Independence Day is Wednesday, July 4.
There are many places to celebrate with live music, food and fireworks around Bradenton. Here are a few of the best bets.
Whatever you do, don't get too star-spangled, and make sure you can still see straight by dawn's early light.
Anna Maria Island
The Privateers’ Island Parade starts at 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July. The parade begins at Coquina Beach and marches the whole island, ending up at the Anna Maria City Pier. Expect cannon fire and flying beads and candy.
Details: 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. July 4. Starting at Coquina Beach. annamaria.com.
The big show
Anna Maria's Independence Day fireworks display will launch from near The Sandbar Restaurant starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night. Bring a blanket, beach towel or beach chairs and enjoy the show for free from the sand. Seating at the restaurant is first come, first served. VIP packages are also available.
Details: 8 p.m.-10 p.m. July 4. The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria Island. Free. 941-778-0444. annamaria.com.
At the ballpark
Warm up for the fourth with a night of baseball and fireworks at LECOM Field. The Bradenton Marauder' will square off with the Palm Beach Cardinals. It's the biggest post-game fireworks show of the season, and the first 1,500 guests will receive free t-shirts.
Details: 6:30 p.m. July 3. 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. $6-$10. 941-747-3031. milb.com/bradenton.
Fireworks on Manatee River
This is the first year that Zambelli International will provide the fireworks for the spectacular over Manatee River, and it's expected to be quite a show. Grab a spot along the Bradenton Riverwalk or on the waterfront in Palmetto.
Details: Around 9 p.m. July 4.
In addition to the Zambelli fireworks display, the city of Palmetto is hosting its eighth annual Fourth Fest. This year, live music starts at 4:30 p.m.. The Charlie Daniels Band will close the show. Fourth Fest includes food vendors, a beer garden and family friendly activities. A blood drive and a canned food drive will also be on site. When the music stops, the fireworks begin.
Details: 3 p.m.-9 p.m. July 4. Sutton and Lamb Parks, 1036 Sixth St. W., Palmetto. 941-723-4988. palmettofl.org.
Fanfares and Fireworks
Sarasota will also host some pre-Fourth festivities. Fanfares and Fireworks will bring live music and fireworks to Nathan Benderson Park starting at 4 p.m. July 3. Albert Castilga and Greg Billings will play. Fireworks start around 9:30 p.m. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are recommended. Coolers are not allowed at the event, but there will be food and drink vendors on site.
Details: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. July 3. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Free. nathanbendersonpark.org.
All-American Cookout at Selby Botanical Gardens
A fourth of July celebration at Selby includes access to the gardens, plus live music from soul band The Hydramatic, cookout food from Michael's On East's grill and a nice view of the fireworks over Sarasota Bay.
Details: 6 p.m.- 10 p.m. July 4. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Adults: $35, Members: $25, Children 12 and under: $10. selby.org.
Sarasota's biggest fireworks display launches south of the Ringling Bridge and is viewable from all over the city. Bayfront Park and Marina Jack are good bets, but stake them out early enough to get a good spot. The show marks the closing of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, an event which raises money for Suncoast Charities for Children. The fireworks start around 9 p.m.
Details: 9 p.m. July 4. Bayfront Park, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota. Free. 941-487-7904. sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org.