There are a number of family-friendly Independence Day festivities taking place in Southwest Florida, making it the ideal place to celebrate the birth of our nation. Try one of the following local favorites for an unforgettable time.
SAND JAM AT RESIDENTS’ BEACH,
The Marco Island Civic Association will hold its annual July 4th celebration at Residents’ Beach, 130 S. Collier Boulevard. Parking is limited to members of Marco Island Residents’ Beach, who must show their Residents’ Beach ID card when entering. Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam starts at 12 PM with the DJ who will play through the fireworks, which start at 9 PM. Games begin at 1 PM. At 3 PM, there will be a Hot Dog Eating Contest, followed by Most Patriotic Swimsuit Contest. Judging at 4 PM for the sandcastle contest.
Fireworks will be shot from a barge when dark and can be enjoyed from anywhere along the beachfront and Collier Boulevard.
For more information visit marcocivic.com.
EVERGLADES CITY FESTIVAL
The annual family-fun festival to commemorate America’s founding will be held on Saturday, July 1 at McLeod Park in Everglades City. The Opening Ceremony is at 10 AM on the steps of City Hall (the former county courthouse) at 102 Copeland Ave. North, Everglades City, followed at 10:30 AM by the Patriotic Parade. There are prizes for the best floats, which may be anything from golf carts to swamp buggies.
The fun continues in McLeod Park when booths open at 11 AM, featuring hot dogs, refreshments, a bake sale, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, raffles, children’s best-dressed contest (Little Miss and Mister Firecracker), and playground games. In the evening, the Grande Finale is the dramatic musical fireworks display at 9 PM.
For more information visit www.evergladeshistorical.org.
CITY OF NAPLES PARADE
The annual City of Naples 4th of July Parade takes place from 10 AM to noon. Don’t miss this exciting celebration as floats, bands, and all kinds of entries make their way from Broad Street South to 3rd Street South to 5th Avenue South following the traditional parade route. The parade promises fun for the whole family.
For more information or to sign up to participate, call the City of Naples at 239-213-7120.
FIREWORKS AT NAPLES PIER
After the sun sets on July 4th, enjoy fabulous fireworks just off the Naples Pier, located at the west end of 12th Avenue South. The annual firework display begins at 9 PM and features a 25-minute presentation with special effects musically choreographed to patriotic selections that will be simulcast on radio station WAVV 101.1 FM.
Fireworks can be seen all along the Naples beach; bring chairs and/or blankets and pick a spot along the City beach from Lowdermilk Park to south of the Pier for the best viewing. Several Naples sightseeing boats offer cruises to watch the fireworks from the Gulf of Mexico (reservations required).
For more information visit www.fifthavenuesouth.com/event/july-4thfireworks/# sthash.Hx3pU4Jk.dpuf or call 239-213-1000.
SUGDEN PARK, NAPLES
The Collier County Parks and Recreation Division and Veterans Services Division will host a free 4th of July Celebration at Sugden Regional Park, 4284 Avalon Drive, on Tuesday, July 4th from 4–10 PM.
An Ice Cream Social will take place from 4– 6 PM. Food and beverages will be available to purchase. The entertainment starts at 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM, and the evening will end with an amazing fireworks display beginning at 9:15 PM. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
No parking will be available at Sugden Regional Park, except for handicapped parking. Parking will be available at local establishments nearby. No coolers or pets allowed.
For more information visit m.collierparks.com/events/ or call 239-252-4000.