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July 4th: Fireworks, Facepainting, Soccer and More in St. Pete

Downtown is the place to be, with events at restaurants, the Pier, an art museum and Al Lang Field.

ST. PETERSBURG - The big attraction on July 4th is the 9 p.m. downtown fireworks display, set against the backdrop of Tampa Bay.

But the fireworks are the climax of a myriad of activities happening downtown, from a barbecue at the Museum of Fine Arts to the soft opening of a new Pier restaurant, called Jonny Reno's.

Visitors to downtown St. Pete can expect nearly 10 straight hours of entertainment before the fireworks show at 9. A lot of the daytime activities will take place at the St. Pete Pier, which also is not a bad spot to watch the light show. 

The musical lineup at the Pier includes:

  • 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: SoulRcoaster (pop)
  • 2:30-6:30 p.m.: Baby Grand in the Sand
  • 3:30-6:30 p.m.: Solid Core (high energy)
  • 7:30-11 p.m.: Shotgun Justice (Southern rock)

Other activities include face painting, a hypnotist's show and more music. There’s even a planned “flash mob” at 8:55 p.m., just five minutes before the fireworks display is scheduled to begin. The flash mob will dance to a Katy Perry tune.

Jonny Reno’s Waterfront Grille, a new Pier restaurant, will open its doors. Located on the first floor, with a view of the bay, Jonny Reno's is described as a surfer restaurant, a place where diners can munch on grouper sandwiches while gazing at the bay, or take part in restaurant-sposnored water activities such as paddle boarding.

You can see the fireworks from the Pier or any of the waterfront parks: Vinoy, North Straub and South Straub Parks will likely offer the best views. Those who watch from the Pier may be able to nab some "3-D Prism" glasses, which will be handed out by the Aveda Institute, to enhance viewing. Supplies are limited; the glasses will be handed out from 6 to 9 p.m.

All the pre-fireworks activities kick off at 11:30 a.m. Go to www.stpetepier.com for information.

One way to watch the fireworks if you don’t want to brave the crowds at the parks is to park yourself at one of the restaurants or attractions along Beach Drive.

The Museum of Fine Arts is having a fireworks party, complete with barbecue, iced tea, soft drinks and a champagne toast. Admission is $44, or $34 for members. Cassis, at 170 Beach Drive, is also having a party. This one will also feature barbecue, with an admission price of $20.11.

If you’re a soccer fan, the FC Tampa Bay soccer team is playing at 6 p.m. Monday at Al Lang Field, which is located on the waterfront and could offer some premium seats. Fans will be encouraged to stick around after the game to watch the 9 p.m. fireworks show.

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