FLORIDA KEYS (CBSMiami) – Food, fun and fireworks are on tap in the Florida Keys during the July 4 holiday. Independence Day can be enjoyed all along the island chain with beachside barbecues, picnics, parades and world-class fireworks displays. Holiday visitors can explore their Keys celebration options here.
“American Heroes” Parade and Picnic
Now in its 38th year, this colorful parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at Anthony’s Women’s Apparel, mile marker (MM) 98, and finishes at Waldorf Plaza, MM 100. Later, revelers can come out for an old-fashioned community picnic 5-8 p.m. on the grounds of the Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center at 102050 Overseas Highway, MM 102. Sponsored by the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce and The Reporter, these events are a Key Largo institution. For information, call 502-645-3578.
Fireworks Show on Blackwater Sound
Spectacular fireworks become even more dazzling when reflected in the calm surface of Blackwater Sound. The show is to take place on the bay front in Key Largo at 10 p.m. For the best views, try Sundowners, Senior Frijoles, Caribbean Club or Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located near MM 104 bayside. Because seating is limited, reservations are suggested. For information, call 305-451-4502.
Fireworks and Family Fun at Founders Park
The popular “Spirit of Islamorada” July 4 celebration is to be held at Founders Park, MM 87 on Plantation Key. Hosted by the Village of Islamorada and the Upper Keys Rotary Club, the event features entertainment and activities for kids, teens, adults — and even dogs. The party is to run 6-9:30 p.m., followed by the fireworks show. Guests staying at participating resorts receive admission-free wristbands. An admission fee will be charged for nonresidents not staying at a participating hotel. For information, call 305-853-1685.
Marathon Beach Party & Fireworks Show
One of the Keys’ largest and longest fireworks displays is the highlight of this traditional event. Crowds gather in Marathon for a patriotic parade that begins around 10:30 a.m. and proceeds from Marathon High School on Sombrero Beach Road, MM 50 ocean side, to Sombrero Beach. There, an all-day celebration featuring food, drink, and family-friendly entertainment is to conclude with a fireworks show. For information, call 305-743-5417.
Big Pine & the Lower Keys
Celebrate Fourth of July Fireworks
The Big Pine & Lower Keys Rotary Club’s annual July 4 fireworks are to take place at Big Pine Park, MM 30 bayside, at the end of Sands Road. Live music, food and drink are to be accompanied by games and activities for adults and kids alike. The fireworks show is planned to begin at nightfall or about 9 p.m. Admission is free and gates open at 5 p.m. For information, call 305-872-0106.
29th Annual Hospice/Visiting Nurses Association July 4 Picnic
This longtime favorite is set to take place at Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, located at 1500 Reynolds St. overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Guests are to enjoy live music, a silent auction, children’s activities and free watermelon, popcorn and cold drinks. Meal tickets are to be sold for a buffet featuring hamburgers, hot dogs and traditional fixings. Scheduled to start at 5 p.m., the event concludes with a fireworks show sponsored by the Key West Rotary Club. For information, call 305-294-4310, ext. 20.
Key Lime Festival
An All-American celebration of Florida’s official pie is to be staged in Key West over the July 4 weekend. Scheduled Independence Day highlights include a Key lime pie-eating contest at noon and the 2 p.m. unveiling of what might be the world’s largest Key lime pie. Visitors can savor the fun and slices of the giant pie on Greene Street just off Duval Street. For information, call 305-923-7822.