Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
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Fireworks displays to be found, just not in Hernando


Published:   |   Updated: July 1, 2014 at 01:11 PM

There will be no public fireworks display in Hernando County again this year, but there are other events for residents who want to show their patriotism.

♦ Grace World Outreach Church will host a July 4th Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Tom Varn Park, 306 Darby Lane in Brooksville.

There will be music, activities for children and families, a clown and tickets for free food.

♦ High Point will hold a July 4 parade at 9 a.m. The parade will start at the guard house at the entrance to High Point off Cortez Boulevard and follow High Point Boulevard to Club House Road, ending at the community center. There will be a flag-raising ceremony with American Legion Post 186.

Those looking to take in a fireworks display will have to buy their own or travel out of the county.

Hernando County hasn't had a fireworks display celebrating the Fourth of July for several years.

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson tried to bring the flash and boom back this year by proposing a $30,000 to $35,000 expenditure on a fireworks display at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.

The county would profit from beer sales and other events, he said.

But Nicholson's idea didn't catch fire with other board members who were reluctant to spend taxpayer dollars on fireworks.

For those who want to watch a public fireworks display, here is a list of celebrations around the Tampa Bay area.

PASCO
Freedom Festival — Wesley Chapel Fourth of July: Celebrating the holiday a day early, the festival includes a bicycle-decorating contest, a watermelon eating contest, Little Miss and Mr. Firecracker pageants and fireworks; 5 p.m. Thursday; free; The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel; (813) 994-2242 and www.theshopsatwiregrass.com

Sparklebration Star-Spangled Spectacular: Festivities include live music, a food court, watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests, a hot-dog eating contest, petting zoo, bounce houses, pony rides and fireworks; noon July 4; $5; Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City; (352) 567-6678 and www.pascocountyfair.com

CITRUS

Patriotic Evening Fourth of July Celebration: The old-fashioned hometown festival at Liberty and Wallace Brooks parks will include live music by The Velvet Jones Band, games, an honor guard, food vendors and fireworks over Lake Henderson; 6 p.m. Thursday; free; Liberty Park, 286 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness; (352) 726-2611and www.inverness-fl.gov

HILLSBOROUGH

July Fourth at the Florida Aquarium: See dazzling displays in the sky and sea on July 4 as a fireworks show takes place at 9 p.m., the Aquarium extending its hours to 9:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. July 4; $18.95 to $23 95 (adults); the Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 273-4000 and www.flaquarium.org

Fireworks Cruise: The Bay Spirit II departs from The Florida Aquarium at 7:30 p.m. on July 4 for a sunset cruise around the bay followed by a return trip to the channel for great views of the fireworks from aboard the boat; tickets include one drink ticket and hors d'oeuvres; $59 to $69; The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 273-4000 and www.flaquarium.org

Lutz Independence Day Parade: The parade is themed “Saluting Lutz Volunteer Fire Department,” and includes firetrucks, bikes, cars, floats, walkers and fancy cars; 10 a.m. July 4; free; Lutz Train Depot, U.S. 41 and Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz; (813) 949-1937

Funfest at American Victory Ship: The festival features face painting, arts and crafts, food trucks, entertainment, drinks and fireworks viewed from the deck of the former World War II supply ship; 6:30 p.m. July 4; $12 (children $7); S.S. American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (toll free) 1-866-468-7630 and www.americanvictory.org

Red, White and Zoo: The zoo is holding a military appreciation day with the military and up to three direct dependents admitted to the zoo free of charge; includes active duty, retirees and veterans; 9:30 a.m. July 4; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa; (813) 935-8552 and www.lowryparkzoo.com

Brandon Fourth of July Parade: Presented by the Community Roundtable, the parade, which celebrates Brandon High School's 100th anniversary, starts at Lumsden Road and Parsons Avenue and heads north, turning west on Robertson Street in Brandon; 10 a.m. July 4; free; (813) 661-4350 and www.thecommunityroundtable.org

July Fourth Weekend at Hogan's Beach: Hosted by Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, the two-day celebration includes a BBQ, fireworks show and music provided by DJs and several bands on Saturday including Trailer Choir, Soul Circus Cowboys and Mixin Dixie; 2 p.m. July 4 and 7 p.m. July 5; $15 to $30; Hogan's Beach, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa; (813) 281-8900 and www.hogansbeachtampa.com

Tampa Fireworks Cruise: Resort casual attire is required for the cruise with an open bar, buffet, dancing and a good seat for the fireworks at Channelside; 6:30 p.m. July 4; $119.95 ($59.95 children); Yacht Starship; 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa; (813) 223-7999 and www.yachtstarship.com

Plant City Fourth of July: Activities include picnic games (volleyball, corn hole, tug-o-war and more), inflatables, face painting, live music and a 20-minute fireworks finale; 6 p.m. July 4; free ($5 parking); Plant City Stadium and Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex, 1810 E. Park Road, Plant City; (813) 659-4255 and www.plantcitygov.com

PINELLAS

Fourth of July in Downtown St. Petersburg: The fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. and can be seen from most of the city's waterfront parks; free; Spa Beach at the Pier approach

Gulfport Fourth of July: The celebration opens with a kid's fishing derby casting off from the sea wall adjacent to the recreation center at 8 a.m., followed by a sand-sculpting contest at 11:30 a.m. and an auto show at 10 a.m. A craft area opens at 4 p.m. with live music starting at 5 p.m. A parade is scheduled for Beach Boulevard at 6 p.m. with fireworks set for 9:15 p.m.; free; (727) 893-1118 and www.mygulfport.us

Largo Fourth of July: Celebration includes D.J. music, activities, food vendors and fireworks; 6 p.m. July 4; free (limited $5 parking); Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo; (727) 587-6740 and www.largo.com

Fourth of July at the Museum of Fine Arts: A barbecue buffet, live music and a good seat for the St. Petersburg fireworks show; 6 p.m. July 4; $38 to $45; Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 822-1032 and www.finearts.org

Clearwater Fourth of July: The annual celebration includes fireworks (9:30 p.m.), games, children's activities, vendors, and food and drink concessions; 4 p.m. July 4; free; Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater; (727) 562-4700 and www.myclearwater.com

Clearwater Fireworks Cruise: The three-hour cruise includes dancing, food, an open bar and a view of Clearwater's fireworks; 7 p.m. July 4; $119.95 ($59.95 children); Yacht Starship Satellite Dock, 25 Causeway Blvd., Slip #55, Clearwater; (813) 223-7999 and www.yachtstarship.com

High Point Fourth of July Parade: Parade lineup starts near the guard house at the entrance to High Point near Cortez Boulevard and follows down High Point Boulevard to Club House Road, ending at the Community Center; 8:30 a.m. July 4; free; 12249 Club House Road, High Point; (352) 596-6006

Gulf Beaches Parade: Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes and ride in an old-fashioned, flag-waving parade followed by a treasure hunt among the exhibits of the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum at 115 10th Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 552-1610 and www.gulfbeachesmuseum.com

Tarpon Springs Fourth of July Fireworks: Though the fireworks will be launched from Sunset Beach, the City of Tarpon Springs says the best viewing will be at Howard Park; 8:30 p.m. July 4; free; Fred Howard Park, 1700 Sunset Drive, Tarpon Springs; (727) 938-3711

Interdependence Day: Celebrates community interdependence through the union of numerous bands, artists, food and drink vendors; 6 p.m. July 4; Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg; (727) 895-6620 and www.thestudioat620.org

POLK
Red, White and Kaboom: The city of Lakeland's Independence Celebration includes live music, food and beverage vendors and breathtaking fireworks; the public is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for Chow for Now; 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday (fireworks start at 9); at Lake Mirror along the Frances Langford Promenade, Lakeland; (863) 834-6264

Red, Brick and Boom: Legoland Fourth of July: Guests put on special viewing glasses that turn an ordinary fireworks display into millions of exploding bricks; admission cost; 10 a.m. July 4, 5, 6; Legoland, One Legoland Way, Winter Haven; (877) 350-5346 and www.floridalegoland.com

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