13 places to celebrate July 4th

Fireworks in evening sky
More than a dozen communities in North Central Florida will gather this weekend to celebrate Independence Day.

More than a dozen Fourth of July celebrations are on tap this coming weekend in North Central Florida.

From Starke to Cedar Key, communities are set for parades, music and fireworks to mark the 246th anniversary of the birth of America’s independence.

Here’s a list of events that are planned in chronological order: 

LAKE BUTLER

Independence Celebration at Lake Butler Lakefront
Date: Saturday, July 2, at 4 a.m.

Location: Lakeside Park, 155 NW 3rd St.

The Tommy Spires Memorial Fishing Tournament kicks off the day’s events at 4 a.m. (for registration, launch begins at daylight). The day will be highlighted by the annual Lake Butler Rotary July 4th Car Show, various vendors, crafts fair, and music. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m. with musical accompaniment.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS

Our Country Day

Date: Saturday, July 2, at 8 a.m.

Location: Keystone Heights Beach Park, 550 S. Lawrence Blvd.

Start the day with the Freedom 5k (Cost: $40 June 4 -July 1 or $45 Day of Race), which benefits the Jordan Cooper Memorial Scholarship Fund, an all-volunteer non-profit organization that gives scholarships to Keystone Heights High School graduating seniors. Entry into the beach park will require each spectator to have an armband at $1 each. Stay for the annual Fourth of July celebration featuring food, arts and crafts, live music, a parade, children’s activities, and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

HORSESHOE BEACH

Horseshoe Beach Fireworks
Date: Saturday, July 2, at 9:15 p.m.

Location: Florida Gateway Fairgrounds, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane

Lake City’s annual free fireworks show will begin at 9:15 p.m. at the Florida Gateway Pro-Rodeo Arena.

WILLISTON

Williston Pre-4th Extravaganza Independence Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, July 2, at 5 p.m.

Location: West Noble Avenue

The city of Williston will present its annual Pre-4th Extravaganza beginning with an Independence Day Parade at 5 p.m. on Saturday down West Noble Avenue. This year’s parade theme is “Freedom and Fireworks.” Following the parade, the public is invited to Horseman’s Park (1610 SW 8th Terrace) for an evening of music, food and crafts, followed by fireworks at dusk. 

STARKE

Splash Bash

Date: Sunday, July 3, at 4 p.m.

Location: David Hurse Stadium at Bradford High School, 581 N. Temple Ave.

Starke’s inaugural Splash Bash will feature a cornhole tournament, musical performances, a classic car cruise-in, food booths and a temporary water park capped by a fireworks display. 

GAINESVILLE

Fanfares & Fireworks 2021

Date: Sunday, July 3, starting at 6 p.m.
Location: UF Bandshell at Flavet Field, 605 Woodlawn Dr.

WUFT will present an evening that includes performances by Bears and Lions, Jason and Sarah Hedges, Savants of Soul, and the Gainesville Community Band and Gainesville POPS under the direction of Gary Langford. Bring a chair or a blanket and multiple food trucks will be available on site. The fireworks display is scheduled to start around 9:40 p.m.

MICANOPY

Micanopy Independence Day Celebration 

Date: Monday, July 4, 9:30 a.m.
Location: Throughout Micanopy

The Micanopy Historical Museum (607 NE Cholokka Blvd.) will host its annual Fish Fry starting at 9:30 a.m. until sold out. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. along Cholokka Boulevard and the evening celebration at the ballpark (702 NW Eestaulkee 3rd Ave.) will include music, food and free bounce house for the kids starting at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks launch at dusk.

ARCHER

Archer Red White and Boom

Date: Monday, July 4, at 2 p.m. 

Location: Wilson Robinson Park, 13975 SW 174th St.

The afternoon includes family-friendly activities, live music, food vendors and fireworks. This year’s musical acts are Joey Holiday and VIBE. Fireworks begin after sundown and the official after-party continues at The Mustang with an encore performance by Holiday.

BRANFORD

Fourth of July River Reunion Festival

Date: Monday, July 4, at 2 p.m.

Location: Branford Green Way, 502 SW Suwannee Ave.

The Rotary Duck Race on the beautiful Suwannee River starts at 2 p.m. Events will include a car show, watermelon eating and seed spitting, cornhole tournament, a parade at 6 p.m. along with craft and food booths. Live music will feature Faith Jackson from Georgia at 6:30 p.m. and the fireworks will launch around 9:30 p.m.

ALACHUA

22nd Annual Alachua Fourth of July Celebration 

Date: Monday, July 4, starts at 4 p.m.
Location: Legacy Park at 15400 Peggy Rd.

The free event will begin at 4 p.m. with fireworks set to start at 9:30 p.m. Dubbed “The Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America,” Alachua’s annual event draws thousands of people. Activities include the Kids Corner from 4 to 7 p.m. and live music at 6 p.m., along with food trucks. 

LIVE OAK

Live Oak Freedom Festival

Date: Monday, July 4, at 4 p.m.

Location: Downtown Live Oak. 

Organizers plan to have live entertainment, bounce houses, food, and craft booths. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m. in the Tri-Park area (1201 Silas Dr. SW). 

CEDAR KEY

Cedar Key Fireworks Show

Date: Monday, July 4, at 9:15 p.m.

Location: 434 2nd St. 

Cedar Key will launch its fireworks show around 9:15 p.m. 

LAKE CITY

Independence Day Fireworks
Date: Monday, July 4, at 9:15 p.m.

Location: Florida Gateway Fairgrounds, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane

Lake City’s annual free fireworks show begins at 9:15 pm at the Florida Gateway Pro-Rodeo Arena.

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