Celebrating Independence Day




THE BIG RACE
COKE ZERO 400
July 2-4
This event (formerly the Pepsi 400) has been an Independence Day weekend tradition for nearly five decades. The race, at Daytona International Speedway, offers the spectacle of nighttime racing followed by a fireworks extravaganza. Reserved grandstand $50-140, three-day package $250. 386-253-7223.  daytonainternationalspeedway.com

FIREWORKS & FUN
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS
July 3
Red Hot And Boom features live music by the lake, children’s activities, vendor booths, food, drink and a 25-minute fireworks display, synchronized with a mix of patriotic and popular music. 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30.  Free. Cranes Roost Park, 474 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs. 407-571-8863. uptownaltamonte.com

AVALON PARK
July 4
A traditional celebration including an apple-pie bakeoff, hot-dog-eating contest and fireworks. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. 5 miles south of the East-West Expressway off Alafaya Trail. 407-658-6565. avalonpark.com

CELEBRATION
July 4
Rockin’ in the Yesteryears offers live music, a parade, food and fireworks 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Celebration Town Center. celebrationtowncenter.com

KISSIMMEE
July 4
The city’s Independence Day celebration features live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks over the lake. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Lakefront Park, Lakeshore Blvd., Kissimmee. 407-935-1412. kissimmeeciviccenter.com

ORLANDO
July 4
Free fireworks display and laser show around Lake Eola. Pack a picnic basket, bring some chairs or a blanket and head to downtown Orlando for an old-fashioned summertime picnic. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15. 407-246-3104. cityoforlando.net

OVIEDO
July 4
Independence Day celebration and pool party. Kids’ games and activities and a special Splash Zone in the pool. Noon to 9 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. $2 in advance, Splash Zone $2 extra. $4 day of event. Oviedo Gymnasium and Aquatic Facility, 148 Oviedo Blvd. 407-971-5565. cityofoviedo.net

SANFORD
July 4
3 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Annual celebration in the park and fireworks on the river. Fort Mellon Park, Sanford RiverWalk. sanfordfl.gov

WINTER GARDEN
July 4
6th annual All American Kids Parade and Breakfast, along with the evening Party in the Park, bring memories of days gone by. The parade features kids with bicycles and wagons decked out in patriotic finery. Breakfast 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Masonic Lodge, 230 Bay Street. Parade 10 a.m. Plant St., Winter Garden. Party in the Park 5 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Newton Park, 29 W. Garden Ave. 407-656-3244 (to register for bike parade). 407-656-4111. cwgdn.com

WINTER PARK
July 4
The city celebrates with an old-fashioned party in the park, featuring live patriotic music, horse-drawn wagon rides, clowns, face painting, games and prizes, children’s bicycle parade, and more, including free entry to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art on Park Ave. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Central Park, Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-599-3463. cityofwinterpark.org

AT THE ZOO
RED, WHITE, AND ZOO
July 4-5
Celebrate the Central Florida Zoo’s 34th birthday with live music, games, food, children’s crafts, face painting, magic, waterslide, zoo animal encounter and a watermelon-eating contest with Maude and Mary. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free with paid zoo admission. Central Florida Zoo. 3755 N.W. Hwy. 17-92, Sanford. 407-323-4450 ext. 136. centralfloridazoo.org
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