There are lots of options for area residents looking for some local Fourth of July fun and fireworks, but the best option may be the annual celebration right on S.R. 54 at the Avalon Park West (APW) community.
For the sixth straight year, APW will hold its Fourth of July celebration, which is expected to draw thousands of festive frolickers — and many from the surrounding areas, including Tampa — as it continues to grow in popularity.
“Last year, we had 2-3,000 people, which was definitely the biggest crowd we ever had,” says Marielle Fernandez, APW’s marketing and events coordinator. “It’s grown every year.”
While APW is a growing mixed-use community with roughly 2,000 residents, Marielle says more than half of those that come for the fireworks are actually not APW residents.
The celebration is scheduled for 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, and as usual the event will include a host of activities to keep families entertained.
While last year’s celebration featured a pie bake-off, this year it will be called a “Patriotic Bake-Off” and will include pies, brownies, cakes and cookies.
There also will be a bike parade (strollers and wagons welcome) beginning at 6 p.m., with kids showing off their decorating skills, and Fernandez says there will be more food trucks, vendors and community performances than ever.
“I think the response has been really great,” Fernandez says. “It’s nice having something for the community to come together and celebrate. And, we’re happy we’ve become that hub where they come to enjoy the Fourth of July.”
You have to register for the bike parade and bake-off. To do so, and for more information, visit AvalonParkWest.com.
DINNER & A SHOW!: For those who are interested in a sit-down dinner followed by fireworks, our friends Anass El-Omari and his wife Susana Herrera of Omari’s Grill at the Lexington Oaks Golf Course (which is closed for renovations) are hosting a delicious, family-friendly, open-to-the-public celebration on the 4th, with hamburgers and BBQ chicken on the grill (plus side dishes) served from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
There also will be live music, a premium alcohol cash bar and what Susana promises will be an impressive professional fireworks display. Reservations are definitely suggested, because brunch events at Omari’s Grill have been known to sell out and people love barbecues and fireworks for the 4th. The cost is just $14.99 per person (ages 13+), with kids ages 4-12 just $5.99.
Please note that no outside food or drink will be permitted during this event. For reservations, call (813) 907-7270 or see the ad on pg. 39 of this issue for more information.
BOOM!: If you think bigger is better, then you might like this — The City of Tampa will unveil a new Fourth of July celebration of its own.
After back-to-back busts with celebrations organized by private vendors, Tampa is taking over the festivities this year.
New Mayor of Tampa Jane Castor announced shortly after being elected that the city will host a “Boom by the Bay” fireworks spectacle, which she says will be “sparking a brand-new tradition in Tampa.”
Tampa’s Fourth of July celebration will feature four fireworks displays spanning 2.5 miles of the city’s majestic waterfront, from Armature Works to Riverfront Park to the Tampa Convention Center and over to Sparkman Wharf.
There will be activities for the family and live entertainment as well.
“I want to kick off my time in office with a big bang,” Mayor Castor said in a video posted to social media announcing the event.
You can text the word BOOM to 888 777 to receive special notifications about “Boom by the Bay.”