Cannons Marina owner David Miller is seeking a wave of support for this year’s Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July Freedom Fest.
Cannons will offer a $500 prize to the most patriotic business float.
“Business participation has slowed down over the years, and I hope that doesn’t continue,” Miller said. “I know it’s on the Fourth of July, it’s first thing in the morning, and it’s generally very, very hot, but people enjoy it, kids enjoy it, and even dogs enjoy it.”
Freedom Fest has been described as the world’s shortest parade — and also its most charming.
Its route is only a quarter-mile, but it is a Key tradition that residents and visitors treasure.
“It’s important to Longboaters because it’s just a good, old-fashioned Fourth of July,” Chamber President Gail Loefgren said. “It’s a great tradition.”
The parade will feature business floats, fire trucks, police cars and town commissioners who will ride in convertibles. Participants are also welcome to walk in the parade.
For Cannons to award the $500 prize, at least 10 businesses must participate, and their floats must be on wheels.
Businesses and individuals can also sponsor a flag lining Bay Isles Road and be a part of the Avenue of Flags for $50.
In addition to the parade, there will be games for kids, prizes, a butterfly release, a dog costume contest and a Belgian waffle breakfast from Blue Dolphin Café.
Parade lineup begins 8:30 a.m.; parade begins at 9 a.m. July 4, on Bay Isles Road. Games follow at Bicentennial Park, 2730 Gulf of Mexico Drive.