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LOTS OF JULY 4th 2018 CELEBRATIONS ON & OFF ANNA MARIA ISLAND 

On Anna Maria Island 
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Parade — The Anna Maria Island Privateers annual Independence Day Parade followed by a daylong Fourth of July celebration. Stand right outside your front door of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida, 34217 as the patriots drive by throwing beads and other treats to kids of all ages. The parade begins at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 and runs the entire length of the Island ending at the Anna Maria City Pier at the east end of Pine Avenue. Everyone is invited all to participate in the parade and all entries are encouraged to wear red, white and blue and to decorate their rides for the holiday. You will see a variety of vehicles from — automobiles, golf carts, Segways, roller skates, bicycles, scooters and pirate ships on wheels.
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Parties — After the parade the Privateers will celebrate with two parties. The first will be immediately after the parade at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. There the benevolent pirates will award more than $17,000 in college scholarships to local students. The second, is an adult party at at D.Coy Ducks Tavern, 5410 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
At City Pier Park, the city of Anna Maria will celebrate the holiday with a “Celebrate America” picnic from 12:30-2 p.m. The city will serve hot dogs to picnickers while enjoying patriotic songs in the park at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard. For more info, call city hall, 941-708-6130.
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Fireworks — After sunset, the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, will mark Independence Day with the 32nd Fireworks Spectacular at their outdoor wedding pavilion. For more than 30 years both tourists and residents have lined the beach with their feet in the sand watching the Sandbar’s colourful display in the sky. They will offer a VIP evening party package which include VIP seating for the show. For more information, call the restaurant at 941-778-0444
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Off Island 
Just off Anna Maria Maria Island, in Cortez, The Swordfish Grill will host it’s Fifth Annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Given 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs as possible, the winner will have his or her name engraved on the prestigious Hahana Ilio Cup trophy – hahana ilio is Hawaiian for “hot dog”. The winner will also take home $250 in prizes, including cash and Swordfish Grill swag. The annual contest will also feature raffle prizes. There is no registration fee, but all participants are required to sign a waiver. Contestants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian’s written permission. Contestants can stop by the Swordfish Grill and pre-register ahead of time or register by noon on the day of the event.. The Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th St. W. in Cortez. For more information, call 941-798-2035.
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firework display in downtown Bradenton along Barcarrota Avenue at the Riverwalk, 452 3rd Ave W. Fireworks will be launched from a barge in the river about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4.
Another display of fireworks will take place July 4 on the Sarasota bayfront in downtown Sarasota and over Manatee River, with the best viewing on the waterfronts in Bradenton and Palmetto.
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Early Celebration — Baseball fans come out and celebrate Independence Day on Tuesday, July 3, at LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Enjoy an evening of baseball as the minor-league team, the Bradenton Marauders  in patriotic jerseys will take on the Palm Beach Cardinals at 6:30 p.m. The first 1,500 lucky fans will receive a free T-shirt and the team will auction off a star-spangled jersey. The game will be followed by a fireworks display show sponsored by Budweiser.
For more information, go online to bradentonmauraders.com or call 941-747-3031.
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Parade — Longboat Key will celebrate the holiday July 4 with a parade and the annual Freedom Fest and Hot Diggity Dog Parade presented by the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce. The parade along Bay Isles Road will take place at 9 a.m. with wagons and bikes decorated in red, white and blue, fire trucks, police cars and pets. Following the parade at Bicentennial Park, 500 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key until 11 a.m. there will be a celebration with games, face painting, balloon and sand art, a butterfly release and a feast that includes waffles topped with strawberries. For more information, call the chamber at 941-383-2466.
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