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Let Freedom Ring

Southwest Florida is joining the rest of the nation to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Southwest Florida is joining the rest of the nation to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Southwest Florida is joining the rest of the nation to celebrate the Fourth of July with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues. Following is a summary of some of the scheduled events around our area:

FORT MYERS FREEDOM FEST

The Fort Myers River District Alliance will host a BANG UP Celebration on July 4th! Downtown Fort Myers will bring together the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk and its annual Freedom Fest to give patrons the best of both worlds— art and a stunning fireworks show. The night will also include a veteran’s salute, live art demonstrations, craft beer sampling, music and food, as well as a kid’s zone with face painting, bounce houses and children’s art tent. For more information, visit www.myriverdistrict.com.

• 5 – 9:30 pm Freedom Fest-Art Walk Celebration begins. Galleries, tent vendors and live art demonstrations available on the River District streets.
• 5 – 7 pm LIVE Music with Big Mama and the Wild Bunch B105 on stage near Starbucks.
• 5 – 7 pm LIVE Music with the Ben Miller Band on stage near Cowboy Up Bar.
• 5 – 7 pm LIVE Music with Official Outcome on stage in front of Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.
• 5:30 – 7:30 pm LIVE Music in Patio de Leon with Memphis 56.
• 8 – 9 pm/9:30 – 11 pm LIVE Music in Patio de Leon with the Supros.
• 8 – 9 pm/9:30 – 11 pm LIVE Music at the corner of Bay and Hendry with the Rolling Stones Tribute Band.
• 9:30 pm RDA Fireworks Show!

FORT MYERS BEACH 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION

The Fort Myers Beach Parks and Recreation Department will bring on the 4th of July festivities for nearly 15,000 visitors with a boat parade, hot dog eating contest, music and activities and a spectacular display of fireworks right after sunset. Restaurants, lounges and others step up the festivities with music and activity in the Times Square area and all the length of the beach. For more information, visit www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov.

• 9 am Fort Myers Beach Bridge closed.
• 10 am 4th of July Boat Parade kicking off at Matanzas Bay and going north into Time Square.
• 12 pm Fort Myers Beach Bridge reopens.
• 2 pm First Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest in Time Square. Kids, women and men will compete for a trophy and cash prize for the most hot dogs eaten in 8-minutes. Sponsored by: Time Square Merchant and Event Association, Flowers Bakery and Southern Deli Provisions.
• 9 pm Sunset Fireworks Show off the Fort Myers Beach Fishing Pier.

CAPE CORAL’S RED, WHITE & BOOM!

The City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department is proud to bring the largest single day event in the city. The 2014 Red, White, and Boom has over 30,000 people come to the heart of Cape Coral and take part in a myriad of activities. Everything from a 5K race to musical entertainment and Southwest Florida’s largest fireworks display is part of the celebration. Families can enjoy an obstacle course, giant slides and Velcro walls, as well as bungee jumping, face painting and balloon art.
The Cape Coral Bridge, as well as Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to the bridge, will be closing at 6 am on July 4. For more information, visit www.capeboom.com.

• 6:30 am CenturyLink-Prism Freedom 5K Race at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge. Runners register for race at the Fort Myers Track Club website www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.
• 4 pm Musical Entertainment by Storm Warning Dancers.
• 5 pm Musical Entertainment by Country band, Blackwater.
• 6:30 pm Musical Entertainment by Mike Imbasciani & The BluezRockerz Band.
• 8:30 pm Musical Entertainment by Country Singer, Kelleigh Bannen.
• 9:30 pm Storm Smart Fireworks Spectacular.

SANIBEL-CAPTIVA INDEPENDENCE DAY BBQ & FIREWORKS

Get an early start on your 4th of July Celebration by joining in the spirit of the holiday with an old-fashioned parade, barbecue and blazing fireworks in the shelling capital of the world. Independence Day on Sanibel-Captiva has become a staple treat to be savored and remembered for years. For more information, visit www.sanibel-captiva.org.

• 8 am Flag Raising Ceremony at Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. Celebrate the United States with patriotic songs, a US flag ceremony, refreshments and Uncle Sam.
• 9:30 am Sanibel Independence Day Parade along Periwinkle Way. Parade watchers are treated to free gifts, candy, water spraying and the All-American decorated floats.
• 7:30 pm Adventures In Paradise Fireworks Cruise gives guests a front row seat to view Sanibel Island’s annual fireworks display, from the water! The dazzling fireworks show can be enjoyed from three catamarans that cruise Sanibel Island and San Carlos Bay. Complimentary soft drinks, bottle water and snacks are available for $49 per person. Bring Your Own Booze!
• 9 pm Fireworks Show at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club with grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken. Fun for everyone!