TARPON SPRINGS — Nature’s been handling the light shows in the sky for much of the past week, but manmade pyrotechnics will take over Friday evening.
Tarpon Springs’ annual, daylong Fourth of July festivities will wrap up with a fireworks show for the second straight year. Independence Day fireworks were absent from city celebrations from 2009 until 2012.
Crews will again blast the rockets off from Sunset Beach, and the city and county is inviting spectators to watch from Fred Howard Park. The county is lifting parking fees after 6 p.m. at Fred Howard Park and the show will go on at sundown.
To allow ample set-up time for crews and as a general safety precaution, Sunset Beach and its boat ramp will be closed to the public all day Friday.
Prior to the fireworks show, the city will serve up its Fourth of July Patriotic Picnic in the Park from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Craig Park.
The free public event offers food, beverages and family friends activities.
Guests can win prizes and trophies by participating in a hot dog eating, cherry seed spitting or frozen T-shirt contests, kids are invited to play on a water slide in the park, and volleyball and badminton courts will be set up.
The Craig Park Amphitheater will also be utilized, featuring live music and performances from locals who competed in this past year’s Tarpon Springs Talent Show.
Tarpon Springs Recreation Specialist Daniela Smyth reported that the Patriotic Picnic in the Park generally draws 350 to 400 people a year. Parking will be available at the Craig Park lot and along properly posted city streets.