Island and surrounds to celebrate Independence Day

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July 4th Parade Privateers

Play ball.

Catch some beads.

Cheer the fireworks.

The Fourth of July will bring celebrations on and off the island on Independence Day, as well as before and after.

On Anna Maria Island, four public events are planned — a parade, a picnic, a party and a fireworks display.

Privateers’ parade

The Anna Maria Island Privateers’ annual July 4 parade will begin at about 10 a.m., with participants assembling at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach.

Participants on wheels are welcome, as the route is too long and the parade moves too fast for walkers.

The processional travels north on the island’s main streets, through Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria, arriving at City Pier Park at Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard.

Organizers ask that people along the parade route not spray participants with water cannons or water guns.

For more information, go online to amiprivateers.org.

Privateers party

After the parade, at about noon, the Privateers will hold a party and reception — a tradition where winners of Privateers college scholarships are honored —at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

The nonprofit will present $19,850 in scholarships to 14 students for their college education.

For more information, go online to amiprivateers.org.

City celebration

Also at the parade’s end, the city of Anna Maria will hold a Celebrate America! party in City Pier Park at about noon.

An invitation on the city’s website states, “Come one, come all!” and says the city will serve a lunch of hot dogs and beverages and entertain with patriotic music.

For more information, call city hall at 941-708-6130.

Fireworks show

The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, will keep its July 4 tradition and present a fireworks display after sunset.

The beach to the north and south of the restaurant provides the best public viewing of the pyrotechnics.

The Sandbar also hosts a party and special seating for the fireworks — for a price.

For more information about the fireworks, call the Sandbar at 941-778-0444.

Off-island activities

Holiday celebrations off the island include more fireworks, a parade, a picnic, a hot dog-eating contest and Minor League Baseball play.

On Longboat Key July 4, the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce will present its Freedom Fest.

The event includes a parade at 9 a.m. on Bay Isles Road, assembling at the parking lot between SunTrust and Bank of America branches.

For more, call the chamber at 941-383-2466.

In Cortez, the Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar, 4628 119th St. W., will host its sixth annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at 1 p.m. on the holiday.

For more information, call the restaurant at 941-798-2035.

Also, the Cortez Cultural Center will hold an Independence Day Picnic on Saturday, July 6.

An invitation from the center said, “Sit with friends under our pavilion and enjoy seeing neighbors and chatting while having a picnic of hot dogs, tea and various goodies.”

The picnic will begin at 5 p.m. at the center, 11655 Cortez Road W., Cortez. The center’s volunteers will start grilling at about 6 p.m.

Attendees are welcome to bring a dish to share.

For more information, call Kaye Bell at 941-538-0945.

In Bradenton, the Bradenton Marauders will celebrate the holiday Wednesday, July 3, with fireworks after the baseball game against the Jupiter Hammerheads.

The ballgame will begin at 6:30 p.m. at LECOM Park, at the corner of Ninth Street West and 17th Avenue West, with the Marauders giving the first 1,500 fans a shirt.

For more information, call the box office at 941-747-3031.

Pier 22 restaurant will present a fireworks display after sunset July 4, with viewing on the riverfront in downtown Bradenton and Palmetto. For more information, call the restaurant at 941-748-8087.

Sarasota’s fireworks display also will be July 4, with the best viewing on the bayfront in the city’s downtown, including Bayfront Park.

July 5 cleanups set, volunteers sought

The morning after beachgoers celebrate the red, white and blue, Keep Manatee Beautiful and the Holmes Beach Police code compliance officers will direct collection of their discarded, littered and strewn trash.

The KMB “5th of July Beach Cleanup” will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, July 5, at Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach. Holmes Beach will be awaiting volunteers at a canopy set up on the beach at 52nd Street.

An announcement from KMB said, “The day after Independence Day is often considered one of the dirtiest days of the year at the beach.”

Volunteers should dress for outdoor work, and KMB and the city will provide collection bags.

For more information, call KMB at 941-941-795-8272, or HBPD at 941-708-5804.

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