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Celebrating the 4th of July in Naples

Independence Day is made for gatherings. Hometown festivals pop up all over the United States, but there’s nothing quite like enjoying beachside fireworks in Naples, Florida. July is the perfect time to plan your Naples Florida getaway, so get packing and celebrate the red, white, and blue in the most beautiful part of the country.

No celebration is complete without a parade, and the Naples parade kicks off on Broad Avenue and continues down to Third Street at 10am. It then marches on to Fifth Avenue, and concludes on Eighth.Bands, floats, and of course candy, make it a tradition that locals and tourists alike come out for annually. Of course, with this being Naples you’ll also see some fun local color, like swamp buggies and firetrucks. Lasting nearly two hours, you’ll definitely want to be in the crowd for this one.

Bonita Springs, which was incorporated into Naples in 2000, hosts the Star Spangled Bonita celebration yearly. Down-home charm abounds with events like a 5k race and a giant party in Riverside Park. The “Music of America” parade begins at 9am with floats, bands, autos, and horses. Eating contests and bed races give it an authentic old-timey Americana feeling, a throwback to small-town celebrations of years past.

The bed race is an event that really adds color to the celebration. Each contestant must start with a twin bed, and then deck it out in festive decorations however they choose. Each team must find a way to get their bed mobile and rolling, with prizes being awarded to the fastest bed as well as the most creative. Locals say this one is a favorite of the whole community.

Inside the park there will be live music on the main stage, and a bounce house and water slide for the kids. The Artist’s Cottages will be on hand for interaction with local artists.

The big show of any Fourth of July celebration is the fireworks. An 18-minute show is held annually at the Naples Pier at 9pm. Marco Island features a fantastic show set off from a barge south of Resident’s Beach. The crescent shape of the beach makes for the perfect setting – not a bad seat in the house. If you’re craving an old-fashioned hometown holiday, Naples and the surrounding area offer plenty of ways to enjoy Independence Day on a beachside paradise.

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