From the All-American BBQ at Selby Gardens to fireworks over Bayfront Park, there was no shortage of Fourth of July festivities.
If you were at all close to Sarasota Bay on July 4, you were enveloped in patriotic celebrations.
The All-American BBQ at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens kicked off at 6 p.m., and the park stayed open until the fireworks shows around the bay lit up the night. Just a short walk away, Bayfront Park packed its gates with revelers who lined every edge of the park with fireworks setups.
Some folks, like the Dauphin and Stern family, staked out a spot at 5 p.m. and were rewarded with a view right on the water. Others strolled around the park and set up a spot later, still getting good views in the gardens.
At Bayfront Park, folks asked each other which way they should turn for the best fireworks view. The answer was everywhere, as fireworks near Selby went off on one side, followed by the downtown Sarasota show on the other side. When the latter show kicked off, bells rang, people cheered, kids ran around and boats honked in a show of loud, infectious celebratory energy.
The show lasted longer than many thought it would, as a pause in the show caused people to begin to disperse. However, they stopped in their tracks when more blasts lit up the bay for a grand finale at Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota.