Fourth of July holiday fun

U.S. flag

The Fourth of July is one of the busiest holidays on Anna Maria Island with a parade, a park party and fireworks at the beach.

The Anna Maria Privateers Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Coquina Beach, south of the city of Bradenton Beach, and ends at Anna Maria City Pier. After that, the Privateers will go to the Anna Maria Island Beach Café at 4000 Gulf Drive to hand out scholarships. They will end their day with a party at D Coy Ducks in Holmes Beach.

Earlier, the Privateers asked parade participants to refrain from squirting people in the crowds with squirt guns to avoid injuring anybody or damaging cameras and cell phones, but late last week they decided to allow some squirt guns that don’t shoot a strong stream of water, according to Privateer Kim Boyd.

The park party runs from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Anna Maria City Pier Park on Pine Avenue. There will be free hot dogs, chips, liquid refreshments and patriotic music.

Finally, the Sandbar restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., will sponsor a fireworks show on the beach. It should be the only fireworks on the beach because private individuals on the Island are not allowed to shoot anything that explodes or flies. Police say that ordinance will be strictly enforced.

Parking is limited so the free trolleys are a good alternative to get there. The county will have the trolleys running late to make sure people can stay until the end of the show and still get home.