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Celebrate the Fourth in Manatee with a bang

MANATEE - The Independence Day holiday weekend goes into full swing with a host of events to mark the nation’s 233rd birthday.

And the weather should be just about perfect, if you slather down with sunscreen and drink plenty of liquids.

There is only a 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms during the day, but the temperatures will hit the mid-90s, giving us a heat index of 100, according to Maphas Davis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Ruskin.

If you’re heading to downtown in the evening for the fireworks, or barbecuing in the backyard, it will be cooling down to the mid-70s, with a calm southwesterly wind.

Whatever the weather, there’ll be plenty to do all day.

Saturday's events include:

10 a.m. — Powerboats By the Bay, Sarasota, lasts all day until 9 p.m. Meet “Deadliest Catch” Capt. Keith Colburn, check out the boats on display, eat and dance to live music. Admission is free.

11 a.m.-11 p.m. — City of Palmetto Independence Day Celebration, Riverside Park West, Palmetto. Food, rides, games. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.

3 p.m. — Little Bookworms at Lakewood Ranch Main Street hosts its 4th of July Extravaganza with bubble wrap stomping by children, patriotic story time, outdoor games and cake, and arts and crafts. For more information, call 907-3808.

4 p.m. to 2 a.m. — Olympia Performing Arts Center, 512 10th Ave. W., Palmetto. Air-conditioned family entertainment, with a family film at 4 p.m., bluegrass/classic rock concert at 6 p.m. and a dance from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

5:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Get Down for the Fourth, Old Main Street (12th Street West), Bradenton. Live music and food and drink vendors.

6:30 p.m. — Mattison’s Riverside Fourth of July VIP Fireworks Celebration, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Food, live music. Admission: $49.95 per person. Call (941) 748-8087 for information.

7 p.m. — Sandbar Fireworks Spectacular, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. Fireworks at dusk, weather permitting. VIP packages available, $50 for adults, $25 for children. Call (941) 778-0444 for information.

7:30 p.m. — Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub Fireworks Celebration, 760 Broadway St., Longboat Key. Fireworks at dusk, weather permitting, VIP packages available, call (941) 383-2391 for information.

9 p.m. — Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular, Bayfront Park, Sarasota.

On Sunday, Tom and Pam Jones, of Jones & Sons Pest Control, will be presenting their annual fireworks show at dark. The show is planned for the corner of Wauchula Road and 73rd Avenue East, Myakka. For more information, call 720-2624.

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