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Red, White & Ka­boom

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY KLAU­DIA BALOGH

The Sec­ond Con­ti­nen­tal Congress said adios to King Ge­orge III in 1776. The idea of be­com­ing 13 in­de­pen­dent states was for­mal­ized in Philadel­phia on July 4. Thomas Jef­fer­son com­posed the word­ing and 56 del­e­gates from 13 colonies signed the “The Unan­i­mous Dec­la­ra­tion of the Thir­teen United States of Amer­ica.”

But the Con­ti­nen­tal Congress made its de­ci­sion on July 2. “The sec­ond day of July, 1776, will be the most mem­o­rable epoch in the his­tory of Amer­ica,” John Adams wrote to his wife, Abi­gail. Oops. In­de­pen­dence Day this year, a Mon­day and an­niver­sary No. 240, of­fers tra­di­tional fare such as back­yard bar­be­ques and chilled bev­er­ages. The way we cel­e­brate as a na­tion, how­ever, is a pa­rade and a town party. And South­west Florida is no ex­cep­tion. We’ve com­piled a short list of In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions you may wish to at­tend (check web­sites for times and days).

Naples Pier and Naples Pa­rade (July 4) Kick off the day with a two-hour pa­rade at 10 a.m., trav­el­ing Broad Av­enue South, Third Street South and Fifth Av­enue South. To en­sure a good spot for best view­ing, ar­rive early. The streets start fill­ing up as early as 8 a.m.

The city is or­ga­niz­ing the “4th of July Fire­works” at the Naples Mu­nic­i­pal Pier start­ing at 9 p.m. The pre­sen­ta­tion will be a 20-minute show chore­ographed to pa­tri­otic mu­sic on the ra­dio sta­tion WAVV 101.1 FM. The event dates back 26 years.

Sug­den Re­gional Park (July 4) The day kicks off with an ice cream so­cial from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., food ven­dors and en­ter­tain­ment start­ing at 6:30 p.m., fire­works at 9:15 p.m.

Bonita Springs (July 4) The city cel­e­brates with a pa­rade from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Fes­tiv­i­ties con­tinue into the af­ter­noon at River­side Park, bring­ing fun games and con­tests, food and bev­er­age ven­dors and live en­ter­tain­ment at 5 p.m. Fire­works are at dusk.

Es­tero (July 2) Miro­mar Out­lets is host­ing its 17th an­nual In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tion at the plaza in Es­tero on Satur­day, July 2. Start­ing at 6 p.m. there will be face paint­ing, live mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment. Then fire­works will be­gin at dusk. Lawn chairs and blan­kets are sug­gested.

Fort My­ers Beach (July 4) Sun­shine, a slight Gulf breeze and the sound of waves hit­ting the shore is how Fourth of July be­gins on Fort My­ers Beach at 10 a.m., with a pa­rade that runs for an hour from the Sea Grape Plaza to Times Square. Go­ing into the evening, fire­works will be­gin at dusk from the fish­ing pier. Make sure to make your way over to Fort My­ers Beach early be­cause the Matan­zas Pass Bridge will be closed from around 9:30 a.m. till 12 p.m. Then at night, it will be closed once again, but only for on­com­ing traf­fic, from 9:30 p.m. through 11 p.m.

THE SEC­OND DAY OF JULY, 1776, WILL BE THE MOST MEM­O­RABLE EPOCH IN THE HIS­TORY OF AMER­ICA.” —JOHN ADAMS IN A NOTE TO HIS WIFE, ABI­GAIL

Fort My­ers (July 4) The River Dis­trict Al­liance on July 4 holds its an­nual Free­dom Fest in down­town Fort My­ers. There will be va­ri­ety of food ven­dors, chil­dren’s games, live mu­sic and per­form­ers dur­ing the all-day event. Fire­works are at dusk over the Caloosa­hatchee River.

Cape Coral (July 4) The city’s Red, White, and Boom fes­ti­val is held on Cape Coral Park­way, from Del Prado Av­enue to the foot of the Cape Coral (Lower) Bridge. Ex­pect lots of food, crafts, ac­tiv­i­ties, give­aways and live en­ter­tain­ment, as well as con­tests such as the most pa­tri­otic dog, ap­ple pie bak­ing and a ba­nana split eat­ing con­test for kids. Fire­works start at 9:30 p.m. Keep in mind, Cape Coral Park­way from Del Prado Boule­vard to the Cape Coral bridge and the bridge will be closed from 3 a.m. on July 4.

Sani­bel (July 4) Small town but big pa­rade takes over Peri­win­kle Way, start­ing at 9:30 a.m., with a free pic­nic af­ter­ward at Bai­ley's Gen­eral Store and at Jerry’s Plaza, float judges, hot dogs, scouts, fire­works and a post-pa­rade road rally hosted by the San-Cap Op­ti­mist Club. Fire­works will be­gin at sun­set off the Sani­bel Cause­way.

Cap­tiva (July 4) Star Span­gled Cel­e­bra­tion on Cap­tiva will be­gin at South Seas Is­land Re­sort at 6 p.m. In­cluded are fes­ti­val foods and drinks, along with games and face paint­ing for the kids. The fun golf­cart pa­rade, with carts dec­o­rated in pa­tri­otic col­ors, leaves from Chad­wick Square down South Seas Plan­ta­tion Road at 6:30 p.m. Fire­works be­gin at 9 p.m. n

South Seas Is­land Re­sort on Cap­tiva hosts a colos­sal In­de­pen­dence Day party. Check web­sites in South­west Florida for other cel­e­bra­tion times and de­tails.

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