FOURTH OF JULY WEATHER FORECAST:
Community members can expect scattered thunderstorms, a 40% chance of rain and a high of 88 degress during the day. The evening will cool off with a low of 74 degrees and 85% humidity. The chance of rain sticks at 40%. The sun will set at 8:29 p.m. (Forecast from weather.com)
WHERE TO PARK FOR FIREWORKS:
Downtown Sarasota and Siesta Key will be crowded the evening of Fourth of July. People are encouraged to arrive early to find parking spots. Those attending the bayfront fireworks at Bayfront Island Park can find parking anywhere downtown and should take advantage of the Palm Ave parking garage and the Second Street garage. The bayfront fireworks show starts at 9 p.m.
There will be no parking allowed on the bayfront on the south end of Island Park, between Ringling Boulevard south to the Selby Gardens property line. There will be a designated pedestrian viewing area, and no vehicles will be allowed to park on the grass in this area.
JULY 4TH FIREWORKS ROAD CLOSURES/LIMITED PARKING:
Bayfront Drive (U.S. 41), from Gulfstream Avenue to Orange Avenue, will close at 7 p.m. and will remain closed until approximately 10 p.m.
Parking lot at Bayfront Park/Island Park will be closed when the parking lot has reached maximum capacity.
No parking will be permitted on the grass area south end of bayfront.
Palm Avenue Garage – located on Palm Avenue, between Main Street and Cocoanut Avenue, 700 free parking spaces. Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic.
NOTE: Vehicle traffic leaving the bayfront/downtown area following the Fourth of July fireworks will be subject to certain restricted traffic control measures as part of a comprehensive exit plan. Expect long traffic delays of up to one hour upon exit from the event area.
Those attending the Siesta Key Community Fireworks Celebration can park at the public beach. Parking is also available at St. Boniface Church for a donation of $10. Additional parking is offered on the street in the Village. The fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m.
To get a ride from these locations to the beach, community members can call:
Surf Side Free Ride at 961-8238
Sun Ride Pedicabs 549-0026
Johnny’s Free Beach Rides 306-9097
SK Free Ride 952-8294
People are taken to the hospital every year due to firework-related injuries, usually due to individuals' illegal use of fireworks. To stay safe, county fire-prevention officials advise residents to attend public fireworks displays.
According to chapter 791 of Florida state law:
Anything that explodes or flies through the air is illegal. This includes firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets and Roman candles.
The Florida Division of State Fire Marshal's office approves sparklers, snake, glowworms, trick noisemakers, party poppers and snappers.
Sarasota County fire officials recommend the following when handling sparklers:
• Always stand when handling a sparkler.
• Children with sparklers should be supervised at all times.
• Never hold a child while holding a sparkler.
• Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
• Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
• Sparkler wire and stick remain hot even after the flame has gone out. Drop the stick into a bucket of water.
• Do not throw sparklers.
• Do not hand a lighted sparkler to another person.
• Give them the unlit sparkler and then light it.
• Do not use sparklers indoors or near vehicles.