Red, White and Boom, July 1 – 4, 2011
Fourth of July Festivities Include Annual Freedom Swim, Musical Performances and Fireworks
CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (June 28, 2011) – Swimming across the Peace River, catching a baseball game and gazing at fireworks exploding over water are some of the ways visitors and residents of Charlotte County, Fla., will be celebrating Independence Day weekend this year. Following is a sampling of activities this Southwest Florida community will offer this Fourth of July weekend:
Harpoon Harry’s July 4th Weekend Party: Friday, July 1 – Monday, July 4
Celebrate Independence Day all weekend long with live music, contests, trivia and kids crafts. Watch the fireworks display over the water at 9 p.m. on July 4. (1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, www.harpoonharrys.com, Tel: 941-637-1177)
Redneck Yacht Club 4th of July Fireworks Weekend: Friday, July 1 – Sunday, July 3.
Bring out the ATV, swamp buggy, mud truck or curiosity for the Redneck Yacht Club 4th of July Weekend at Florida’s largest off-road park. Gates open noon on Friday and close Sunday at 4 p.m. Events include Saturday night fireworks and performance by country music artist Chris MacArthur as well as a weekend of mud track racing in various classes. A day pass is $30, weekend pass is $40. Children 12 and under are free. (44570 Bermont Rd (CR 74), Punta Gorda, www.redneckyachtclubfl.com, Tel: 941-505-8465)
Weekend of Fourth of July Activities at the Nav-A-Gator Grill & Marina: Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4
Sway to the tunes of trop-rock performers Jim Morris on Saturday and Jimi Pappas Sunday (2 to 5 p.m.) and feast on a pig roast complemented with family fun. Monday, the acoustic power duo Gary and Kerri take the stage between 2 and 5 p.m. and a barbecue will be served. (9700 SW Riverview Circle, Lake Suzy, Fla., Tel: 941-627-3474)
2011 Summer Fest Featuring Aaron Neville at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds: Saturday, July 2
The all-day music festival features local and national musical performers featuring Aaron Neville at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 11 a.m. (http://charlottecountysummerfest.eventbrite.com, Tel: 941-206-1555)
4th-Fest 2011, Punta Gorda’s Annual Independence Day Celebration: Sunday, July 3 & Monday, July 4
The two-day festival is a family-friendly event celebrating the USA with nonstop entertainment including a Kid’s Fun Zone, unique vendors and of plenty of fun food and ice cold beer. Water-Mania, a group of 12 giant waterslides staged in Laishley Park, is this year’s highlight. Also new this year is the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and Competition with three daily performances. Sunday night features the 4th-Fest Battle of the Bands Competition with five preselected bands competing for the title and $1,500. Monday evening features the Battle of the Bands winners plus The Boogiemen Rock and Soul Revue followed by a fireworks display presented by the Famous Santore Brothers of Garden State Fireworks.
Gates open each day at 11 a.m. Admission is a $3 donation for the fireworks display and a wrist band for unlimited daily use of the Waterslides is $10. (Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, www.puntagordafireworks.com, Tel: 941-637-5953)
MONDAY, JULY 4 FESTIVITIES
20th Annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim
There is no registration and no rules with the exception of using common sense and courtesy for this annual swim across the Peace River. It’s not meant to be a race but a leisurely swim across 1.5 miles of river. Hundreds of swimmers participate, many donning red, white and blue attire. The Freedom Swim is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with an 8:55 a.m. discussion with swimmers. Participants will swim from the beach at the north end of the southbound U.S. 41 Bridge to Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda.
Reach the public beach either by traversing the shoreline under the two bridges, or from the west side of the U. S. 41 right of way walk directly onto the beach without trespassing on the private property between the beach and the defunct Sea Horse Marina. A trolley will be running between Fishermen's Village and the public beach from 8 a.m. to noon. Vessels will be required to operate at idle speed in the Peace River Channel from the U.S. 41 Bridge to Marker Number 2 while swimmers are in the Channel. Participants are advised to swim with a buddy.
‘It’s Time! Kayak & Canoe’ Offering Kayak Rentals for the Freedom Swim
For those interested in being part of the Freedom Swim without swimming, ‘It’s Time! Kayak & Canoe’ is offering single kayak rentals for $30, doubles for $45. Boats must be reserved in advance and will be waiting for paddlers at the swim’s starting point and can be left at Fishermen’s Village. Boaters are responsible for transportation back to the launch site. (www.itstimekayakandcanoe.com, Tel: 941-255-3686, ask for Mike or Audrey)
Annual 4th of July Celebration at Fishermen’s Village Waterfront Mall
Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the Annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim. Live music starts at 11 a.m. at Center Court with Reconnections Band playing through 3 p.m. followed by Soul Machine between 5 and 9 p.m. End the evening with a spectacular fireworks display over the water. Admission and parking are free. (1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, www.fishville.com, Tel: 941-639-8721)
Charlotte County Community Services Presents Bayshore 4th of July CelebrationBring the family for an evening of free music and dancing while enjoying the beautiful views of Charlotte Harbor and the Punta Gorda fireworks display by 4th-Fest 2011. Dance to the sounds of Sunday Punch and bring along your own picnic. Or, food vendors will be on site as well as gift vendors. The event is 7:30 to 9 p.m. (Bayshore Live Oak Park, 23157 Bayshore Road, Charlotte Harbor, www.CharlotteCountyFL.com Tel: 941-627-1628)
Celebrate American Spirit with the Charlotte Symphony OrchestraJoin the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra featuring Al Holland for a patriotic evening at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center. (75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda, www.charlottesymphony.com, Tel: 941-205-9743)
Baseball, Fireworks and Hot Dogs
Monday, July 4, the Charlotte Stone Crabs will take to the field at 6:30 p.m. and go head-to-head with the Jupiter Hammerheads. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Take advantage of the day’s special package which includes a reserved ticket, hot dog and soft drink voucher, team hat and discount coupon for the team store. The cost is $13 when purchased in advance. Fireworks will immediately follow the game. (www.stonecrabsbaseball.com; Tel: 941-206-4487)
Military Heritage Museum Independence Day GatheringJoin friends and members of the Military Heritage Museum at the top of the Herald Street Parking Garage for an evening of music with radio personality the Golden Hippo and cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. Watch the night’s fireworks display. The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and cost is $15 per person, $25 per couple. (www.FreedomIsntFree.org, Tel: 941-575-9002)
Guided Eco-Kayak Tours with Grande Tours Kayak Center
Paddle with a Master Coastal Naturalist through mangrove tunnels and open water to learn about local history and have the opportunity to view wildlife and marine life. Tour departure times are 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 4, for a 2-hour and 30-minute tour. This tour is specially priced at $44.44. Advance reservations recommended. (12575 Placida Rd., Placida, www.grandetours.com, Tel: 941-697-8825)
Fireworks Viewing Cruise
Watch Punta Gorda's Independence Day Fireworks display from the best vantage point: over the calm waters of the Peace River. King Fisher Fleet is offering a fireworks viewing cruise on Monday, July 4. The cruise will depart from Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda at 8:30 p.m. and will return following the fireworks display. Cost is $20 per person for adult, $10 per person for children age 11 and under. Reservations are recommended. (Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, www.kingfisherfleet.com, Tel: 941-639-0969)
For additional Charlotte County Fourth of July activities, visit www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.
About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Port Charlotte was named “Best Place to Retire” by MONEY magazine in 2009. The city of Punta Gorda was named in 2008 as one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood, Fla. was named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com.
For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the website at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.
Tourism Public Relations ManagerCharlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention BureauTel: (941) 743-1900
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-743-2245
CONTACT US | LUXURY RENTAL HOMES | CHARLOTTE HARBOR | Englewood Fl Rental Home 9 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 1160 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 652 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 216 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 1146 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 217 | MONEYCORP CURRENCY | Englewood Fl Rental Home 613 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 52 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 42 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 9340 | TESTIMONIALS | ROTONDA 4 SALE | Englewood Fl Rental Home 995 | BOCA GRANDE HOMES | CONDO KING ENGLEWOOD | Englewood Fl Rental Home 332 | Englewood Fl Rental Home 221 | HERTZ RENT A CAR | Englewood Fl Rental Home 225 | PROPERTY MANAGEMENT | GORDONS BLOG