Here’s to the Red, White and Blue
2011 Naples Independence Day Parade.
BOB RAYMOND / FLORIDA WEEKLY Here are some ways to celebrate Independence Day in Southwest Florida, starting as early as Saturday, June 30:
¦ Everglades City gets into the Independence Day spirit on Saturday, June 30. Opening ceremonies are at 9:30 a.m., and a parade steps out at 10 a.m. The day also includes an arts and crafts sale in McLeod Park and the Little Miss Firecracker and Little Mister Firecracker patriotic costume contest. Fireworks beginning at 9 p.m. bring the festivities to a close.
For more information, call 695-2695.
¦ The skies above Miromar Outlets in Estero light up with fireworks on Tuesday, July 3. The center’s 13th annual Independence Day celebration includes a chance to donate blood at the Lee Memorial Bloodmobile from 2:30- 8:30 p.m. Live music by the Push Band begins at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks over the lake will begin at dusk. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Admission is free. Coolers and personal fireworks are not permitted.
2011 Naples Independence Day Parade
BOB RAYMOND / FLORIDA WEEKLY And on the Fourth
¦ Early bird fitness buffs can get Independence Day off on the right foot by showing up for the 31st annual Moe’s Firecracker 5K Run at Fleischmann Park. Starting time is 7 a.m., and the track is flat and fast and open to all comers. Gulf Coast Runners is organizing the event. For registration or more information, call 434-9786 or visit www.gcrunner.org.
¦ Starting at 10 a.m., downtown Naples comes to life with the city’s traditional Independence Day Parade. Beginning at Broad Ave. South, the route takes festive floats, entertainers a salute to the armed services and much more north up Third Street South before turning east along Fifth Avenue South.
¦ Pack a picnic lunch (no alcoholic beverages) and enjoy it on the grounds of the Naples Botanical Garden while listening to the sounds of The De Lei’ed Parrots from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The band plays a mixture of oldies, standards, “trop-rock” and original tunes. Regular Garden admission applies (free for members; $12.95 for adults, $7.95 ages 4-14). For more information, call 643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org.
¦ “Star Spangled Bonita” begins with the ever-popular bed race at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, along Old 41 Road near Riverside Park. Sponsored by Bonita Springs YMCA, the race is open to the first 10 teams that register. To sign up or for more information, call the YMCA at 221-7560 or contact Jack Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-7866.
The bed race will be followed by children’s activities and live music by Wildfire and Deb & The Dynamics leading up to the 9 p.m. laser light show and fireworks display at Riverside Park.
Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase with proceeds going to local charities.
For more information, call 949-6262 or visit www.cityofbonitasprings.org. ¦ The night sky over Naples will light up with the city’s July Fourth fireworks extravaganza beginning at 9 p.m. over the Naples Pier.
Pure Naples is offering a limited number of seats on the M/V Double Sunshine to watch the display from the water. The three-hour cruise departs from Tin City at 7:30 p.m., and passengers will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a beverage and a sweet treat. Cost is $60 per person. For reservations or more information, call 263-4949 or visit www.purenaples.com.
For a birds-eye-view of the fireworks, Independence Day partiers are invited to the rooftop parking garage at Waterside Shops. Food and games begin at 7:30 p.m. as a precursor to the fireworks. Admission is free; space is limited and reservations are required. Call 598-1605 by June 30.
Dine at Chez Boet in Crayton Cove and stay for a fabulous view of the fireworks show. Piano music will serenade diners before the skies light up. Call 643- 6177 for reservations.
Join friends of Opera Naples for an evening next door to the Naples Pier at the Gulf Shore Boulevard home of Bronwen Adams and Gerald Goldberg beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $74 per person, and all proceeds benefit Opera Naples. For reservations, call 963-9050.
Celebrate with food, fun and fireworks from the Naples Princess as a guest of the Naples Philharmonic League’s final “Party of Note” for the 2011-12 season. All proceeds benefit the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth music education programs. Boarding begins at 7 p.m. at Port-O-Call Way. Tickets for $125 per person include buffet dinner with cash bar. For reservations or more information, call the league office at 254- 2777 or Jo Ann Ward at 877-4262. ¦