4th of July along Florida’s Paradise Coast

Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades will be alive with patriotism as various locations celebrate with fireworks, festivals, parades and events.  Not only will the holiday weekend be filled with activities, but the days leading up to Fourth of July, is also filled with fun.  Whether in the mood for old-fashioned festivals or musical entertainment, Florida’s Paradise Coast sparkles with options.

The kick-off begins with Everglades City on Saturday, June 27 when the city hosts its annual family-fun festival to commemorate America’s founding.  The opening ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. on the steps of city hall followed by the city’s Patriotic Parade themed “Stars & Stripes,” featuring everything from decorated golf carts to swamp buggies. The fun continues in McLeod Park when booths open at 11 a.m. for food, arts and crafts, raffles and playground games.

Everglades City 4th of July Parade

Next on Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m., Mercato amps up the action at its Independence Day Kick-off Party featuring classic rock with Rockin’ Horse. The kids will enjoy bounce house, face painting, stilt walkers, lawn games, oodles of beads and gift card giveaways. Wear a red, with and blue outfit and receive a complimentary Mercato beach towel or insulated tumbler while supplies last.

Mercato Nights Music Series and Independence Day Kick-off Party

However, if a more relaxed vibe is in order, then visit the Naples Grand Beach Resort for jazz al fresco and experience The RJ Howson Band on the Sunset Veranda on Friday, July 3 at 5 p.m. The event is free. For more information, call 239-597-3232.

Also during the holiday weekend from July 3 - 6 the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is offering free admission to all active and prior service military personnel.  Military service members receive free admission at the Zoo’s ticket box by presenting military identification or a veteran’s organization member card.  Spouse and children in the group receive a $2 off regular Zoo admission during the weekend.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

And if you love a parade, then check out the classic City of Naples’ Fourth of July Parade.  Starting at 10 a.m. thousands adorned in red, white and blue will line the streets of downtown Naples as the parade travels along Broad Ave. South and continues on Third Street South and Fifth Ave. South.

Later in the evening, bring a radio and tune into WAVV 101.1 FM for patriotic music to go with the fireworks at the Naples Pier on 12th Ave South. More than 2,000 shells go off while more than 20,000 viewers on land on sea watch the patriotic spectacle.

Fireworks at the Naples Pier

Besides pulling up a beach chair and watching this choreographed display, enjoy a boat ride on Pure Florida Double Sunshine for hors d’oeuvres, refreshments while watching the fireworks. Cost is $60. For more information, call 239-263-4949.

Or for a stylish approach, each year Waterside Shops hosts a viewing party atop the parking deck with refreshments, games and giveaways, but this event fills up early and has been completed reserved for 2015.

Celebrations also take place at Sugden Regional Park in East Naples too where fireworks start after sunset. Earlier in the day there is an ice-cream social from 2 until 4 p.m. followed by a D.J. and food venders into the evening. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating for the fireworks but remember no coolers after 5 p.m., no pets and parking is off-site.

Marco Island also goes all out for Independence Day. This year, the island host’s the Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam from noon until 9:30 p.m. at Resident’s Beach on Marco Island located at 130 S. Collier Blvd., followed by the Marco Island Civic Association’s dazzling fireworks display. Parking is restricted to residents only.

Uncle Sam’s Sand Jam on Marco Island

From music to parades, festivals and fireworks, there are many ways to celebrate America’s birthday. Take the opportunity to experience the wide-range of activities available along Florida’s Paradise Coast this Independence Day.

About Florida’s Paradise Coast
Whether travelers are looking for a romantic escape or family getaway, Florida’s Paradise Coast — Naples, Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades — has an array of vacation options year-round. With more than 30 miles of soft, white sand beaches, thriving arts and culture scene, distinctive dining and the best of outdoor adventure, the Paradise Coast is truly a destination with it all. Located just two hours from Miami, four hours from Orlando and three hours from Tampa, the Paradise Coast is easily accessible from some of Florida’s largest cities. Travelers outside of the Sunshine State can fly into Southwest Florida International Airport, which provides nonstop service to 43 destinations (39 domestic and 4 international) on 17 different air carriers.

For more information about the Paradise Coast, call 800-688-3600 or visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.

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