Zone Trampoline Park and Sea Tow.

This year’s event will feature the Sky Zone “Patriot Kids Fun Zone” with games, face painting, climbing walls and obstacle courses. There will be more than 100 vendors offering food, drinks, novelty items, jewelry, arts & crafts, and free giveaways and drawings throughout the day. Cat Country 107.1 has lined up a great live show on the City’s stage. The celebration will wrap up with the largest fireworks display in Southwest Florida.

For more information, call the City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation at (239) 573-3128 or visit www.CapeBoom.com.

Cedar Key

We will be launching them from Cemetery Point Park, here in Cedar Key.

Cocoa

Come out to beautiful Riverfront Park to enjoy a FREE concert from the Brevard Symphony Orchestra as they play along with a fantastic fireworks display over the Indian River. The concert starts at 8pm and fireworks begin at 9:15pm. Remember to bring your lawn chairs or blankets and get here early to find a spot. Food and beverages will be available for sale at the park and admission is FREE!

Deerfield Beach

Relax on the beach or on your boat and join in as we celebrate the independence of our great nation. There will be unforgettable music and plenty of vendors providing a variety of arts & crafts, local foods, and ice cold beverages. Join us all day long as we will have musical acts from 1 – 9 PM and then the famous Deerfield Beach firework show. Free Shuttle Service from the Cove Parking Lot.

Delray Beach

The Delray Beach Downtown Marketing Cooperative fireworks will be held on July 4, 2014 between the hours of 8:30pm and 9:30pm in Delray Beach, on the ocean off Atlantic Avenue Delray Beach, Fl.

Destin

Watch hungry competitors go head to head in the 3rd Annual HarborWalk Village Hot Dog Eating contest with Dave’s Dogs. Enjoy an exciting live concert on the Main stage topped off by a special Independence day fireworks show over the harbor. Family activities, contests, and giveaways make this the coolest place to be in Destin for the 4th!

Local Info: You can anchor at Crab Island or pull up on Norriego Point. The latter is the more popular option as it provides the best view (Local Information by Heather Thompson of Destin Vacation Boat Rentals).

Fernandina

Stars and Strips Freedom Festival

Celebrate Independence Day on Amelia Island with theStars & Stripes Freedom Festival at Central Park in Fernandina Beach, Friday, July 4, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will be followed by a patriotic Parade on Centre Street at 7 p.m., a concert of Americana music at 8:30 p.m. in front of the Depot, and fireworks at the Fernandina Harbor Marina at approximately 9:30 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided throughout the festival on the Freedom Stage. Other activities include a Parent-Child Look-A-Like Contest, an All American Apple Pie Contest, teamwork games, Fun for the Kids playground, plus food and arts and crafts vendors.

Fort Lauderdale

On Fort Lauderdale Beach at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.

Fort Myers

Freedom Fest

Block Party 2pm ’til Midnight – Fireworks start at 9:30pm, Contact: 1-855-732-3836 Huge fireworks display! Over the Caloosahatchee River, Food, Live music & kids activities.

Fort Pierce

Stars Over St. Lucie

A 4th of July Celebration, Friday, July 4, 3pm – 11pm Marina Square, Downtown Fort Pierce.

Live Music from: Category 5 & the Storm Horns, 3-6 pm, The People Upstairs, 7-11 pm, DJ Jeff Brown.

Fireworks display starts at 9pm. Come by boat and watch from the Indian River Lagoon.

Fort Walton Beach

The event is scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m. and will include entertainment, food/display/and merchandise vendors, a bicycle parade for children, a fly-over, and children’s games and activities. The evening will conclude with a breathtaking fireworks display at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Hollywood

The City of Hollywood 4th of July Celebration Fireworks will be held July 4, 2014, between the hours of 9:00pm and 9:30pm in the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Hollywood Beach. There will be fireworks launched from a barge.

Jacksonville

4th of July festivities take place on the Downtown Riverfront starting at 5PM with music and food. The fireworks show begins at 9:45 PM with a spectacular display over the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Landing and Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel is a great place to view the show. Strobes will highlight both sides of the Main Street Bridge and the east side of the AcostaBridge. Pedestrian visitors can view the fireworks from the north and south banks of the St. Johns River.

Boating and Docking Information

Docking on the Northbank and Southbank and at the Metropolitan Park Marina is first-come, first-served in areas not marked as closed.

Docking is allowed for a maximum of 72 hours.
No anchoring between the Main and Acosta Bridge.
No anchoring west of the School Board Building to the Main Street Bridge.
No open flames or open flame grills allowed on boats at or on city dock.
No swimming in the marina or around the city docks.
For more information, contact the City Dockmaster: (904) 630-0839 or jsuber@coj.net.

Jacksonville Beach

You can catch a great view from the ocean if we have calm seas.

Key Biscayne

The Village of Key Biscayne 4th of July will be held on July 4, 2014 between the hours of 8:30pm and 9:30pm in Miami, Fl on the ocean off Key Biscayne Beach front.

Key Largo

Along Key Largo’s bayside,located around mile marker (MM) 104, is where the action happens. An annual fireworks display over Blackwater Sound provides an illuminating viewing experience if seen by land or by sea. The show is to take place on Wednesday, July 4, at 9 p.m. The best bayside seating is at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles Restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort. Reservations are suggested because seating fills up early. For more information visit www.keylargofireworks.com.

Lake Worth

The Lake Worth 4th of July Fireworks Display will be held July 4, 2014 between 9:00 and 9:25 p.m. in Lake Worth, FL.

Lantana

The Town of Lantana 4th of July Fireworks Display will be held July 4, 2014 between 9:00 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. in Lantana, FL.

Longboat Key

Boom Boom on the Bay

Fourth Annual” Boom Boom on the Bay” FIREWORKS that will light up the night sky on Longboat Key over Sarasota Bay (For Boaters- it is Channel Marker 39). Come by boat to Dock & Dine or by car. Valet Parking & delicious specials. Seating is limited so call now to get your spot for dinner and a great show!

Located at: 760 Broadway Longboat Key, FL.

Marathon

For one of the Keys’ largest and longest fireworks displays, families gather for a full day of activities in Marathon for a patriotic parade that begins at 10:30 a.m. and proceeds from Marathon High School on Sombrero Beach Road (MM 50 oceanside) to free-admission Sombrero Beach, where a daylong celebration features food, drink, kids’ crafts and entertainment, capped off after dark with fireworks. Marathon is known as the Boating Destination of the Keys, and hundreds of boaters line up in front of the beach for a preferred view of the festivities. Each year hundreds of boaters come out to view the fireworks show via boat, its such a great way to view fireworks. Contact: 305-743-5417.

Melbourne

The City of Melbourne will present an Independence Day Fireworks display at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, over the Indian River Lagoon at Claude Edge Front Street Park, 2210 Front Street, just north of the Melbourne Causeway. The boat ramp at Claude Edge Front Street Park is to be closed at 5 p.m. on July 3 to allow for Independence Day activities at the park, and is to reopen at 9 a.m. on July 5.

Mexico Beach

Mexico Beach, FL – Mexico Beach is a great place to spend your 4th of July and they will have a whole array of activities starting with a 5K Run Walk and a children’s fishing tournament here on the Gulf. The Fireworks are themed “Best Blast On The Beach” and they will be held at Frank Pate Park overlooking the Gulf. There will be the usual festivities including games and some small rides, with all the great 4th of July foods you would come to expect for good old fashioned family 4th of July outing.

Miami (Bayfront Park)

The Bayfront Park Independence Day Celebration Fireworks Display will be held July 4, 2014 between 9:00 p.m and 9:30 p.m. in Miami, FL. There are approximately 200 spectator boats.

Miami (Bal Harbour)

Zambelli Fireworks Inc. will sponsor the Village of Bal Harbour July 4th Celebration Fireworks Display July 4 between 9:00 p.m. to 9:25 p.m. The display will launch from the south jetty of Bakers Haulover Inlet in Bal Harbour, FL. For more information, please contact LT Jennifer Makowski at (305) 535-8724.

Milton

July 4th Riverfest

Historic Downtown Milton, Florida Riverwalk & Blackwater River North of CSX Train Trestle. Arts, Crafts, Retail and Concession Vendors. Motorcycle & Car Show. Veterans Salute. Great Milltown (Rubber) Duck Race. Karaoke and Live Bands. Fireworks Display after Dark over the Blackwater River (Drop Zone Perimeter Enforced). 100s of boats will be anchored in river and along shoreline.

No Wake Zone in effect the entire day from the North Side of Russell Harber Landing to the CSX Train Trestle. Extended Hours for the Swinging Bridge (CSX Train Trestle) until 11:00 p.m. the night of July 4th.

Mount Dora

Mount Dora is about a 45 minute drive north of Downtown Orlando and is well known for it’s antique shops and quaint neighborhoods. The 4th of July in Mount Dora starts off with a parade along Donnelly Street from Seventh Avenue to Charles Street at 2pm. The party then moves over to Palm Island at Gilbert Park where there will be food vendors and live music and many activities for children including face painting, pony rides, and more. The Mount Dora fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.

Orange Park

American Pride Celebration

The American Pie Celebration 4th of July is a family friendly event and is designed to be a fun, clean event. The fireworks presentation rivals any in the Southeast. The festivities will begin this year on July 4th at 11:00 AM. At 2:00 PM there will be a parade that will begin at the Kennel Club and proceed to Moosehaven along River Road. Fireworks at approximately 9:30 PM.

*Dock in the St Johns river across from Moosehaven.( By Water 30.167876°, -81.691096°)

Palm Beach

The new West Palm Beach waterfront – the bike path along Palm Beach – and the southern causeway park on Palm Beach.

Palmetto

The celebratory fun begins at 5 p.m. at Lamb & Sutton Park with a free 4th of July concert by Three Dog Night beginning about 7:30 p.m. and performing until about fireworks time when the night sky will be lit up over the water near the Palmetto Fishing Pier around 9:30 p.m. Food vendors and more. Last year the city brought in Eddie Money. 700 Tenth Avenue W. Free admission.

Panama City

Salute To Freedom

The Panama City Marina with the Centennial Big Splash, Salute To Freedom Fireworks festivities featuring Live Entertainment all day long from 11:00 AM on through the day and night of the Fourth with the Fireworks Show Scheduled for 9:00 PM. This looks like a big celebration and is advertised as the largest Fireworks display in the area. Fireworks will be launched from two individual barges versus just the one as previously used. There is also a Block Party On Harrison Avenue Scheduled to celebrate the 4th festivities. The event will be simulcast on local radio stations. This event attracts up to 50,000 spectators to the Panama City Marina each year.

Panama City Beach

Star Spangled Spectacular

The Star Spangled Spectacular kicks off at Aaron Bessant Park’s Veteran’s Memorial Park with a salute to those who have served. Adjacent to Aaron Bessant Park, Pier Park is presenting a neighborhood-style block party from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., where families can enjoy children’s activities plus tasty food and drinks from street vendors and local shops. A patriotic musical performance by The Air National Guard Band of the South begins at 7 p.m. in Aaron Bessant Park’s outdoor amphitheater – bring picnic blankets and the whole family to enjoy this free show. The band will play up to and during the largest fireworks display along the Gulf Coast at 9 p.m., as simultaneous fireworks shows erupt from the nearby City Pier and the County Pier 3 miles east.

Pensacola

Sertoma’s Fourth of July Celebration

For the 23rd year, area Sertoma organizations are once again coordinating and hosting the largest Fireworks display on the Gulf Coast over Pensacola Bay on Wednesday, July 4th, , at 9:00 pm. There will be activities throughout the day, from 11:00 am until 6:30 pm, in Seville Square to include a FREE Children’s Area with inflatables and pony rides, Arts and Crafts vendors, Food vendors, and live entertainment on the gazebo stage beginning at 11:00 am, with a Hot Dog Eating Contest at noon! Starting at 4:00, there will be live music on the Bayfront Stage, featuring Crosstown Band at 4, followed by Bad Habits at 6:30. The festivities will culminate with the fireworks show over Pensacola Bay, synchronized with music broadcast on Cat Country 98.7.

Pompano Beach

The City will be doing a firework show off the pier beginning at 9:00 pm. We will also be including an all day beach bash to include bounce houses, crafts, music, and more!

Port Canaveral

No listing at this time.

Punta Gorda

Fishermen’s Village Annual July 4th Celebration: Independence Day festivities begin at 11 a.m. with Fishermen’s Village Annual July 4th Celebration with live entertainment, children’s activities and a fireworks display over Charlotte Harbor. (www.fishville.com)

Smuggler’s 4th of July Festival: Join the festivities on July 4th at Laishley Park from noon – 10 pm. Just a $2 donation at the gate (or for $6 we throw in a 4th of July Blow-out t-shirt). Please don’t bring a cooler (they have lots of great food and drink) but do bring your lawn chair, sun screen and your patriotic spirit. (www.smugglers.com)

Sanford

On July 4, 2014, the city of Sanford will light the sky up with fireworks from just outside the marina along the Sanford Riverwalk along Lake Monroe for Star Spangled Sanford.

Sarasota

Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay

This event is free from anywhere downtown, including Bayfront and Island Parks. This is a perfect event to watch by boat. The fireworks show starts at dusk. Sarasota fireworks will benefit Suncoast Charities for Children.

Local Information: Check your current charts, and get there early to ensure a good spot to anchor. As you’ll obviously be enjoying these displays after the sun goes down, make sure you are comfortable operating your vessel at night. Keep a keen eye out for other boaters, stay at least ¼ mile away and up-wind from where the fireworks are being discharged, don’t anchor in a channel, and keep clear of any Coast Guard designated security/safety zones. Be safe and enjoy the show! Form your crusingeditor.com.

Sebastian

Freedom Festival

You’re invited to be a part of the celebration. The City of Sebastian and the Sebastian Lions Club are planning a day of fun for the entire community. The 42nd Annual 4th of July Parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Sebastian Community Center and the Sebastian Masonic Lodge at 1805 Jackson Street proceeding East on Davis Street and South on Indian River Drive to Riverview Park. There will be crafters, food, beer and live entertainment in the park all day long then a firework show at sunset. Some of the festivities include a 5k run/walk, an apple pie baking contest, watermelon eating contest, karaoke contest and much more. The 4th of July Celebration brings approximately 20,000 guests to our community. For more information, contact Norman or Joyce Meyer at 772-664-1839 or 772-913-2279. It’s a great view from your boat or along the Riverfront. For more
info., visit our website at www.sebastianchamber.com.

Siesta Key

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce invites you to the 24th Annual Siesta Key 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. Fireworks will be launched over Siesta Key Public Beach, but can be viewed from several places, including Crescent Beach and all the way south to Turtle Beach. Mariners will enjoy a superb view from the Intracoastal waterway. Come early – fireworks start around 9 p.m.

St Augustine

St. Augustine Fireworks over Mantanzas

The spectacular Fourth of July fireworks in St Augustine will burst above the ancient Castillo de San Marcos and reflect in the waters of Matanzas Bay. Have a blast with a 20-minute long fireworks show accompanied by great patriotic music. Best vantage points located along the bayfront between the Castillo and the Bridge of Lions. Blast off is at 9:30 p.m. The rockets are launched from a barge in Matanzas Bay. Boaters can indeed get a great view from the bay itself. The Marine Patrol and St. Augustine Police Department cordon off a large area of the bay for safety considerations. But there’s lots of room for boaters in the north part of the bay. There are also several small, exposed islands where boaters come ashore to watch the show. For more information contact the CVB at 904.825.1005.

St. Pete Beach

Fireworks will be shot off a barge in the Gulf of Mexico directly west of the beach. They can be seen from any area along the coastline or by boat. July 4th beginning at 8pm.

St. Petersburg

Join us on Thursday, July 4, 2014, at Spa Beach Park along the downtown waterfront July 4th 9:00 pm weather permitting (weather conditions may result in fireworks any time between 8:30 pm-10:00 pm) No rain date.

Steinhatchee

We have the best fireworks in the area. They will be done on the 4th and are shot off the 10th St bridge by the Community Center. The FWC holds back boat traffic but you can anchor in the river both to the west and east. Food and glow sticks sold at the community center. (FWC allows viewing from the water but beyond the area around the bridge)

Stuart

Flagler Park

Family Fun with Live Country Music starting at 4 p.m. Children’s activity area, vendors, plenty of good All American food. Stuart Community Band will be performing patriotic music beginning around 7 p.m. Fireworks begin At 9 p.m. Boaters can view the fireworks while anchored in the river or dock at the City of Stuart courtesy dock and enjoy the activities in Flagler Park.

Local Information: It is on the St. Lucie River downstream from the Roosevelt bridge just off the hospital. Many boats usually show up for the display.

Tampa

At the Florida Aquarium with fireworks over the channel at 9:00 p.m.

Tarpon Spring

Independence Day Picnic in the Park: 10am-2pm, Craig Park Fireworks: Dusk (Best Viewing from Howard Park).

Venice

The fireworks are launched from the south end of Venice Jetty in the around Venice Beach and you can catch a great view from anywhere along Venice Beach, Nokomis Beach.

Boating Information: View from the Gulf of Mexico or anchored on the Intracoastal waterway, northeast of the Jetty. Fireworks at sunset.

Vero Beach

Vero’s Fourth of July Fun and Fireworks will run from 6 p.m. to about 9:30 p.m. July 4 at Riverside Park. The event will feature bounce houses, food vendors and arts and crafts vendors, with a 15- to 20-minute fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m. and radio simulcast by radio station 93.7 FM The Breeze. Bring your chairs and blankets; personal fireworks, alcoholic beverages and dogs are not permitted in the park. For information, call 772-567-2144.

West Palm Beach

4th on Flagler is the area’s biggest and best Fourth of July celebration, and it’s always family-friendly and free of charge! Lasso your family and friends and come celebrate our nation’s Independence Day on the spectacular West Palm Beach waterfront. In celebration of American goes west, there is a round up of fun including a Wild West Mini Rodeo, the Wells Fargo Kids Area, a “Ride them Hogs” Harley display and the Firefighter’s Silverado Splash and Dash Competition. Two stages of live entertainment, the unfurling of a 5 story American Flag, tribute to our military and South Florida’s most dazzling fireworks display at 9pm make for a bang up 4th of July. This FREE event is produced by the City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office, Division of Community Events. For more information on the event, visit wpb.org/4th or call 561-822-2222.

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