Sarasota’s Sizzlin’ Fourth Of July

Gorgeous starburst fireworks. Photo courtesy of

Oh yes, it’s HOT in Florida right now. Most days you could probably fry that proverbial egg on our sun-baked sidewalks. But that’s not the kind of sizzle I’m talking about. It’s the smokin’ hot lineup of events planned for Independence Day that I’m talkin’ about!

A weekend of Fourth Of July festivities kicks off with “Powerboats By The Bay,” a collection of souped-up racing boats on display at downtown’s Centennial Park on July 3rd & 4th, followed by a spectacular fireworks show over Sarasota Bay at 9 p.m. on the 4th. Although the fireworks can be seen from almost anywhere in the downtown area, in-the-know Sarasotans head for the Bayfront near Island Park, where the the dazzling pyrotechnics create mirror images in the calm waters of the Bay.

Mosaic of pyrotechnics, as seen from Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Photos courtesy of

Sarasota’s Independence Day celebration continues with the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Race on Sunday, July 5th. Some of these offshore racing boats reach speeds of over 100 mph on the straight-aways of this six and a half mile long course off Lido Key Beach. During the two hour-long heats (11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.) helicopters swoop overhead, spotting for marine life and keeping an eye on the boats and drivers, in case an emergency requires medical assistance. Many of the 50,000 spectators come dressed in swimsuits and simply wade into the water – by far the best way to both escape the heat and get a front row seat. But plan to come early, because many die-hard fans arrive as early as 5 a.m. to get good parking spots and stake out the prime viewing spots on the beach.

Helicopter monitors status f powerboat during Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Race. Photo courtesy of

The weekend of events culminates with the Race Awards Ceremony at the Hyatt Sarasota Ballroom, from 5-6:30 p.m that same evening, where locals and visitors can hobnob with the winning race teams. Best part of this sizzling summer celebration? Everything is free!

4 thoughts on “Sarasota’s Sizzlin’ Fourth Of July”

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

  2. I am disabled but I would like to stay at a hotel with a great view of the freworks? Anywhere local is fine…thanks a bunch! Josie

    • Hi Josie: Sorry, but I’m not a travel agent or booking service, and it’s been a while since I was in Sarasota, so I really can’t recommend anything, as I don;t know if you information would be accurate. Might try the local Chamber of Commerce.

  3. Pingback: Celebrating the 4th of July around the U.S.

Leave a Comment