Lake County is celebrating Independence Day with four events sure to stir patriotic spirits.
For a day full of fanciful fireworks and family fun, look no further than the enchanting downtown districts of Lake County. Enjoy the Fourth of July festivities this year from land or water as all four Independence Day events in Lake County occur near lakes. Find the perfect perch on a blanket or boat and watch the night sky sparkle with an array of firework displays.
Best of all is the Fourth of July events in the cities of Groveland (www.downtowngroveland.com), Leesburg (www.leesburgflorida.gov), Mount Dora (www.ci.mount-dora.fl.us) and Tavares (www.tavares.org) are free. Check with each city for more information. All events are weather permitting.
OLD FASHIONED INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
The 18th Annual “Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration” in Mount Dora is on July 3. At 10 a.m., a parade marches along Donnelly Street continuing south to Gilbert Park. At 5 p.m., cold drinks, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream and more will be on sale in the park. A DJ playing music will be on hand with games for the youngsters starting at 5 p.m. Children’s activities include face painting, an obstacle course and crafts. The Mount Dora Jazz Orchestra featuring Shawn Paris will play from 7 to 8 p.m. Then the DJ will take back over until dusk, when the grand fireworks finale light up the sky over Lake Dora presented by the City of Mount Dora and the Mount Dora Rotary Club.
SOUTH LAKE FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVAL
The South Lake Fourth of July Festival on July 3 is from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Lake David Park in Groveland. The schedule of events includes a classic car show from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Barefoot Water Skiing Competition featuring world champions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., games and inflatables from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mr. & Miss. Firecracker Pageant at 10 a.m., opening ceremonies at 12 p.m., Dancing Dragons Martial Arts at 1 p.m., Lawrence Dance Studio at 2 p.m., Hula Hoop contest at 3 p.m., Overdue Bill and the Collectors at 3:45 p.m., watermelon eating contest at 4 p.m., Audra Jones at 5 p.m., The Dan Story Band at 6:15 p.m., Country Music Artist John Anderson at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION “TAVARES, WHERE DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT”
The City of Tavares festivities on July 3 begin at 3 p.m. with a water ski show at Wooton Park. The parade starts at 5 p.m. on Main and Ruby streets. The parade will be followed by another water ski show at 6:45 p.m. Music will be provided throughout the afternoon and evening by Blue Stone Circle Band and the Island Boys Band. A synchronized light show and a Polynesian Fire Dancer will lead into a spectacular fireworks display, which begins at 9 p.m. Free parking is available at the Lake County Parking Garage at Maud Street and Sinclair Avenue. In addition, the Tavares water taxis will be operating Friday and Saturday between Wooton Park and the City Marina in Mount Dora. The cost of the trip is $5 one-way and $10 round-trip. The 49 passenger, air-conditioned vessels take about 45 minutes for a one-way trip. No reservations are required. If weather prevents the fireworks from being presented at 9 p.m. on July 3 as planned, then every attempt will be made up to 11 p.m. If this plan cannot be accomplished, then the city will present the fireworks on July 4 at 9 p.m. Inquiries may be made by calling (352) 742-6300.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT VENETIAN GARDENS
No Independence Day party is complete without ice cream, fireworks and the national pastime. Join the City of Leesburg on July 4 for a host of family friendly activities at Venetian Gardens, 201 E. Dixie Ave., beginning at 6 p.m. with Jim VanFleet and the Reign Band. At Pat Thomas Stadium, enjoy a free baseball game as Florida Collegiate Summer League’s Leesburg Lightning take on the US9 Armed Forces Team at 6 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., free ice cream will be served by City of Leesburg elected officials and staff. The fireworks display begins at 9:15 p.m. with free flags and apple pie.