Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independence Day 2014 in Orlando: July 4th Done Right

Photo by Chris Martin
Happy Independence Day, Orlandoans! Celebrate at one of the ten free Central Florida fireworks shows (and that's not even including the theme parks), go on a barbecue bender, or party in your own way.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The Lucky Lure at Lake Ivanhoe is celebrating its 1 Year Anniversary (already??) this Thursday with free BBQ and select drinks from 5:00 to 8:00pm and live music from 9:00pm to midnight.

For the 19th time in a row, the City of Altamonte Springs is bringing you the region's biggest combination of fireworks and music: Red Hot & Boom, this Thursday from 4:00 to 11:00pm. This free event includes fireworks, plenty of food and drink vendors, and national acts like A Great Big World, American Authors, and Alex & Sierra.

Too-Cool-4-School Events

July 4th: You know the nerd inside you wants to go to A Sci-Fi Fourth of July in Celebration. The full day of free activities starts with a parade at 9:00am, with the actual event beginning at 5:30pm with DJs, live performances, Sci-Fi/super hero costume contest (7:30pm), and fireworks (9:30pm).

July 4th: Also celebrating July 4th in Orlando is Austin's Coffee's 9th Annual I-4 Fest, with 26 bands on two stages, art fair, food, and drinks; $5.

July 5th: The Independence for the Animals Vegan Potluck takes place this Saturday at 2:00pm for the 14th year in a row. $10 suggested donation or $5 if you bring a dish. RSVP; pets welcome.

July 5th: Stop by Johnny's Fillin' Station thi Saturday 10:00am to 7:00pm for 'Merica, the Orlando Facial Hair Club's patriotic event. Live music, beard-offs, and hot rod competitions; $5 OR canned food donations accepted.

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Start your Independence Day with the City of Winter Park's Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration (yes, "old" with an "e" because it's Winter Park). A parade will start at City Hall at 9:00am, with free hot dogs, watermelon, and water; other food and drink for purchase; free bike valet; live music by the Bach Festival Brass Band and Choir; wagon rides; and plenty of activities up and down the Avenue.

Out west, Winter Garden's Party in the Park starts at 5:30pm and goes on until the fireworks at 9:30pm. This free family event includes games, food, and live music.

On the other side of town, Avalon Park presents its own 4th of July Celebration from 5:00 to 9:00pm, with an apple pie bake-off, hot dog eating contest, bike parade, wet/dry bounce park, performances, and fireworks.

To the north, three cities are hosting events with live music, food, drinks, activities, and, of course, fireworks:

Get closer to fireworks than anywhere else this Fourth at Downtown Orlando's massive Fireworks at the Fountain. The event is free and begins at 4:00pm with fireworks at 9:10pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase. This year's special musical guest is the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. (Secret tip: Avoid the craziness of Downtown and head to Lake Ivanhoe to watch the fireworks over the skyline, while grabbing a drink at The Lucky Lure.)

South of Orlando, check out the St. Cloud 4th of July Lakefront Celebration, a free event starting at 3:00pm and culminating in fireworks over the lake at 9:15pm. There will also be plenty of live music, food, and games.

In the neighborhood, Kissimmee's Monumental 4th of July Celebration from 5:00 to 9:10pm (fireworks!) will include musical tributes through the decades, as well as TheDailyCity Food Truck Bazaar with over two dozen diverse vendors.

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

On Saturday, Winter Park's Ravenous Pig will host a Backyard BBQ from 11:30am to 2:0pm. The Pig's owner and chef James Petrakis himself will man the grill, where for $17 per person you can dig into smoked chicken, pork ribs, and all the fixings and desserts you need for a successful Independence Day barbecue. (Walk-ins welcome, or make a reservation.)

If you're not fireworked-out yet (and how could you be?), come to Baldwin Park's Independence Day Bash on Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30pm, with tons of vendors and live music.

In Ivanhoe's Gaston Edwards Park, Family Outfest is putting on Red, Out & Equal, a free family event with live music, activities, food, and drinks starting at noon and ending with fireworks at 9:00pm.

How are you celebrating July 4th, 2014 in Orlando? Leave a comment below!

And remember, be safe... even if that means not launching a rocket from your ass crack:

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