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It’s a blast! A guide to bay area fireworks displays

Bill DeYoung



St. Pete's waterfront fireworks. Photo: St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts.

The place to be Monday – that’s July 4, Independence Day – is most likely the St. Pete Pier, where the Spa Beach area will be set up from 4 to 10 p.m. with food and beverage trucks, live music on several stages, a craft beer garden and other party-type stuff.

Admission is free, although a special VIP ticket (available here) gets you into a “fenced-off area” with its own bar, private restrooms and “unobstructed views” of the 9 p.m. fireworks show over Tampa Bay. The 13th US Army Band will play patriotic orchestra music as a lead-up to the pyrotechnics.

More information, including FAQ, can be found here.

At press time, there were around 120 spots remaining for Monday morning’s St. Pete Pier 5K Fun Run. It starts at 7 a.m. – great views of the sunrise – along Bayshore Drive on the waterfront and onto the Pier itself. The run is not timed, it’s not competitive, so taking one’s time is encouraged.

View the course and register here.

After today’s (Saturday, July 2) Tampa Bay Rowdies game at Al Lang Stadium, there will be fireworks. The match against Memphis 901 FC begins at 7:30. Event if you don’t go to the game, of course, the sky will be alight.

Photo: Pier Events LLC.

Look! Up in the sky!

Monday events: Unless indicated, all events are free.

In Gulfport: 9 p.m. fireworks over Boca Ciega Bay are preceded by a parade (6 p.m.), music inside the Casino and on the streets, and the general wacky atmosphere for which Gulfport is known and beloved.

In Largo: The big party in Central Park (101 Central Park Drive) starts at 5 with music, food trucks, etc; fireworks at 9.

In Treasure Island: Fireworks at 9 from Gulf Front Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd.

In St. Pete Beach: Fireworks at 9 from Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Dr.

In Safety Harbor: Party in Waterfront Park kicks off at 5; fireworks at 9. 110 Veterans Memorial Lane.

In Clearwater: Until. The new Imagine Clearwater complex gets built, BayCare Ballpark, at 601 N Old Coachman Road will have to do. There’s a $5 admission for “Clearwater Celebrates America,” starting at 6 p.m., with music, food and vendors. Fireworks at 9:15.

In Tampa: The city’s annual Boom By the Bay, on the Hillsborough River and the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (behind the Straz Center for the Performing Arts) has a mighty-big program Monday, starting with a boat parade and water ski show at 7 p.m. (food trucks and entertainment will have been going since 4). Of course, it all winds up with a gigantic fireworks display best viewed from Sparkman Wharf, 615 Channelside Dr., and from super-scenic Bayshore Blvd.







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