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Date of Issue: July 01, 2009

Fourth brings parade, fireworks, market

Anna Maria Island will celebrate July 4 with a salute to broad stripes and bright stars and with rockets’ red glare.

The holiday celebration will begin July 3 in Bradenton Beach, where the outdoor Bridge Street Market will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for beachgoers to stock up on fresh produce and snacks.

With nightfall July 3, the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, will salute the holiday with a fireworks show.

Restaurant patrons will have a patio view of the display. The BeachHouse, which has hosted a fireworks display for 16 years, is offering a VIP party package that includes music, dancing and dinner.

Beachgoers for blocks also will see the show, expected to begin at about 9:15 p.m., weather permitting.

Islanders are encouraged to walk or use the no-fare trolley for transportation to the beach.

On July 4, the Bridge Street Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, will host a holiday picnic at 5 p.m.

The holiday also brings the Anna Maria Island Privateers Independence Day Parade, which will begin at about 10 a.m. at Coquina Beach and travel north to Anna Maria’s Bayfront Park.

After the parade, AMIP will host a party at Cafe on the Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, to present more than $28,000 in scholarships to college-bound Island youths.

The holiday festivities will end with a fireworks display at about 9:15 p.m. at the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, which will coincide with a fireworks display near the MarVista and Moore’s Stone Crab restaurants on Longboat Key.

The Sandbar fireworks will be the fourth hosted by the restaurant, which will also hold a beach barbecue that evening.

The Longboat Key display is an inaugural show, co-sponsored by MarVista, Moore’s, the Longboat Observer and presented with the assistance of the Longboat Key Village Association and Whitney Plaza merchants.