Whether you are painting the town red, white and blue or choosing to keep your evening low key, downtown St. Pete has events for every lifestyle. Fireworks, parades and sports are just a few of the options for Wednesday's Independence Day party.
- Historic Old Northeast Neighborhoods' Independence Day Children's Parade- 10 to 11:30 a.m., Coffee Pot Park. Kids parade through St. Petersburg's oldest neighborhood on festively decorated bikes led by an engine from St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.honna.org.
- Independence Day at The Pier- Noon to 11 p.m., fireworks at approximately 9 p.m.(weather permitting). A full day of free, family-friendly, Fourth of July fun including face and body painting (minimal cost); live music in the Courtyard by the Bay; Fritz, from Fritzy Bros. One Man Circus; "George Washington;" an interactive music/dance video station with free DVDs for each participant; and watch the skies light up over the Bay with the city's huge fireworks display around 9 p.m. The Pier shops and restaurants will be open, beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.stpetepier.com.
- Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Pageant Preliminary- 4 p.m. at the Mahaffey. Thirty talented teen titleholders from across the state display poise and public service as they compete in talent, evening gown, and leisure wear categories in anticipation of Saturday's crowning of Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen 2012. For tickets, go to www.ticketmaster.com or call the Mahaffey Theater Box Office at 727-892-5798.
- Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees- 3:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. The Rays celebrate Independence Day by winding up a three-game series with the Yankees. The USO Liberty Bells, made up of Broadway and off-Broadway professionals, treat fans to patriotic pre-game and seventh-inning stretch performances while Outlaw 21 hosts a live concert in the Gate 7 concourse prior to the game. Tickets may be limited, so get yours by calling1-888-FAN-RAYS or visit www.raysbaseball.com.
- Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers- 6:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium. The Rowdies take on cross-state rivals Fort Lauderdale during an Independence Day match featuring a live pre-game performance in the Rowdies Fan Zone by the USO band NBL Trio. Following the game, head onto the field for the city's annual fireworks display over the Bay around 9 p.m., weather permitting. Advance sale tickets are only $10. Call 813-287-1539 or visit www.rowdiessoccer.com.
- Museum of Fine Arts Fourth of July- 6:30 p.m., The Museum continues its July 4th tradition by offering a front row seat for the city's fireworks extravaganza, complete with a gourmet barbecue picnic, cold drinks and live music inside the Conservatory. Guests can also tour the Museum's current exhibit Global+Local: Studio and Contemporary Glass on Florida's West Coast. The event normally is a sell-out. For Museum members, the cost is $36; Non-members will pay $45. Call 727-896-2667, ext. 258 or 727-822-1032 for reservations.