People watching fireworks at nathan benderson park in sarasota florida

Local Guide to Fourth of July 2019 in Sarasota County

Plan your star-spangled holiday with our guide to Fourth of July events, happenings and celebrations in Sarasota County.

Celebrate Independence Day the Floridian way: sunshine and barbecue during the day, and thrilling fireworks displays over tropical waterways at night.

Warming Up for the Grand Finale: Pre-Fireworks Fun

Sprint toward Independence Day with the second installment of Nathan Benderson Park's Holiday Race Challenge, the Fireworks 4 Miler. This run around the lake takes place July 3 at 7 p.m. at Nathan Benderson Park. Youngsters should arrive by 6:30 p.m. to participate in the kids dash.

The annual Longboat Key Freedom Festival parade will be happening from 9 to 11 a.m. starting at Longboat Key Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road. Children, families, and patriotically-dressed pets are encouraged to joined in the parade with Longboat Key police and fire rescue personnel, elected officials and creative, patriotic floats from local businesses.

Snook Haven hosts its annual Fourth of July Myakka River Kayak Festival during the daylight hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), leaving plenty of time for a nap before fireworks light up Venice beach at dusk. B.Y.O. kayak or canoe, or rent one from Snook Haven to paddle as early as 8 a.m. — music starts at 11. Stick around for an afternoon on the water accompanied by live music, smokehouse barbecue, and craft beer in a classic "Old Florida" setting.

The Choral Artists of Sarasota present Sounds of Independence at the Sarasota Opera House on July 4 from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring traditional patriotic favorites and a salute to the armed forces with the Sarasota Concert Band.

Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing

Thanks to three spectacular fireworks shows taking place at the Sarasota Bayfront, Siesta Key Beach, and Venice Beach, there are plenty of spots to set up a lawn chair and spend the evening "oohing" and "ahhing" over the explosive show in the sky.

Please remember for all Sarasota County fireworks shows to leave your own fireworks, sparklers, and pets at home.

Sarasota

Fourth of July fireworks at the Sarasota Bayfront begin at dusk, approximately 9 p.m., with excellent viewing from Bayfront Park — but spots fill up fast! Arrive early with a lawn chair or blanket to claim your prime viewing spot around the peninsula of Bayfront Park.

There's also the option to make meal reservations with a Bayfront Fireworks view from the Marina Jack Restaurant deck or aboard the Marina Jack II cruise. Launching from Bayfront Park, the LeBarge Tropical Cruise boat also offers a fun, casual Fourth of July Sunset and Fireworks cruise option.

Purchase tickets for a more secluded Bayfront Fireworks viewing from the Selby Gardens lawn. Selby's annual All-American Cookout kicks off at 6 p.m. and includes classic American eats from Michael's on East, as well as children's activities and games leading up to the big show. Blankets and chairs are welcome, but please no coolers.

Siesta Key

The Siesta Key Chamber hosts its 29th annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration on Siesta Key Beach. Fireworks start time is at dusk, shortly after 9 p.m., and the show will be visible from Siesta Key Public Beach and Crescent Beach, as well as to boaters on the Gulf and intracoastal waterway.

Venice

Fourth of July Fireworks are launched at dusk, shortly after 9 p.m., in the south Sarasota County Venice Beach area, from the south Venice jetty. The dazzling display can be viewed along Venice Beach and Nokomis Beach, and from the water on the Gulf of Mexico and on the intracoastal waterway, northeast of the jetty.

Englewood

Englewood's annual Fourth of July fireworks show will be launching from Blind Pass Beach (a.k.a. Middle Beach) on Manasota Key at approximately 9:05 p.m. Parking at the park is limited, so spectators are encouraged to arrive early or purchase a ticket to the air-conditioned party under the VIP tent.  No worries if you can't get too close to the launch, the fireworks will be visible anywhere along the Lemon Bay Intracoastal Waterway from the Tom Adams Bridge to Englewood Isles. 

North Port

The fifteenth annual North Port Freedom Festival takes place in 2019 CoolToday Park, the new spring training home of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves. Gates open to the public at 4 p.m. for the festival, which concludes with a fireworks display at dusk. Celebrate Independence Day, as well as North Port's 60th anniversary, with free activities, games, and a chance for kids to run the bases. Seating will be available for the fireworks display in the stadium or outside on the event lawn, where the public is welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to embrace Independence Day tradition, or maybe start some new family traditions of your own, in Sarasota County.