Southwest Florida will celebrate Independence Day with parades, picnics and fireworks. Here’s a rundown of holiday events by date and community:
FRIDAY, JULY 3
A holiday block party is planned at Mercato on Friday, July 3, with live music, a barbecue and red, white and blue martinis. The party will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at AZN, The Pub and Piola restaurants, 9118 Strada Place. Information: 593-8818.
Miromar Outets Independence Day festivities start at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 3, with children’s activities by YMCA of Lee County and live music by Geek Skwad at the restaurant piazza. Between 6 and 7:30 p.m. the Southern Extreme water ski team will perform. Fireworks will follow at dusk. The public is welcome to bring chairs to enjoy the ski and fireworks shows at the outdoor mall, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero.
SATURDAY, JULY 4
The annual Independence Day parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at Third Street South and Broad Avenue South, turns onto Fifth Avenue South and ends at Cambier Park across from City Hall on Eighth Street South.
The fireworks show at the Naples Pier is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. The show attracts tens of thousands each year to the beach from Lowdermilk Park south to Gordon Pass. The show will be simulcast with patriotic music on radio station WAVV 101.1 FM. In case of inclement weather, the display will be held on Sunday. Questions? Call 213-7120.
The Naples Jaycees will host a festival and fireworks Saturday, July 4, at Sugden Regional Park. There will be food and games starting at 3 p.m. The fireworks are slated to begin at 9:15 p.m. The park is adjacent to Lake Avalon, 4284 Avalon Drive. Parking will be available at the County Government Center, 3301 U.S. 41 E., with free shuttle service to the park.
There will be music, children’s games, a hotdog eating contest and a sandcastle competition Saturday, July 4, at Resident’s Beach. Festivities begin at 11 a.m., with the annual fireworks display scheduled for 9 p.m.
The City of Marco Island has arranged for a flyover between 11:30 a.m. and noon by the 482nd Fighter Wing from Homestead Air Force Base. The eating contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the winner of sandcastle competition will be announced at 5 p.m.
For information about Residents’ Beach, call 642-7778.
The 51st annual Bonita Springs parade, titled "Support Our Troops," begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 4. The parade route will travel south on Old 41 Road, turn right onto Hampton Street, turn right again onto Front Street, and will end with an awards ceremony at Riverside Park immediately following the parade.
Trophies will be presented to winning entries in an equestrian division, a non-motorized division, a motorized division and a grand prize award for best overall entry.
At 6 p.m., the festivities will reconvene at Riverside Park with food vendors, live music, games and rides. A laser light show begins at 9 p.m. and is expected to last 20 to 30 minutes. Free admission to the park.
San Carlos Park
The 19th annual San Carlos Park Fourth of July Parade and Celebration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at the Sunshine Ace Hardware plaza on the corner of U.S. 41 and Sanibel Boulevard. It concludes at Three Oaks Community Park with rides, games, food, music and more. The San Carlos Park Civic Association, the Optimists Club of San Carlos Park and the San Carlos Park Fire Department are sponsoring this year’s parade.
SUNDAY, JULY 5
The holiday weekend celebration will be Sunday, July 5, at McLeod Park with arts and crafts at 11 a.m.; the opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m.; a parade at 1 p.m.; and music, food and prizes at 2 p.m. The annual fireworks display is scheduled for 9 p.m. Questions? Call 695-2905.