Independence Day — a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America — gives people a chance to celebrate the Fourth of July. There are many events planned across the Tampa Bay region, and here are a few of the choices.
- Connerton’s annual Nation Celebration, in Land O’ Lakes, will take place July 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a neighborhood party in its New Town community. There will be Build-A-Buddy, free games, a disc jockey, live music by GottagrooveBand, food trucks, local crafters, free bounce houses, and fireworks sponsored by Benedetto’s Ristorante Italiano. Guests can register by June 30 at Connerton.com/event-signup, to be eligible for a $250 gift card.
- Chief Ryan Andrew Anthony of Station 1 Tampa (now open at State Road 54 and U.S. 41 in Land O’ Lakes), and All Hazard Response will host a Red White and Blue Station 1 Dedication and Fire and Police Salute on July 2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. The event is for police, fire, emergency responders, their families and the community. Festivities include food, prizes and more. For information, call (813) 728-4251.
- The Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary Land O’ Lakes Satellite will “paint” Land O’ Lakes red, white and blue from July 1 to July 8, with patriotic bows along Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, to honor military personnel and veterans. Bows will include the business or personal name and the name of the person being honored or recognized in memoriam. Names also will be placed in an advertisement in The Laker/Lutz News. For information, call (813) 817-3011.
- Lutz-Land O’ Lakes American Legion Post 108 will place flags on veterans’ graves at the Lutz Cemetery on U.S. 41 on July 1 for Independence Day. The flags will be retrieved July 5. Members of the post and other volunteers are needed to help. Call Lyle Watson at (813) 996-5917.
- Sparklebration will take place July 4 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. There will be festival food, entertainment, a hotdog-eating contest, a watermelon-eating contest, a vendor mall, balloon creations, face painting, bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo, a Hula Hoop contest, a karaoke contest, fireworks (weather permitting) and more. Gates open at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and younger. Wristbands for unlimited play are $10. Parking is $5. For information, or to sign up for a contest, visit PascoCountyFair.com, or call (352) 567-6678.
- The annual Lutz Fourth of July celebration and parade will take place in downtown Lutz, near the Train Depot. The parade will start at 10 a.m., and there will be a race and festivities before and after the parade. Admission and parking are free.
- Avalon Park West, 5227 Autumn Ridge Drive in Wesley Chapel, will host a July Fourth Celebration from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with food trucks, bounce houses, vendors, community performances, and fireworks at 9 p.m. For information, visit AvalonParkWest.com.
- The American Victory Ship, docked behind the Florida Aquarium at 705 Channelside Drive, will host its Fourth of July Family FunFest on July 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will be music, games, food, beer, wine and family fun. Guests can watch the Channelside fireworks at 9 p.m., from on board the ship. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for kids age 12 and younger, and $10 for military and veterans. Group discounts are available for 10 people or more. The price does not include food and beverages. For tickets, call (866) 468-7630, or visit TicketWeb.com.
- The Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park at Channelside in Tampa will be the site for a Red White & Blue Festival on July 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be live jazz by the Riverwalk, a watermelon-eating contest, a patriotic fashion show, a food court, a photo booth, games and activities, arts and crafts exhibits, a best-dressed competition for adults, children and pets, fireworks at 8:45 p.m., and more. No backpacks, large bags, luggage, coolers, outside food and beverage, alcohol, seating/chairs, tents, blankets or personal fireworks will be permitted. Get a free ticket at CityFestivals.org.
Here are some pointers from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Obey local laws regarding the use of fireworks. (Check local law enforcement websites for guidance).
- Read the labels on your fireworks to understand the precautions you should take and the performance descriptions of the firework, before you ignite it.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
- Do not give fireworks to children.
- Remember that alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Be sure to wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors, in a clear area. Be sure you are not near buildings or vehicles.
- Do not relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Have a bucket of water nearby, as well as a water hose that’s ready to use.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pockets or shoot them into a metal or glass container.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by getting them wet and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. Leave them there until the next day.
• Do not attempt to transport fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage. Possessing or transporting fireworks in checked or carry-on baggage violates the Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Published June 28, 2017