Things To Do
Rain could dampen 4th of July events
All eyes are on the weather as organizers make a tough call: whether to cancel today's 4th of July events. On this page, you'll find a variety of events scheduled for this weekend. We're updating it frequently as we find out whether the events are being affected by the weather. City of Gulfport's Fourth of July Centennial Celebration: Activities throughout the waterfront district include a sandcastle contest, live music, community parade, arts and crafts, food and a fireworks display; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; free; Gulfport Beach and along Beach Boulevard, Gulfport; (727) 893-1118. Clearwater Celebrates America: The city's annual Independence Day celebration features the Mostly Pops Orchestra, children's activities, a craft show, food and drink concessions and fireworks (no alcoholic beverages, glass or bottle containers, umbrellas or pets are allowed); gates open at 4 p.m. Sunday, with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.; free; Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater; (727) 562-4700.Fourth of July Extravaganza and Fireworks: Activities and music go on throughout the day Sunday; The Pier, 800 Second Ave. N.E., and North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; (727) 893-7441. St. Petersburg's festivities and entertainment at The Pier were moved indoors and the organizers will make a decision later about the fireworks set to start at 9 p.m., said Susan Robertson, head of promotions for The Pier. Fireworks can start as early at 8:30 p.m. or as late as 10 p.m., depending on the weather, she said. The display will be cancelled if they don't start by 10 p.m. Brandon Blast: Event pays tribute to veterans and men and women on active duty with a fireworks display, live music, vendors and a kids' area with inflatables; from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday; free with additional fee for children's activities; Brandon Westfield Town Center, 459 Brandon Town Center Mall, Brandon; (813) 689-6889. Officials will wait until 6 p.m. to decide whether the Brandon parade will begin as scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Fourth of July Family Funfest: The American Victory Ship partners with the Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Races for a Mini Regatta from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by games, contests, prizes, arts and crafts, tours, music, food, a beer and wine tent and fireworks; 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday; $7 to $10, and children age 4 and younger get in free; American Victory Ship, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 228-8766. Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration: The ninth annual Channelside celebration features live music, entertainment and a grand fireworks display launched from a barge in the Garrison Channel; fireworks at 9 p.m. Sunday; free; Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 223-4250. History Center Goes Free: The Tampa Bay History Center offers free admission and extended hours; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, with fireworks at 9 p.m. in the Channel District; free; Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa; (813) 228-0097. Largo's Fourth of July Celebration & World Record Attempt: This family-friendly celebration features activities, food, live music, a fireworks show by Bell's Fireworks and an attempt to break the world record for the most people dancing The Twist; 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, with the world record attempt at 7:30; free; Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo; (727) 587-6720. Sparklebration: The festival and fireworks celebration features face-painting, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, carnival games, live animal shows, live music, entertainment and watermelon, hotdog and apple-pie eating contests; gates open at 4 p.m. Sunday, with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.; $3 for adults, free for children 10 and younger, $5 for parking; Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 S.R. 52, Dade City; (352) 567-6678. Star Spangled July 4th Celebration: This tropical celebration features children's games on the lawn, prizes for the best patriotic attire, a fireworks display at nightfall, and all-American cookout fare with beer, wine, soda and water; 6 p.m. Sunday; $15 for members, $18 for nonmembers, free for children 11 and younger; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota; (941) 366-9807. Fourth of July Patriotic Picnic in the Park: The annual celebration features live entertainment, games, contests, outrigger rides in the bayou and food; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; free; Craig Park on the Bayou, 3 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs; (727) 942-5628. I Heart History Freedom Festival: This celebration features vendors, live music, folk artists and family attractions; 1 p.m. Sunday; free; St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg; (727) 894-1052. Sight 'n Sand Family Event: World-renowned sand artists will create a patriotic sculpture from 40 tons of sand and compete in tabletop sand sculpture contests; artists begin this afternoon and continue at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; free; North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; (727) 893-7441. Red, White and Zoo: Lowry Park Zoo offers free admission to active duty military members from all five service branches with valid identification, and up to three dependants; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa; (813) 935-8552.
Sara Minton can be reached at (813) 259-7606.