The sparkling waters surrounding the Florida Keys are set to reflect bursts of color during Independence Day celebrations along the 110-mile chain of islands.

Upper Keys
Blackwater Sound, fitting its name, provides the perfect nighttime mirror-like surface to make the annual fireworks display seems 3D in a viewing experience designed to dazzle. The show is to take place bayfront in Key Largo Wednesday, July 4, at 9 pm.

The best seating is at Sundowners and Senior Frijoles Restaurants, Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating fills up early.

In the Upper Keys, the 33rd annual Fourth of July parade is themed “Freedom Shines on the Florida Keys.” The parade gets rolling at 10 am from the parking lot at Anthony’s Clothing Store, MM 98.2 on the center median of U.S. Highway 1 in Key Largo. Entrants must assemble in the parking lot between 8:30 and 9 am.
Awards will be presented to floats and entries in categories including best emergency vehicle, best musical, most original, most beautiful, best portrayal of this year’s theme, best nonprofit and best business parade entrants.

For more information, call (305) 852-3216 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Independence Day at Holiday Isle, MM 84 oceanside, is a blast with fireworks slated to launch at 9 p.m. Attractions are to include live music at Kokomo and the Tiki Bar along with food, fun and frolicking.

Founders Park, MM 87 on Plantation Key, is to be the site of an annual celebration hosted by the Village of Islamorada. Activities for kids, teens, parents and dogs highlight the day. For an event schedule and more information, call (305) 853-1685.

In Marathon, known as the Heart of the Keys, a patriotic parade is slated to start on U.S. 1 and proceed along Sombrero Beach Road (MM 50 oceanside) to Sombrero Beach where a picnic and celebration featuring food, drink, kids’ crafts and entertainment lead into the night’s fireworks display. For more information, call the Marathon Chamber of Commerce at (305) 743-5417.

Lower Keys
The Lower Keys Rotary Club’s annual 4th of July Fireworks are to take place at Sugarloaf Airport, MM 17 bayside on Sugarloaf Key, adjacent to the quirky Bat Tower. Live music headlined by the Prime Movers, food and cold beverages are to be accompanied by games and activities for both adults and kids. A fireworks show is set to go off at nightfall, or about 9 p.m. Admission is free, but no coolers or personal fireworks will be allowed. For more information, call (305) 395-3700.

Key West
Key West’s 24th annual July 4 picnic to benefit Hospice of the Florida Keys and the Visiting Nurse Association is to take place at the luxurious Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club, 1500 Reynolds St., overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The celebration is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. with fireworks over the Atlantic starting at 9 p.m.

The traditional buffet offers hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixings for $20 per adult, $10 per child between 3 and 12 and free for children younger than three. For an elegant alternative, attendees can choose reserved beachfront seats with first-class service and a fresh seafood buffet. Tickets for the “best seats on the beach” section are $100 per person.

The picnic also is to feature free watermelon, popcorn and cold drinks. Live music, a silent auction and lots of children’s games round out the fun-filled family festivities. Cost is $5 to attend the event without partaking of the buffets.<

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