Throughout the Keys, beachside fun for families coincides with spectacular fireworks shows, and here are some of my favorite picks:
Blackwater Sound provides a mirror-like surface designed to make the annual fireworks display seem like a 3-D viewing experience from either land or sea. The show is to take place bayfront in Key Largo at 9 p.m. Monday, July 4. The best seating is at Sundowners on the Bay and Señor Frijoles restaurants, the Caribbean Club and Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort, all located around mile marker (MM) 104 bayside. Reservations are suggested because seating fills up early. For more information, visit www.keylargofireworks.com.
Founders Park, MM 87 on Plantation Key, is the site of “Spirit of Islamorada,” an old-fashioned annual July 4 celebration hosted by the Village of Islamorada and the Upper Keys Rotary Club. Entertainment and activities for kids, teens, parents and dogs highlight the event from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with a fireworks show to follow. Planned activities include contests for best apple pie and potato salad, a “Nathans” hot dog eating contest and other food, refreshments and beer. Event proceeds benefit local scholarship funds, Boy Scouts and athletic programs.
All Islamorada residents and visitors are welcome to attend. Guests staying at participating resorts are to receive wristbands for free admission to the event at 6 p.m. A $10 admission fee applies for nonresidents not staying at a participating hotel. For more information, visit Spirit of Islamorada on Facebook.
In Marathon, a patriotic parade is slated to start at 10:30 a.m. at Marathon High School on Sombrero Beach Road (MM 50 oceanside) and proceed to Sombrero Beach where a picnic and celebration featuring food and drink, kids’ crafts and entertainment lead into the night’s fireworks display. Marathon is known as the Boating Destination of the Keys, and hundreds of boaters typically line up for front-row seats at the beach for the festivities and fireworks.