Happy Independence Day!
Friday, June 26th, 2015
Independence Day, commonly referred to as the 4th of July, is a Federal American holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared American independence from Great Britain. And though fireworks have become popular at many celebrations, from festivals to weddings, few times are they more spectacular and meaningful than at nightfall on the 4th of July. Did you know that fireworks have been used for thousands of years? Here are some other fun facts about what goes into lighting up the skies:
- It is believed that fireworks were invented in China sometime between 200 BC and 900 AD, and China is still the largest fireworks manufacturer and exporter in the world. Italian merchant Marco Polo is believed to have brought fireworks to Europe around 1295, spreading the sparkling invention globally from there.
- Fireworks are all about their chemicals. Calcium produces the color orange, sodium makes yellow, and barium makes green. Chemical combinations and tube shapes make sound possible. Cylindrical tubes create whistling sounds, aluminum flakes make hissing noises, and flash powder is responsible for the big “booms.”
- People love fireworks! Check out this usage data:
- U.S. consumers purchased 163.6 million pounds of fireworks last year. Public firework displays used another 23.1 million pounds.
- This past New Year’s Eve, Dubai set the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest fireworks show, setting off 400,000 fireworks in just over six minutes at a beachfront event.
- Walt Disney World consumes the largest amount of fireworks in the U.S. per year at its nightly Magic Kingdom displays.
- 22 tons of fireworks were used during the three-hour show at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Due to noise and safety reasons, we are unable to allow fireworks to be set off at our communities. However, there are some great places in Sarasota to watch fireworks and enjoy other celebrations throughout the day. We have compiled a list of a few of our favorites for you. For a full list of area events, click here.
The Siesta Key Fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m. on July 4. You can view the fireworks along Crescent Beach (south of Siesta Public Beach), out on the Gulf, or from the Intracoastal waterway. There is a VIP Party hosted by the Chamber of Commerce that offers a catered dinner, live music, and a preferred viewing area. The VIP package includes two adult passes and is priced at $150. Kids ages 11-15 are $15 each, or under age 10 are free.
Part of the Suncoast Offshore Festival, featuring the daytime Grand Prix Boat Races, this fireworks display begins at 9:00 p.m. and can be viewed free from downtown Sarasota or the Bayfront or Island Parks. If you have or know someone with a boat, this is a beautiful sight while anchored in the bay.
Selby Gardens offers a beautiful bay front view of fireworks. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., they will be hosting an Independence Day Celebration. There will be a Barbeque, live music, and plenty of family activities. Activities begin at 6:00 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m. The fee is $30 for members or $35 for non-members; kids ages 11 and under are free.
No matter how you choose to celebrate this summer holiday, we hope you have a safe and fun weekend!