Tag Archives: family

Celebrating 238 Years With A Bang

It’s the perfect way to celebrate another year of glorious independence, fought for and protected by our brave men and women of the U.S. Military. We get our family and friends together, most of whom are in a food coma from whatever delicious concoctions we cooked up on the grill, and make our way to our favorite spots. And then – we watch things blow up. In the prettiest, most artful way possible. It’s a tradition we all love and look forward to every year. But with all the different shows going on during the week leading up to the actual 4th of July, how’s a person supposed to choose? We’ve got you covered – Here are some of the best fireworks displays from around Florida, sure to be can’t-miss events:

Northwest Florida:

  • Pensacola – 25th Annual Sertoma’s 4th of July Fireworks

Starting in downtown Pensacola in Seville Square, the festivities kick off at 11 am on Friday, July 4th. With everything from a kid’s area with pony rides, to a hotdog eating contest, to live band performances – you and your family are sure to be entertained all day long. The largest fireworks show on the Gulf Coast begins at 9 pm over Pensacola Bay!

  • Destin – 4th of July Extravaganza on the Harbor

With events from Thursday, July 3rd – Saturday, July 5th, this event is so much more than just (awesome) fireworks. Happening at Harborwalk Village, get in the spirit on Thursday with the Red, White and Blue celebration. Continue the fun on Friday with the glamorous WWII throwback Victory Belles – and a patriotic fireworks show at 9 pm! Finish off the weekend with a FREE concert Saturday night!

  • Panama City Beach – Pier Park 4th of July Fireworks

One of many fireworks shows happening this week in the Panama City area, this one is sure to offer everything you are looking for! Events start at noon with a military flyover, and bands will be rocking all day until the fireworks show at 9 pm! With a location right on the water, where could you go wrong?

Central Florida:

  • Tampa – Hogan’s 4th of July Waterside Fireworks & BBQ

A bit different than the other events, this one, hosted by Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, will be held on Hogan’s Beach in the Tampa Bay area. From 2 pm – 11 pm, live bands and Djs will be rocking, and some of the best BBQ in the area will be served up buffet-style! Stick around for the beautiful fireworks show, set to kick off at 9 pm. Adults are $15 presale, $30 at the door. Kids are free!

  • Kissimmee – Monumental July 4th Celebration

From 5 pm – 9:30 pm, head to Kissimmee Lakefront Park for an evening of patriotic fun and a spectacular fireworks show! This fun-for-the-whole-family event features live music, a beer garden, food trucks and plenty of children’s activities. Admission is free!

  • Port St. Lucie – Baseball & Fireworks

If you want to throw a little competition into your day, then head down to Digital Domain Park for America’s favorite pastime. The St. Lucie Mets will take on the Fort Myers Miracle starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $8, and a can’t-miss fireworks show will follow the game!

South Florida:

  • Fort Myers – Freedom Fest Block Party

On Friday, July 4th, head down to the River District in Downtown Fort Myers for a patriotic block party to celebrate Independence Day! Starting at 5 pm, enjoy food, a craft beer tent, a kid zone, and five live music stages – including a performance by Rolling Stones tribute band, U.S. Stones. Fireworks are at 9:30 pm from the city pier.

  • West Palm Beach – 4th on Flagler

You won’t want to miss this FREE 16-minute display of the largest fireworks show in South Florida! Starting at 5 pm on Friday the 4th, join the fun on the waterfront of West Palm Beach for live music performances by The Lost Trailers and Ryan Star, a military salute, kid’s zone, and of course – FIREWORKS!

  • Key Biscayne – Parade & Fireworks

For some all-day fun, head down to 55th annual 4th of July parade on the key. The parade route runs from Harbor Drive to West Enid, and starts at 11 am. Bring whatever you’d like for a picnic in the park, kicking off at noon. Fireworks start at 9 pm!

Know of any different fireworks displays you think tops these? Let us know in the comments below!

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Giving You More Than The Right To Play Candy Crush

It’s easy to tell you the obvious reasons why you should appreciate the military: They are the reason you have and will continue to have the freedoms you so depend upon. They’re the reason you even have the option to debate gun rights, speak out against politicians, or use your entire day to watch cat videos on YouTube (oh, and watch “If It Fits, I Sits”… then thank a service member). But you should know all of that. And if you don’t or you don’t believe that, then shame on you, but that’s your right.

What I’m getting at (or going to be getting at) here is a different reason the military should be appreciated: the economy. For those of you without ties to a service member, all you may hear are the ramblings on the news about defense spending and budget cuts and blah blah blah… all stuff that probably leads you to think the military is just a big, expensive organization. And while it is expensive, it also offers a great deal of stimulation to local economies.

Think about it: in or around areas where there are one or more military installations (and there are a LOT of these areas), constant influxes of new people are more or less a certainty. Even if someone coming in means someone going out, moving is anything but cheap. Both of these individuals or families will be spending lots of money getting things they need. The incoming family will need to find a new place to live, storage, food, etc. They’ll also need to find a place to get their cars serviced, get their hair cut, buy new clothes… everything they may need now or in the future. Not only this, but military bases employ a large amount of civilian contractors, sometimes equaling the number of active duty personnel. More working people + more paychecks = more money to be spent in the local economy. That’s the kind of math even I can do.

And then, you have examples like us, Military Media – a private business specifically established with military bases or clientele in mind. There are plenty of other businesses of all kinds that fit this bill, and we all succeed ONLY because of this demographic. For example, we started out producing base guides and maps, a business endeavor which would be 100% pointless without the bases (obviously). While we may now work with bases throughout the country, do you really think our home office would be here, employing locals? …Nope. Sure, it might be someplace else, but why have only a few economically booming areas when you can have many? The military makes that possible.

The military is also responsible for building up areas which may otherwise be extremely underpopulated and struggling. Take, for example, the real-life community situation over here. The Panhandle region, Pensacola to Destin, specifically, may be on prime real estate with beautiful beaches and generally great weather. Sure, tourists would come here whether the bases were here or not. But let me ask you this – what happens when the peak season is over and the tourists go home (or somewhere else)? Yep – the remaining residents and businesses sit in the quiet and struggle to make it through without the tourists to visit their businesses and stimulate their economy. Every off-season is a gamble, and many businesses do not make it. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times in other areas.

But, fortunately, that’s not the way it is here, thanks to the military. There are certainly peak and off-seasons still, but thanks to approximately SEVEN military installations (many of them small), there are roughly 66% more people living here full time than there would be otherwise. And an estimated $8.2 billion in annual value to the local economy.

The numbers don’t lie. Just like your ability to say funny things on Twitter followed by the hashtag #firstworldproblems doesn’t lie. So be thankful. Whether you realize it or not, the chain effect the military has on your well being is astounding on so many levels. Reach out and show your appreciation in some way. And if you need a little help, we’re here.

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