Wondering where the best Independence Day fireworks display might be? My all-time favorite setting for the 4th of July festivities is St. Augustine; in particular, from the lawn at the Castillo de San Marcos. Yes, the traffic is bad and it takes patience and time to get in and out, but it is well worth it. There is nothing like celebrating the birth of this nation from the nation’s oldest city. The All Star Orchestra will kick things off with a free concert in the Plaza de la Constitución beginning at 6:00 pm and ending at 8:00 pm. The St. Augustine tradition of Fireworks Over the Matanzas begins at 9:30 pm.
To fully appreciate the significance of celebrating Independence Day in St. Augustine one must know that during the Revolutionary War that prisoners of war were held here. The British Crown Colony was a Loyalist stronghold that held patriots as well as some French allies. On July 4, 1781 the prisoners here celebrated Independence Day. Since this is one of my favorite holidays and the Declaration of Independence is one of the greatest documents ever written you can find a copy to read online at the national archives. “Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people.”
Many downtown merchants have extended hours to accomodate a night out on the town after enjoying the fireworks.
Those attending Fireworks Over The Matanzas should remember two important safety rules that will be strictly enforced:
- Alcohol is prohibited on public property, including parks, streets and sidewalks; and
- Possession of fireworks that explode or leave the ground is illegal and those found with such fireworks will be subject to $100 citation or arrest and will have prohibited fireworks confiscated.
Here’s a peek of fireworks over the Castillo de San Marcos: