Pensacola, Florida
Sunday November 23rd 2014

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A Fourth of July Friday

For those venturing out on Friday, July 4 to join the Independence Day celebrations, the following are the main options for fireworks displays and even an associated dinner party or two.

Sky Lights
On Pensacola Beach, fireworks over the Santa Rosa Sound begin at 8:30 p.m. Quietwater Beach or the Portofino Boardwalk are usually the best locations to view the beach’s fireworks show. If you’re making an afternoon of it on Santa Rosa Island, the Escambia Amateur Astronomers’ Association will offer free star gazing at the Gulfside Pavilion on Friday (and Saturday, too), which will start at sunset.

Back on the mainland, the Sertoma’s 25th Annual Fourth of July Celebration ends with the largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast. Pre-fireworks events at Seville Square will run from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Regional bands, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, and a free children’s area are all on the schedule. Live entertainment at the gazebo begins at 11 a.m., followed by a hot dog eating contest at noon. Live music on the Bayfront Stage begins at 4 p.m. The fireworks over Pensacola Bay will begin at 9 p.m., with a simultaneous music broadcast on Cat Country 98.7.

Food with Your Fireworks
A few waterfront restaurants are offering a chance for patrons to have a comfortable place to sit back, enjoy a meal and watch the fireworks show over Pensacola Bay.

The Lee House’s “Beer, Barbeque and Boom!” a backyard barbecue buffet with a view of the festivities, starts at 6 p.m. Fourth of July favorites including slow-roasted barbecue pork, fresh watermelon salad, hamburgers, hotdogs and brats grilled by the Lee House’s chef will be part of the buffet, as will unlimited Bud Light draft beer and non-alcoholic beverages. The buffet will be located in the Alcaniz Courtyard of the grounds, and guests will have full access to the air-conditioned living areas and restrooms of the Lee House. There will also be a full cash bar with cocktail service at the house. The price for the event is $50 per person. The barbeque is a limited capacity event and reservations are required and can be made by calling 912-8770.

The Fish House will be open for walk-in dining all evening (as will Atlas Oyster House). As a special Fourth of July event, they will be offering a special five-course food and wine dinner with seating on the balcony above the Fish House, each table with a view of Pensacola Bay. Table reservations are for 7 p.m. and guests will have the table for the duration of the evening. Live music on The Deck begins at 5 p.m. The Fish House will broadcast the fireworks radio show live and afterward a DJ will take over. The price per person for the food and wine dinner is $125, which includes five food courses and five wines, as well as reserved parking. To make a reservation, call 433-9450 or email melissa@goodgrits.com.