If your summer vacation in Florida includes Independence Day in the Tampa Bay area, you are in luck. For the Fourth of July, the city of Tampa and surrounding communities celebrate America's birthday with a variety of special events, concerts, and pyrotechnic displays. The only thing better than an all-American fireworks extravaganza is enjoying it while sitting on the warm sand with the ocean at your toes.
Nearly all of the Fourth of July events around Tampa Bay are either canceled or postponed for 2020. Check the official webpages of individual events before making plans.
Clearwater Celebrates America at Coachman Park
Clearwater Celebrates America is canceled for 2020.
The 2019 event takes place at Coachman Park, and the gates open at 6 p.m. Along with performances by the Coachman Park Pops Orchestra, you can enjoy an afternoon of food, drinks, local vendors, and family-friendly activities before the firework show starts between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Boom by the Bay in Downtown Tampa
Boom by the Bay is canceled for 2020.
The downtown Tampa Fourth of July fireworks display is called Boom by the Bay, and it includes two and a half miles of activities and live performances throughout downtown along the waterfront. The 2019 event includes four different firework shows that begin at 9 p.m., helping to disperse crowds across the city so everyone can more comfortably enjoy the show.
The full schedule and map lists the entire line-up of events as well as the best places to sit out and watch the evening spectacular.
Fireworks and Thrill Rides at Busch Gardens
The Busch Gardens amusement park usually has a special Independence Day event planned for July 4, when fireworks light up the sky accompanied by a patriotic medley, live music, a DJ, and dancing throughout the evening. The park is open on July 4, 2020, and advanced reservations—which are currently on sale—are required to enter. However, large events for 2020 have yet to be confirmed and the Fourth of July festivities at the park may or may not happen. Keep checking the Busch Gardens webpage for the most up-to-date information.
You can spend the whole holiday enjoying one of the many thrill rides, including the family spin coaster Cobra's Curse, or you could dance the day away at one of the DJ party zones in the park. Either way, your admission price will get you up-close access to the fireworks, or you could just show up to the parking lot around dusk and watch from there (though you may be charged for parking).
Fireworks Across the Bay in St. Petersburg
Fireworks Across the Bay is canceled for 2020.
The waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg hosts the city's Fourth of July fireworks celebration starting with live music at North Straub Park. As the main attraction, the fireworks start around at 9 p.m., weather permitting, and you can view the show along Bayshore Drive in city parks including Albert Whitted, North Straub, South Straub, North Shore, Elva Rouse, and Flora Wylie.
Gulfport's celebration has been tentatively postponed until September 5, 2020. Check the official event webpage for the most updated information as the date gets closer.
Located on the southeast corner of St. Petersburg, the community of Gulfport also hosts a day-long celebration in honor of the holiday. Family activities at the downtown waterfront district include a fishing derby, a parade, and a sand sculpture contest as well as a market for produce, arts, and crafts. The event ends with a fireworks show over the Boca Ciega Bay Aquatic Preserve, which is best viewed from the shore of Gulfport Beach.
Fourth of July Fireworks at Siesta Key's Beach
The Siesta Key fireworks show is canceled for 2020.
About an hour south of Tampa, the city of Siesta Key puts on its annual fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico. Siesta Beach was rated as the Number One Beach by TripAdvisor and AARP in 2015 and "Dr. Beach" in 2011, making it one of the most picturesque locations to see fireworks in the Tampa Bay area.
The annual community event is entirely sponsored by public donations and proceeds from the Siesta Key Beach Concessions. While there are many places along the beach to catch the display, buying tickets for access to the VIP viewing area not only supports the event, but you also get preferred seating and complimentary drinks and snacks. The event is held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with the fireworks starting at dusk.
Safety Harbor's Fourth of July Celebration
The Safety Harbor celebration is canceled for 2020.
Safety Harbor's annual Independence Day celebrations take place at various venues around the city, but the best places to view the fireworks show are at Waterfront Park or the marina itself. Starting off with Fourth of July bike decorating in the morning at the John Wilson Park and Gazebo, festivities continue with the parade down Main Street led by the American Legion Auxiliary.
Later that evening, the Safety Harbor Marina hosts the annual celebration event featuring children's activities, live entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family followed by a 9 p.m. fireworks display over Tampa Bay.