Clearwater Celebrates America
Thu., July 4, 4 p.m.,
Coachman Park, 301 Drew St.
Claimed to be the largest Fireworks Show in Tampa Bay with fun for kids and grown-ups alike. Kids can join Radio Disney at the Natalie’s Juice Kid’s Zone from 5 to 9p.m. Participate in games, see performers, check out a mascot parade and more. The Mostly Pops Orchestra performs, featuring the Wilsons, at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30. my clearwater.com.
St. Petersburg and surrounding area
Downtown St. Petersburg Fourth Extravaganza
Thu., July 4, 9 p.m.
North Straub Park
400 Bayshore Drive S.
The Pier may be history, but the city of St. Petersburg’s Independence Day celebration lives on. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., weather permitting — but can start as early as 8:30 p.m. or as late as 10 p.m. due to impending weather conditions. The pyrotechnics can be seen all along the waterfront with prime viewing from Vinoy, Albert Whitted, and North Straub Parks. Leave the cooler at home: No alcohol allowed. Nor are “personal fireworks.” There will be food and beverage vendors throughout the day. Free admission. 727-893-7441.
Cowhead’s Brew-Ha-Ha with Ralphie-May
Thu., July 4, 5-11 p.m.
The supersize comedian who credits Sam Kinison and Richard Pryor as major influences performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaffey in an event presented by Cowhead of 102.5 “The Bone” FM. Before the show, there’ll be a barbecue at 5 with grub from Champions on the plaza. May takes the stage inside the theater at 7:30 followed by fireworks and Pitbull Toddler, Cowhead’s (Mike Calta’s) band. $20, $25, $30 and $47.50. (The $47.50 seats are almost sold out and include a pre-show hospitality party and after-show, reserved seating on the Plaza terrace for fireworks and Pitbull Toddler’s free concert). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, 727-892-5767, St. Petersburg. themahaffey.com.
Gulfport’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration
Thu., July 4
3129 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport
Celebrate by day with kids’ activities, live music, food and craft vendors and a parade, and by night with a world-class fireworks display. All activities and entertainment take place in Gulfport’s scenic Waterfront District .Free admission. Located at Beach Boulevard South and 28th Avenue South. 727-322-5217.
MFA Annual Fourth of July Celebration
Thu., July 4, 6 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts
255 Beach Drive N.E.
Spend the Fourth in style with a gourmet barbecue buffet, music by O Som Do Jazz, special exhibitions and a great view of the downtown fireworks. Imbibe with the aid of a beer/wine cash bar. Reservations requested; call 727-822-1032 or 727-896-2667, ext. 258. $45, $36 for members. fine-arts.org.
Tampa Bay Rowdies Light Up the Bay
Thu., July 4, 6:30 p.m.
Al Lang Stadium, downtown St. Petersburg
Our hometown boys done good — ahem, the 2012 NASL Champions — take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a home game with patriotic festivities and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. rowdiessoccer.com.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Thu., July 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Marina Way & Windward Passage
The facility that’s home to Winter, the movie-star dolphin, will be hosting numerous events thoroughout the day with fireworks starting around 9:30 p.m. $15.95-$17.95. seewinter.com.
Madeira Beach JulyFest Celebration
Thu., July 4, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Archibald Memorial Beach Park
153rd Avenue and Gulf Boulevard
Get your all-American tan and listen to bands in the sand while partaking of food vendors, beer, live tunes and cocktail tents. Fireworks, of course, at dark. This year Madeira Beach has doubled their fireworks show, too. Keep kids occupied during the day on a giant slide, with hula hoop contests and more. Food vendors and large “tiki” bar on the sand add fun, grub and refreshment for the grown-ups. Music by Exit 28 at 4 p.m. and Full Fledged Unit at 7 p.m. Free admission.
Treasure Island: It’s a Freedom Thing!
Thu., July 4, noon-9 p.m.
10650 Gulf Boulevard, Treasure Island
Boat parade at noon. After the parade, Beach Blast featuring vendors and more behind Bilmar Beach resort. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Live entertainment includes music by Horses Wild. mytreasureisland.org.
Free Admission Day at Tampa Bay History Center
Thu., July 4, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
801 Old Water St.
Enjoy the center’s exhibits, costumed reenactors and costumed historical interpreters for free this Fourth of July. Hours have been extended for the holiday. tampabayhistorycenter.org.
The Great American Holiday: Channelside Celebration
Thurs., July 4, noon-11 p.m.
Channelside Bay Plaza
615 Channelside Drive
Enjoy a variety of live music and roving entertainers and live music, starting at noon, and kids’ activities all day. Fireworks launch at 9 p.m. Festivities can be seen from Channelside Bay Plaza, Florida Aquarium and Yacht Starship. Free admission. Wharf access limited to 3,500 people; opens up at 7 p.m. No backpacks, coolers and chairs. 813-223-4250, channelsidebayplaza.com.
Plant City 4th of July Celebration
Thu., July 4, 5:30 p.m.
Plant City Stadium
1900 S. Park Road
A veritably family-fun event (not that there’s any shortage of them on the holiday) with activities that include face painting, corn hole, volleyball, tug-o-war, inflatables for the kids, concessions, food vendors and live music. Fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. No coolers, alcohol or personal fireworks allowed. 813-754-3707.
Summer Nights at Busch Gardens
Daily through Aug. 11
3000 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa
Don’t let the fun end early on your trip to Busch Gardens this summer — even if you’re dripping in sweat. Enjoy that precious nominal drop in temps at BG’s Summer Nights, which livens up with live entertainment and rides when the sun goes down. The award-winning Kinetix show returns with performances of rock music-fueled acrobatics. Fireworks, which can be seen throughout the park, cap the day off every night. $75 for adults, $67 for children. Included with daily admission or any annual pass. Through Aug. 11. Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. Sun.-Thu. and until 10 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 888-800-5447.
Westfield Brandon Blast
Thu., July 4, 5 p.m.
Brandon Westfield Town Center
459 Brandon Town Center
Westfield Brandon is celebrating Independence Day with its annual fest in the Restaurant Courtyard in front of The Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze Island Grille. The event is sponsored by WQYK 99.9. Activities for everyone go all day. Fireworks go off at 9. Free. 813-661-6255.
Safety Harbor July Fourth Celebration
Thu., July 4, 5 p.m.
Safety Harbor City Marina
110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor
The city of Safety Harbor is a local favorite, taking place along Bayshore Boulevard at the City Marina and on the back lawn of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. Play games and activities appropriate for all ages, partake of food and beverages available for purchase — beer and wine available with proper ID and local bands performing on the Budweiser True Music Stage. It also features one of the larger fireworks displays in the Tampa Bay area. 5-10:20 p.m. free admission, with nominal fees for some activities.
Tarpon Springs Fourth of July Fireworks
Thu., July 4, 8:30pm
Fred Howard Park
1700 Sunset Drive
The celebration returns after cancellations due to a several-year hiatus brought on by public safety issues and budgetary problems. Free admission. 727-943-4081.
Before and after the Fourth ...
Things to do the days before and after the big holiday ...
Patriotic Evening in Inverness
Wed., July 3, 5-10 p.m.
Liberty and Wallace Brooks parks
350 N. Apopka Avenue
The largest fireworks show in Citrus County; salutes veterans and current members of the Armed Forces. Music, games, booths, food and more. Opening ceremony at 7 p.m.; fireworks after dark. Free admission.
Threshers vs. the Blue Jays
Thu., July 3, 7 p.m.
601 N. Old Coachman Road, Clearwater
Fireworks after the game. Patrons can purchase a commemorative Bud Can on special and ladies can drink free beer during Happy hour 5:30-6:30 at Frenchy’s. milb.com.
Gulfport Monthly Art Walk
Fri., July 5, 6-10 p.m.
3129 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport
Gulfport Art Walks take place on the first Friday and third Saturday of every month all year long. Meet and purchase the works of talented independent artisans, craftsmen, authors and entertainers, stretched over a half-mile up and down scenic Beach Boulevard. Live musicians including the New Horizons Band and the Double M Band appear at venues throughout the waterfront district. Visitors can view the stars through St. Pete Astronomy Club’s state of the art telescopes, weather permitting, every first Friday.facebook.com/GulfportArtWalk, 727-322-5217.
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Sun., July 7, 3 p.m.
711 Franklin St.
Tampa Theatre salutes Independence Day weekend with a revival of the 1942 film about the life of composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan, starring James Cagney in a career defining role (the one that doesn’t involve “dirty rats,” that is). $9. 813-274-8981, tampatheatre.org.
2013 Red Bull Wake Open
Fri., July 5, 3- 8 p.m. and Sat., July 6, noon-6 p.m.
Tampa Convention Center
333 S. Franklin St.
Thirty-six of the world’s best wakeboarders will compete for this year’s championship. The athletes from nine countries, ranging in age from 15 to 32, will take to the water in Downtown Tampa, vying in all three wake disciplines of boat, wake park, and big air. The inaugural 2012 Red Bull Wake Open at the Tampa Convention Center attracted a horde of fans on land and water, plus thousands across the U.S. who tuned in to watch the live broadcast on NBC. This year’s competition will also be broadcast with viewing locations around the channel including the Tampa Convention Center and Knights Point at Harbour Island. Free admission.