St. Augustine is planning a celebration befitting the nation’s oldest city: A free big band concert with The All Star Orchestra brings swing music to the Plaza de la Constitution from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by fireworks over the Matanzas Bay at 9:30 p.m. The Bridge of Lions and Castillo Drive will be closed to traffic at 8:30 p.m. until after the fireworks, so get in place early. Restaurants downtown will have extended hours, so instead of sitting in traffic after the pyrotechnics, just grab a seat at a local eatery and enjoy the Independence Day specials.
The City of Jacksonville’s traditional downtown fireworks show will go on, on the St. Johns River, with plenty of good viewing spots on both the North and South Riverbanks. The show begins at 9:45 p.m. However, beginning at 5 p.m., there’s family fun (with face-painting, inflatables and other activities) at The Shipyards plus a concert by 70s pop-rockers Orleans, music at The Landing with X-Hale, and hands-on fun by MOSH at Friendship Fountain.
If you’d rather watch fireworks by the sea, the Jacksonville Beach display begins at 9 p.m. on July 4 and can be seen from Atlantic Beach to South Jax Beach.
On Amelia Island, you can party with the kids at the Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival, at Central Park in Fernandina Beach, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where there will be food trucks, bounce houses and live music. At Centre Street in the historic district, Island Vibes will play from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by Nassau Community Band near the Old Train Depot, and of course, fireworks at the riverfront at 9 p.m.
Of course, all the festivities are free!