The Things that Locals Know!

4th of July Festivities On and Off AMI – 2019

Summer time on Anna Maria Island is truly paradise. It’s not too crowded, the Gulf water is warm enough for us locals to jump in, and the cold beer is even more refreshing. Though the best part of Summer on the Island is when the 4th of July comes around. The 4th of July festivities on AMI are always a hit with visitors and locals, and it really is a fun filled day of celebration. As we count down the days to the holiday, let’s discuss all the festivities taking place locally.

4th of July Festivities On the Island

  • Privateers Parade: The Privateers Parade is an annual 4th of July parade that begins at 10am. The parade starts down at Coquina Beach, and travels North to Anna Maria. The parade ends at City Pier Park (Pine Ave and North Bay Blvd), which is where the next event takes place.
  • City Celebration: This takes place at the City Pier Park as the parade comes to an end at 12:30pm. This event is open to everyone, so don’t be shy. Come stop by and enjoy some hot dogs, beverages, and some patriotic tunes.
  • Fireworks: This year The Sandbar Restaurant will be hosting a firework display after sunset (weather permitting). For the best view, try to get a spot on the beach just to the North or just to the South of the restaurant.

4th of July Festivities Off the Island

  • Longboat Key: The Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce is putting on their Freedom Fest from 9am – 11am July 4th. The Freedom Fest event includes a parade, music, food, and more!  The parade begins at the Suntrust Bank building (510 Bay Isles Road), and wraps up at the nearby Bicentennial Park.
  • Cortez: If you really enjoy a good hot dog,than maybe you should participate in Swordfish Grill & Tiki Bars 6th Annual Hotdog Eating Contest. The contest begins at 1pm.
  • Bradenton: Pier 22 (1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton), a restaurant on the Manatee River in Downtown Bradenton, will be presenting a firework show, shown in the picture at the top of this blog, after sunset. You can view the firework display from downtown Bradenton, and on the waterfront in Palmetto.
  • Sarasota: The firework display in Sarasota, also taking place on the 4th, will have the best viewing in downtown Sarasota, on the Bay front.

Have a safe holiday everyone!!


Anna Maria Island July 4th Activities

Get out your lawn chairs! With so much to do, you’re sure to never be bored while visiting the island. If you want the perfect day of play, here are some of the best Anna Maria Island July 4th Activities.

AMI Privateers 4th of July Parade

privateers parade
Come out and watch the Privateers parade! Photo courtesy of

Known as one of Anna Maria’s biggest events, the AMI Privateers 4th of July Parade is a must-see. Start your morning off from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with this FREE parade, starting at Coquina Beach and ending at the City Pier in Anna Maria. Everyone is welcome, and try to catch some beads! Just as a warning, many of the floats have a knack for bringing out their water guns, so get ready to be wet!

Festive Foods!

One of my favorite parts about the fourth of July is the delicious food you get to eat! Whether you want to eat at home or eat out, there’s something for everyone.

For you chefs out there, grilling is ALWAYS the way to go on the fourth of July. With Publix right around the corner, you’re sure to find all the ingredients you need, such as ribs, corn, potatoes, and what ever else your stomach desires! Plus, there’s no better time than to get a little crafty with your food. Sweeten up the day with Patriotic White Chocolate Covered Oreos! You can make them right at home, and they’re really easy to make!

Patriotic White Chocolate Covered Oreos- Red, white, and blue chocolate give these Oreos a patriotic touch. Serve them for Memorial Day or the 4th of July!

Activities for Kids

If you’re looking for something to keep the kiddos busy, try out these Glow in the Dark Sensory Bottles. They make for really fun toys, and can actually be educational if you look at the science behind them!

If you want to get up and close with nature, try out this DIY ring toss! All you need is a couple of attachable glow sticks, some sticks (that can easily be found on the island), and some friends to play with!

For more super fun ideas, visit our Pinterest page!

Sandbar Annual Fireworks Spectacular


sandbar fireworks
Enjoy fireworks at the Sandbar Restaurant! Photo from

If you’re looking for a show of lights, look no further than the Sandbar Restaurant located on the North end of the island! Celebrating 31 years, the fireworks show will begin right after dusk under their wedding pavilion. They can be seen on almost any part of the island, so be sure to look for them!

For those who want front row seats, the restaurant is offering an exclusive VIP package! Included are a private area to watch the fireworks, an array of food prepared by their culinary team, open bar, party favors, and valet parking. Tickets are $140 for adults and $50 for children.

AMI Rules!

While we’re all about having fun, we ask that you please not set off your own fireworks! They can be very unsafe, and the last thing we want is for your vacation to end early. Illegal fireworks include-but are not limited to-roman candles, bottle rockets, and mortars. Legal fireworks such as sparklers, snappers, and snakes will be permitted. Any person found with an illegal firework is subject to a ticket by the Holmes Beach Police Department, so just stay safe and have a good time!