This Independence Day, pack up the kids and light up their night with some great July 4 pyrotechnic displays. These Tampa-area fireworks shows aim to please the most patriotic spirits and promise to be worth the wait and the crowds. Pack up the kids, the bug spray and chairs or picnic blankets for a perfect firework-filled night in Tampa.
9th Annual Brandon Blast
459 Brandon Town Center
Brandon, FL 33511
Hours: July 4, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Live entertainment, dining, prizes, and (of course) fireworks are in the agenda for the 9th annual Brandon Blast 4th of July Celebration. Join WQYK for some family fun capped off at 9 p.m. with a fireworks display set to country music. Don’t forget to visit the KidZone for the chance to win tickets to the Big Time Rush concert in August. WQYK tip: The event is expected to attract big crowds so come early. If you get hungry, don’t worry, Westfield Brandon restaurants will be open throughout the evening.
Clearwater Celebrates America
300 Drew St.
Clearwater, FL 33755
Hours: July 4 – 4p.m. to 10 p.m.; fireworks at dusk
At least 25,000 people are expected to converge on one of the area’s biggest venues to see this nationally renowned fireworks display and music festival. This holiday celebration includes something for everyone, with a variety of patriotic music and other entertainment acts, as well as food and drink vendors. Kids may enjoy the children’s carnival area, arts and crafts booths and face painting activities. Glass containers or bottles, alcoholic beverages, umbrellas, pets and personal fireworks are not allowed into the festival area.
Related: Plan a Staycation to Remember
Fourth of July at Channelside
Channelside Entertainment Complex
615 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Hours: July 4 – 9 p.m.
Another large-scale can’t-miss fireworks show, the annual display at Channelside in Tampa, offers something for the whole family. The fireworks get underway at 9 p.m., and event organizers are promising an expanded show this year. For prime viewing areas outside of the immediate vicinity of Channelside Plaza, check out views from places such as the Yacht StarShip, the Florida Aquarium, anywhere on Bayshore Boulevard, the Marriott Waterside or the St. Pete Times Forum. Parking is conveniently located right across street from Channelside, and you can take your parking slip to any business in the complex for validation and discounts.
Fourth of July Extravaganza
Downtown St. Petersburg
800 2nd Ave. Northeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Price: free/$5 parking
Hours: July 4 – noon; fireworks at dusk
The pier will be in full swing this 4th of July with a host of Independence Day activities that offer a little something for everyone. Events scheduled for the day include music, entertainers, characters, dancing and face painting. All events and activities are free, with the exception of face painting, which will charge a small fee based on the design and complexity. Fireworks will take place off the pier over the bay. Two parking lots are available right at the pier: the Dolphin and the Pelican parking lots.
St. Pete Beach
Beach Access Park
4700 Gulf Blvd.
St Pete Beach, FL 33706
Hours: July 4 – dusk
This laid-back, family friendly fireworks show gets underway at dusk. Grab the blanket and picnic basket and arrive before dusk to get a great spot for viewing the display, which is set off over the gulf. Swimming is allowed, however, there are no lifeguards on duty and sending the kids out into the water after dark is not advised. Beach Access Park has 235 parking spaces, so come early to take advantage.
Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay
Downtown Sarasota/Marina Plaza
1 Marina Plaza
Sarasota, FL 34236
Hours: July 4 – dusk
As part of the Suncoast Offshore Festival, this pyrotechnics show is visible anywhere from downtown Sarasota, which includes Bayfront Park and Island Park. The extravaganza will all originate from a boat anchored in Sarasota Bay. Although the event is privately funded and charity-focused, organizations such as The Selby Preschool and Community Haven accept cash donations or books, diapers, toys and wipes for children up to age 8. Donation drop points will be located at Island Park, Marina Jack’s and the Municipal Auditorium.
Related: Staying Safe in the Summer Sun
Kim Tobin enjoys breathing deeply whenever she can carve out a few seconds between writing and parenting twin 6-year-olds, a 9-year-old and a rescued German Shepherd mix who thinks he’s a dingo. Always on the lookout for the next best way to exhaust them all (while disguising it as fun), she has also served as the Tampa Fitness Examiner since 2009. See her work here.