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4th of july pinwheel

Join us in Celebrating the 4th throughout the Nature Coast

By Diane Bedard Posted on June 27, 2019

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, and in 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday. Major and minor employers soon followed.

There are many Independence Day celebrations throughout Florida’s Nature Coast.

4th of July Events on the Nature Coast

Here in Florida’s Nature Coast, there is no shortage of public celebrations to attend. From New Port Richey to Inverness, municipalities are offering fireworks, live music, food vendors, games and fun from Friday, June 28 through Sunday, July 7.

Following is our rundown of local celebrations, and we make no promises to have them all. If you know of Independence Day celebrations in Citrus, Hernando and Pasco Counties that we have missed, please add them in the comments so your fellow NatureCoasters can join in the fun!

Red, White & Brew Fest 2019

Red, White & Brew 2019
Red, White and Brew Fest was a blast in 2018 and it has been moved to Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill for 2019. The Never Stop Believin’ Band is amazing!

July 3 – Red, White and Brew Fest Celebrate America’s birthday in Anderson Snow Park with HITS 106, Hernando County Parks & Recreation and Great Bay Distributors.

Live music by The Petty Hearts Tom Petty Tribute band, followed by a great fireworks show at 9 pm, and the incomparable Never Stop Believing Ultimate Journey Tribute band. Food trucks, vendors, crafters, Inflatable Party Express kids area, multiple Beer/Wine tents, 2 amazing bands, a salute to Veteran’s and of course FIREWORKS.

Admission to Red, White and Brew Fest is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Gates open at 4:30 pm. NO outside food or drinks, NO coolers, NO pets. NO tents. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, sunscreen, bug spray and cash for vendors. (some do take credit cards…but cash is always a great idea)

kiafest 2019

June 28-29 KIAFest Main Street Blast Bring the whole family down to the 20th Annual Friendly KIAFEST & Main Street Blast and enjoy the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock celebration concert in Sims Park. Variety of vendors, Beer Garden, military vehicles on display, Kids Zone, Miss Daisy Boat Tours and much more!

Thanks to the friendly folks at Friendly KIA, New Port Richey Main Street can host two days of FREE concerts of live musical entertainment! Finish off the fun on Saturday with a fabulous Main Street Blast Fireworks display over Orange Lake. (9:00 p.m-weather/conditions permitting) but get there early, thousands of people enjoyed New Port Richey’s Fireworks display last year!

Scalloping season begins July 1. This fun family activity allows you to get into the water and discover the amazing seagrass ecosystem that thrives in Florida’s Nature Coast. In this picture, Jade Palmer shows the starfish she discovered while snorkeling for scallops in Citrus County.

July 1Scalloping season opens from Aripeka through Steinhatchee! Get out on the water and celebrate our country’s independence with a snorkeling adventure that yields delicious results. You can charter a captain, join an scalloping charter or take your own vessel out into the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and join in this local tradition that is often likened to an underwater Easter egg hunt.

However, we recommend planning for a weekday scalloping outing and waiting a week or two because the scallop hunting grounds are very busy on opening weekend!

We have a full feature article on Scalloping in the Nature Coast and a list of local Tour Operators.

A patriotic concert is always a nice way to spend an afternoon.

June 29 and 30 – The Nature Coast Community Band will perform their Independence Day concert at 2:30 p.m. Saturday is at the Citrus Springs Community Center, 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd., Citrus Springs and Sunday is at the Cornerstone Baptist Church – 1100 W. Highland Ave, Inverness. There is no admission charge to either concert.

July 6Chase Animal Sanctuary’s Lemur Screamer lets you check out this friendly animal sanctuary and help raise funds for building new habitats and enriching the lives of the animals here. A quiet, committed group of over 40 volunteers care for exotic birds, antelope, tortoise – and lemurs! $15/adults and $8 for children 8 and up. Children under 8 years of age are not allowed.

The short drive to Webster, Florida will reward you with special animal encounters, food, games and more for additional donations. Some of the animal encounters include a lemur family kissing booth, Taco the macaw, chicken poop bingo, horseback riding and a raffle/silent auction sponsored by Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson. Location: 6127 SE 122nd Blvd, Webster, Florida 33597. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm.

2019 Inverness Patriotic Evening is scaled back to have a great fireworks show over Lake Henderson while downtown parks are closed.

July 3 – Inverness Patriotic Evening – The City of Inverness’ Patriotic Evening is set to “light the sky” for Wednesday, July 3, 2019, with a 9 p.m. fireworks display. Because the City’s waterfront parks: Wallace Books, Liberty Trail, and Liberty are closed due to construction, the usual festival with vendors and entertainment will not be part of the show.

All are encouraged to find a comfortable spot, nook, car seat, boat seat, or pub seat of choice to watch the firework spectacular over Lake Henderson. For more information, click here. No alcohol, coolers, canopies, pop-up tents, personal fireworks, bbq grilling, or pets allowed.

Please be respectful of private property and public spaces when finding your viewing spot. Patriotic Evening will return to a more normal situation with a bang in 2020!

demolition derby car

July 4Demolition Derby and Fireworks – Celebrate America with fireworks and fun for the entire family! Come out to the Hernando County Fairgrounds for music, games, a Kid Zone, contests, food, and the Demolition Derby!  A colorful and sparkling fireworks display will top off the evening. Starts at 4 pm. Cost: Parking: $5.00; Admission for Derby: Adults, $10.00; Children age 4-12, $5.00; under age three, free.

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate America’s Independence Day, make sure you look out for your family and pets.

July 4 – Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration – Join the City of Crystal River waterfront at Kings Bay Park for some great music, food, games, beer and wine and Fireworks! This is a free event! The fun begins at 5:00pm and the fireworks will kick off at 9:00pm (weather and time permitting). The best place to see the show over the water will be from Kings Bay Park.

Skydive City in Zephyrhills has an annual 4th of July celebration for those who want to jump from a plane, camp, enjoy the outdoors and party.

July 6-7 – Skydive City 4th of July Celebration – Come enjoy the weekend with some fun in the sun and jumping out of planes! There will be free load organizers, camping, cookout, live music, DJs, Beer and with free load organizers all weekend its sure to be a blast. 79 RV slots, rental trailer, free camping on 14 acres. Patriotic drinks made at the Sunset Bar all night long. Call to reserve your camping spot.

If you know of additional area celebrations, please post them in the comments for our fellow NatureCoasters to enjoy. Please remember that many of these events suggest you bring your own chair and many do not allow you to bring coolers and/or drinks and food.

Please be considerate of pets and their innate fear of fireworks and loud popping things.

The History of America’s Independence Day

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more,” wrote John Adams to his wife Abigail July 3, 1776.

Philadelphian’s celebrating American Independence Day By John Lewis Krimmel – Unknown, Public Domain,

On July 4, 1776, the first U.S. Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence and we Americans have been celebrating ever since!

In 1777, Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary with an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships in port were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute (feu de joie). Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.

Today, we blow things up, eat and drink, and get outside to celebrate the best country there is, The United States of America. Now get out there and have a good time remembering how great is to be an American.