3 To Do: Parades, fireworks, food and kittens

Marco Eagle

1. Saturday: Everglades City Independence Day celebration

Historic Everglades City is always first -- the first Collier County seat and the first in the area to celebrate Independence Day. The annual family-fun festival to commemorate America’s founding will be on Saturday, July 1.

File: Confederate reenactors fire artillery during the Everglades City Fourth of July celebration.

The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. on the steps of City Hall (the former county courthouse). That is followed at 10:30 a.m. 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 a.m. featuring hotdogs and sodas, bake sale, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, raffles, kiddies’ best dressed contest, and playground games. In the evening the grand finale is the dramatic musical fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Take your chance to win a special gift basket during the Independence Day Celebration on Saturday. There is one basket just for kiddies but others contains interesting edibles, household items, and local information. Raffle tickets will available for only $1 each at a special table under the pavilion in McLeod Park at 11 a.m. (after the parade). The lucky winners will be announced at 12:30. Most of the items have been donated and the proceeds benefit the fireworks fund.

Information: Dottie at 239-695-3781 or evergladeshistorical.org; raffle, 239-695-2905.

2. Friday: ‘The Best Things In Life Are Fuzzy’

For The Love of Cats, the no-kill shelter on Marco Island, and Iberia Bank present “The Best Things In

Life Are Fuzzy!” from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, June 30 at 605 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island.

Rescue kittens Sunny, Windy, Flash, and Rainbow will be on hand for snuggling and accepting “Depawsits” of their own for supplies and donations to help other kittens just like them.

3. Tuesday: Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam and fireworks

Celebrate Independence Day Island-style with Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam at Resident's Beach (parking is limited, must be a member).

File: The Marco Island Civic Association hosted Uncle Sam's Sand Jam, an island-wide party at Residents' Beach, on the Fourth of July.

Registration for the day's activities commences at noon. The fun and games began at 1 p.m. Kids of all ages can participate.

There’s hoola hoops, tug of war, limbo, hot dog eating, and patriotic swimwear contests along with face painting and a DJ. Food and beverages are available at the pavilion and tents along the beach thanks to the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) and Paradise Grill.

End the day with the fireworks display at 9 p.m.