The very best Independence Day fireworks display in the area takes place from the Naples Pier on the Fourth of July. The best seats in the house are anywhere on the beach north of The Pier including past Lowdermilk Park. You should make an evening of it by going early to get yourselves set up on the beach with chairs and a picnic, enjoy the sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico horizon, watch the boats assemble for the display and then sit back to watch the fireworks shoot off from The Pier at around 9:00 pm.
Here are some local tips to help prepare and maximize your enjoyment:
- If you are driving, go early. Parking is difficult and the spaces near the beach access points are limited. You might find a vacant lot nearby amongst residences that is available but, don’t park along the streets on people’s lawns and respect any ribbons or “No Parking” signs. Also, it sounds basic, but make note of exactly where you’ve parked because it’s going to be dark when you go back to your car.
- Here’s a better idea – take a taxi cab and make arrangements to be picked up after the show at a designated spot. Taking it one step further, stroll to a restaurant to relax for awhile before heading home because the traffic leaving the area after the fireworks is brutal.
- Prepare a picnic for the beach (or buy ready-to-eat items at Whole Foods or get take-out from D’Amico & Sons on Route 41). This event attracts a LOT of people and you might be surprised at just how crowded the beach gets for the fireworks. If you plan ahead and stake out your territory early, you can relax while you have a picnic on the beach for dinner.
- Take a flashlight. You’ll want it to collect your stuff after the fireworks to exit the beach safely.
- You won’t get busted for having alcoholic beverages. However, you should take things in containers which are not glass. Rowdy behavior and broken glass will definiely attract negative attention.
- Lowdermilk Park is an excellent vantage point for watching the fireworks display but, also, there is plentyof parking (if you get there really early) and there are good restroom facilities. You will also find port-o-johns set up for this event at various beach access points along Gulf Shore Boulevard.
- Consider hanging out at the beach after the fireworks display from The Pier. It’s more fun than sitting in traffic and you can watch all of the private party fireworks shooting off from the beach for hours into the night.
- There is a parade to celebrate our Independence Day on the morning of the Fourth of July. It starts @ 10 am from the intersection of Third Street South & Broad Avenue South, turns right onto Fifth Avenue South and then turns right again on 8th Street at the end. People will set up chairs along Fifth Avenue South early so plan accordingly if you want a good vantage point or position for photography.
Here’s some history tidbits about the Naples Pier: This local landmark, The Naples Pier (a.k.a. The Naples Fishing Pier and a.k.a. Naples Municipal Pier) is one of the most popular attractions in Naples and a hub of social activity including beach activities, fishing, meeting people and sunset watching. It was originally built in 1888 to serve as a freight and passenger dock. Train tracks spanned the length of the pier transporting freight and baggage in the early 1900’s. Destroyed by fire in 1912 and then rebuilt after hurricane damage in 1910, 1926 and 1960, The Pier is the most photographed and popular landmark in Southwest Florida. Nowadays, you can go there anytime day or night to encounter people soaking up the local flavor.