For most cities, Independence Day, or the 4th of July, means street festivals, parades, concerts and, of course, a large fireworks display. In the Port Charlotte area of Florida, most of the events celebrating America's Independence are located across Charlotte Harbor in the city of Punta Gorda.
Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim
If you are in Port Charlotte on Independence Day, you can celebrate your freedom with a 1.5 mile swim across the bay to Punta Gorda. People arrive at the public beach at the north end of the southbound U.S. 41 bridge. Many choose to swim, while others may use anything from rafts, inner tubes and other flotation devices to kayaks and boats. They arrive at the dock at Harpoon Harry's in Punta Gorda.
Fishermen's Village Annual July 4th Celebration
After the Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim, most people head over to the Fishermen's Village Annual July 4th Celebration. This event includes children's games and craft activities, concerts, food and vendor booths. Usually two bands perform concerts lasting several hours a piece, with a one-hour break in the middle of the shows. The day ends with a fireworks display over the harbor.
Celebrate American Spirit
Celebrate American Spirit, hosted in Punta Gorda, is a concert event that takes place each Independence Day at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. The resident Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs a "Pops"-style concert of American classics. Patrons can dine before the concert on a buffet of typical American fare--hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cole slaw, cookies and pies. Tickets can be purchased through the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Offices. The event takes place in early evening, giving you enough time to head out and grab a spot for one of the fireworks displays in the surrounding areas.
The 4th Fest is a family-friendly, two-day event held at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda. There are several attractions, games and rides set up for the younger set, plus food and crafts booths and live entertainment. It includes a Battle of the Bands and such special events as a Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and Competition. The 4th Fest culminates with a fireworks show at the end of the night on Independence Day.
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