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Marco Island Fourth of July, 2013

See smaller A boy and a bucket - this young man reduces the beach experience to its essentials. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

A boy and a bucket - this young man reduces the beach experience to its essentials. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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  • Eddie Caray, right, gives it his best shot in the hotdog eating contest. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Skimboarders glide at the water's edge. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Hannah Adams, about to turn 10, shows how to hula hoop at neck level. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • The swimsuit competition gave many girls a chance to show off their gymnastic ability. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Travis Wildey wears his colors in his hair. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Avorie Anderson, right, and her friends get their own fireworks show going. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Odalys Cabrales talked husband Juan Cabrales into entering the Patriotic Swimsuit competition - and he won. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • A boy and a bucket - this young man reduces the beach experience to its essentials. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Stars and stripes - Gianna Scola, 8, and Gianna Foschini, 10, practice their gymnastics. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Tara Hayes had to settle for second in the Patriotic Swimsuit competition. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Gigi Polici, 3, shows her colors. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • The sun peeks beneath the clouds before sunset. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • Skimboarders glide at the water's edge. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
  • A pair of kayaks joined the larger craft off the beach. Marco Island celebrated our nation's Independence Day Thursday, with an all-day beach party at Residents' Beach capped off by fireworks over the Gulf. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island’s community celebration of the Fourth of July is two stories, or one story in two chapters. First, there’s the daytime beach party, Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam at Residents’ Beach, put on by the Marco Island Civic Association, with help from Lola Dial of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Act two comes after dark, when the professional fireworks are fired off from a barge anchored offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, augmented by more than a few amateur pyrotechnic displays launched from the beach itself.

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