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Apple pie, family get-togethers and the American flag all make us think of the Fourth of July because they symbolize independence. Spending the holiday on the beach in Southwest Florida, or at least in warm, sunny temperatures, makes the July 4 holiday seem even better. And if you have some local insight into the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida, you certainly can’t go wrong.

What are you waiting for? This could be one of your best Fourth of July vacations in Florida yet.

Whether you’ve already been to Southwest Florida’s Sanibel or Captiva Island or the mainland, it doesn’t hurt to revisit special memories and make new ones. And if you’ve never been here before, it may be the perfect time to explore somewhere new. Look no further, we’ve got the scoop on some of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida. They may even be some of the best 4th of July celebrations in Florida.

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Know your Fourth of July History

The Fourth of July has officially been a federal holiday since 1941, but the holiday has been celebrated since the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

Patriotic fervor became even more prevalent after the War of 1812, in which the United States again squared off against Great Britain. In 1870, Congress made the Fourth of July a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was extended to grant all federal employees a paid holiday.

Leisure and the Beach Go Hand in Hand

Celebrate Independence Day in sunny Southwest Florida and relax on the beach before heading to one of the area’s hotspots to view one of the stunning fireworks shows.

Whether you’re looking for a Fourth of July parade or a booming firework display, this post will tell you all you need to know about 4th of July events in Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island.

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Fireworks at the Naples Pier.

Here is a list of some of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida:

Southwest Florida is a big area, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. Regardless of where you’re staying or what you’re looking for, there are plenty of options for you to find something to do.

Fireworks

Most people celebrate Independence Day by watching a firework display, and Southwest Florida has plenty of options to choose from. If you’re watching the firework spectacle from the beach, don’t forget to bring a towel, folding chairs, sunscreen, water and bug spray.

  • Naples Pier

Fireworks at The Naples Pier begin 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 from a barge 1,000 feet away from the pier

The Naples Police Department will strictly enforce parking and pay special attention to “No Parking” areas with a focus on the entire length of Gulf Shore Boulevard, fire hydrants and blocked intersections.

A good rule of thumb for viewing fireworks at the Naples Pier is to get there early so you can snag a parking space. Traffic is also always backed up after this event. Make sure you plan accordingly.

  • Star Spangled Bonita

Located in the heart of downtown historic Bonita Springs, Riverside Park will feature kid-friendly events and July 4-themed activities. There will also be a firework and laser-light display at night.
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  • Downtown Fort Myers Freedom Fest

If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit downtown Fort Myers, now’s your chance. The WINK Freedom Fest starts in the afternoon and the downtown Fort Myers firework display begins at 9:30 p.m. It’s free and it boasts live entertainment and food trucks. If you’re staying in or near Fort Myers for the 4th of July, this is an ideal option.

  • Red, White and Boom in Cape Coral

This is one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida, and also one of the area’s most talked about. Singer-songwriter Chase Bryant will headline the annual Cape Coral fireworks Independence Day celebration at 8 p.m.

From 5 to 10 p.m., expect vendors, a kids park with rides, kids activities and of course, a firework display at 9:30 p.m. Guests must purchase a wristband to enjoy the rides. Each session lasts one-hour and 15 minutes, and there are a limited number of wristbands available.

Red, White and Boom is free and located at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge in downtown Cape Coral, just east of Del Prado Boulevard.

Parking for Red, White and Boom is also free and parking lot locations include Club Square, Iguana Mia, the Veterans Museum or Big John’s Pizza. There will also be a free parking and trolley service. For more information, you can call 239-573-3128.

If you are staying on Cape Coral or don’t mind a bit of a drive, there is also a Freedom 5k at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge at 7:30 a.m. Registration for the Cape Coral Fourth of July 5K, begins at 6 a.m. and runners can register for the Cape Coral 4th of July 5k at the Fort Myers Track Club website, freedom5kcc.com.

If you’re staying in the area for a while, there is also the Cape Coral Mango Fest on June 14 and 15. The 22nd annual Cape Coral Mango Mania features everything mango with food and recipe contests, music, food and drinks, and tropical plants and trees for sale.

  • Sanibel Island Fireworks

A firework display starts at 9 p.m. from a barge off the end of Bailey Road. The best spot to view the fireworks is from the Sanibel Island Causeway.

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Parades

It wouldn’t be a major holiday without a parade, and these options will help put you in the patriotic spirit.

  • Downtown Naples

The Fourth of July parade will take place on July 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. Grab a spot near the start of the event on Broad Avenue South or wait for the parade to finish on Third Street South. Don’t forget to bring water and folding chairs.

  • Bonita Springs

Head over to Riverside Park at 9 a.m. for a Fourth of July parade and stay all day for fun-filled activities the whole family can enjoy.

  • Fort Myers Beach

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the Bay Oaks Recreation Center and travels along Estero Boulevard to Times Square. Stick around Times Square near the clock until 2 p.m. for patriotic crafts, a watermelon-eating contest and a dunk tank. The event is free and parking is limited. However, a free trolley service is available all day. Fireworks start at 8:45 p.m. at Times Square. Bringing your own beach chairs is encouraged. Also, keep in mind that the Matanzas Pass bridge will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to oncoming traffic

  • Sanibel Island

Start the Fourth of July festivities at 9:30 a.m. with a parade that travels along the main thoroughfare, Periwinkle Way, from Tarpon Bay Road to Casa Ybel Road. There will be an after-parade celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center at 10:30 a.m. and the 39th-annual San-Cap Optimist’s Club Road Rally also starts at noon at Timbers Restaurant.

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Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Southwest Florida

Whether you decide to spend the Fourth of July holiday week in Naples, Bonita, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Sanibel or Captiva Island, there are plenty of things to do for members of the entire family.

It just depends on what type of Fourth of July vacation you’re looking for. Try a laidback vacation in Bonita Springs or Cape Coral. Perhaps you’d like to stay in Naples and enjoy its high-end eateries and fancy boutiques. Whatever kind of trip you’re planning, our Royal Shell vacation planners can help make it happen.

Come for July 4 week and enjoy some of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida. You might like it so much; you’ll want to stay for a lifetime.

If you are thinking about becoming a Florida regular, any of our agents will be more than happy to take you around to see our beautiful Southwest Florida homes. If you’re considering selling your home and buying a place in the Sunshine State, our agents know Southwest Florida like the backs of our hands. We can answer all of your questions, point you to the best beaches and show you some of the area’s best hotspots. Helping people find their dream home or vacation rental is what we do best.

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