Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday this year, and many people get a four-day weekend (yay). This mini-vacation is viewed as a period of celebration—after all, our military victory over the British was kinda important—but there’s more to it than just fireworks. This Independence Day, head out to some of these amazing Central Florida events to enjoy our country’s birthday (and fireworks).
Florida State’s Highway 24 cuts out at the lovely coastal town of Cedar Keys, where calm Gulf waters offer a reflective surface for the 4th of July fireworks display. Cedar Keys hosts one waterfront campground, which allows for the best views of the evening’s fireworks, and the public beach and boardwalk aren’t too shabby, either. If you are in the mood for that Gulf Coast ambiance and hospitality, Cedar Keys is a great place to be this Independence Day.
This monthly gathering of classic car enthusiasts is a great place to lay eyes on old-timey vehicles. Located at Daytona’s Flea and Farmer’s Market, this auto show offers local vegetables and fruits, as well. Although the cruise-in is scheduled to take place on July 1st, it’s bound to draw in the nicest cars in Florida (and beyond), so don’t start your extended 4th of July weekend anywhere else.
Coke Zero 400 Race in Daytona
Coke Zero 400, the race formerly known as Firecracker 250, Firecracker 400, and Pepsi-Cola 400, has been a Fourth of July perennial since 1959. The 2017 racing season is hotly contested, and everyone will be vying for the top spot and its 45-point reward. Besides its auto racing notoriety, Daytona Beach has a famous boardwalk and will certainly shoot off many fireworks on the 4ᵗʰ (they actually have fireworks weekly between Memorial and Labor Day). Tickets for this holiday race start at $60.
St. Augustine Fireworks Show
For a bigger crowd and a bigger show, the oldest colonial city in the United States offers fireworks of their own. The St. Augustine annual fireworks display is very large and, by all counts, one of the best in Florida. St. Augustine has two waterfront campgrounds with fantastic views of the fireworks, and they’re also just a short drive from downtown. For those who haven’t seen The Castillo yet, this upcoming Independence Day weekend will provide you with a good opportunity to do so.
Ocala Celebrates the Fourth
The City of Ocala has an annual fireworks performance and ample camping spots to go along with it. Ocala is located just miles from Silver Spring State Park, where the famous glass-bottomed boats allow a unique view of manatees and various aquatic fish. The Independence Day weekend also parallels the park’s monthly Safari Tour, which offers a nice glimpse of Florida’s indigenous wildlife. There’s something for everyone in Ocala this Fourth of July.
Fourth of July in Sarasota
Lower down Gulf Coast is Sarasota, a tourist city with a population just over 50,000. The annual fireworks show is attended by nearly the whole town and is centered on Siesta Key. On July 1st and 2nd, the 33ʳᵈ Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix takes place here. You will be able to view many different watercrafts, such as Class One powerboats, which can reach speeds over 160 miles per hour. These represent the fastest watercrafts with inboard motors that can only be exceeded by jet-engine or rocket-powered vehicles. Boat racing events of this magnitude only take place in Florida six times per year—so don’t miss out!
Alachua may be home to only 9,000 people, but it has a disproportionately large fireworks show each Independence Day. Dubbed “The Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America,” this 4th of July event usually draws about 30,000 people, which transforms the small town into a giant party. Live music and carnival games provide additional entertainment, and there are no less than six affordable campgrounds within a 22-mile radius of Alachua.
Fanfares & Fireworks in Gainesville
The City of Gainesville is having a unique Fanfares & Fireworks show on July 3rd at the University’s Flavet Field. This is a free event with live music from rock outfits, and the fireworks themselves will be artfully synchronized alongside brass, reed, and percussion instruments care of the Gainesville Community Band. It’s kid-friendly event, so alcohol and dogs are not allowed.
Gainesville also has numerous shopping venues to peruse while you’re out and about this 4th of July—and Volkswagen of Gainesville is such a place. With both new VWs and used cars for sale, we can satiate any automotive hunger you may have heading into summer. Check out our current seasonal specials on new Volkswagens, such as the Jetta, Passat, Golf GTI, or Touareg, and be sure to visit our VW dealers at 3737 North Main Street when you’re ready to take a test drive. We serve customers in Gainesville, Lake City, Middleburg, Ocala, and Alachua, so contact our new and used car dealers today at (352) 578-2554 for the best prices in town!
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