Posted on 5/8/2024

Celebrating the 4th of July on Anna Maria Island (2024)

Celebrating the 4th of July in Anna Maria Island (AMI) is a memorable experience for the whole family, and there are plenty of things to do during this particular time of year.

Anna Maria Island boasts a beautiful beach that stretches seven miles long. Every part of the beach has a unique offering that will delight you and your family.

This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about spending the 4th of July in Anna Maria Island.

Independence Day Parade

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When you think about the 4th of July, the first thing that comes to mind is a giant parade. Fortunately, Anna Maria Island has one of the best. The Anna Maria Island Privateers 4th of July parade stretches the entire length of the beach, and it's an incredible experience to watch the event which is run by the AMI privateers.

Get there early if you want to get a good spot. Technically the parade begins at 10 a.m., but people start flocking to the parade route at least 30 minutes ahead of time. The parade begins at Coquina Beach, kicking off the celebrations with cannon fire and fanfare. 

Then, over the course of the next two hours, the Anna Maria Island Privateer's parade heads down Gulf Drive via Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach before finishing up at City Pier Park.

Beach House Restaurant July 3rd Fireworks

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Bradenton Beach's BeachHouse Restaurant has the best pre-4th of July fireworks, kicking off the holiday on July 3rd. The fireworks show starts at 8 p.m. and is entirely free to the public. With its gorgeous white sand beaches and fabulous ocean views, Bradenton Beach's BeachHouse Restaurant is an ideal place to show your patriotism and see a great show.

You can watch the fireworks display from the beach itself or head out on the water for a unique experience. If you make reservations well in advance, you can even get a table at the BeachHouse Restaurant for the show.

Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks

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Sandbar Restaurant is another great place to check out a fireworks show. This popular Anna Maria Island eatery has been hosting fireworks displays for 30 years, and every year is better than the last. When the sun sets, guests are ushered into an alfresco wedding pavilion to see the show. 

VIP packages are available that give you access to a special party afterward. VIPs also get a front-row seat to the fireworks display.

PIER 22 Restaurant Fireworks and Buffet

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Bradenton's PIER 22 Restaurant is another fantastic place to catch some of Anna Maria Island's best fireworks, as well as sample a massive buffet of family-friendly favorites. These festivities are exceptionally popular with locals and visitors alike, so make sure you get there early.

It all starts at 6:30 p.m. with a pig roast and a giant buffet. After you have your fill, you can find a great spot on the beach to watch the fireworks display, which will start around 9:30 p.m. While the PIER 22 Restaurant Fireworks and Buffet celebration is a family-friendly event, alcohol is served. Legal guests are invited to toast the holiday by purchasing a wristband and partaking in the open bar.

Hot Diggity Dog Parade

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If you head to Longboat Key, you will find one of the most unique 4th of July offerings on the beach. The Annual Freedom Fest and Hot Diggity Dog Parade is an annual favorite that rivals Anna Maria Island's big Independence Day Parade.

It's a good idea to get there early. While the parade starts at 8:30 a.m., people start setting up their chairs along the parade route at least 45 minutes prior. Expect fire trucks, bicycles, police cars, and some of Anna Maria Island's cutest furry friends. After the parade, there are games and food at nearby Bicentennial Park.

If you put this all-ages event on your Anna Maria Island 4th of July to-do list, plan to spend at least half the day.


This isn't an official Fourth of July celebration, but heading to the ballpark to watch a baseball game and enjoy a hotdog (or two) is about as all-American as it's possible to be! Check the official schedule for game dates — you'll usually find that one is scheduled around Independence Day.


Over in Sarasota you'll find another spectacular fireworks display that is well worth traveling for. This display traditionally takes place on July 3rd and combines live music, a kids' zone, a 5 km fun run, and a fantastic firework display. The event takes place at Nathan Benderson Park, and general admission is free. Head down when the gates open at 5 p.m. to bag a great spot.


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Whether you're in town for the Fourth of July parade or to simply enjoy a long weekend lazing on our many beautiful beaches, you'll never forget a summertime spent on our beautiful island.

The weather from June through August ranges from the mid-70s to the low-90s, making it the best season to enjoy the long stretches of white sand. Many watersports are on offer for those who enjoy getting out on the ocean, or land lovers can hire bicycles to explore the island at their own pace.

Summer is also the ideal time to indulge in some al fresco dining, and you'll be spoilt for choice with the large selection of waterfront restaurants here in AMI.


Be sure to book your Anna Maria Island vacation rental early — vacation homes book up months in advance with visitors who don't want to miss our July celebrations.

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