Who's ready for a 3 day weekend!!  It's only Wednesday, but I'm definitely already looking forward to fun with family and friends this weekend.  Food, drinks, fun, and fireworks are going to be available all over our beautiful Bay County area, so take your pick of celebrations and go have a blast this Independence Day!!

Get the party started early at Harley Davidson on Panama City Beach!  The Harley Store will be hosting a 3-day 4th of July Bash, starting on Saturday with pin-up girls and classic cars, and continuing all weekend long.  There will be live music, cold beer, and hot barbeque on tap from July 2nd through the 4th, and you can enter for a chance to win a $500 summer shopping spree!

Grand Lagoon will be presenting their annual fireworks display on July 3rd this year, with the Captain Anderson offering special "Rock the Boat" cruises complete with DJs beginning at 8 PM. Enjoy a delicious dinner at any one of the fantastic waterfront restaurants lining Grand Lagoon and watch the show from your own private table, or bring a blanket and claim your spot. The fireworks will begin around 9 PM.

If you're in Lynn Haven, your festivities will start early this year, with a 7:00 AM pancake breakfast hosted by the Lions Club, and an 8:00 AM patriotic flag raising at City Hall.  This will be immediately followed by the annual family friendly parade, which will begin at 5th St. and Montana Ave. and continue east, traveling down Highway 77 and ending at 11th St.  Kids 12 and under can join in the fun by decorating their bikes and falling in with the parade as well!  Make sure to go over to Sharon Sheffield Park after the parade to enjoy the many vendors that will be set up, selling homemade arts and crafts, and of course, tons of delicious food!  There will be a Cornhole Tournament, a watermelon eating contest, and live music all day until 3 PM.  At 6 o'clock, head over to A.L. Kinsaul Park to start your evening of fun, with more live music, inflatables for the kids, a petting zoo, and car show.  And make sure you bring your chairs or blankets to enjoy the fireworks show over the Bay, which will begin at 9 o clock.  

One of our biggest local events is always the Salute to Freedom Celebration by the Bay, hosted by the Panama City Marina.  Head downtown after lunch on Monday, and take your time walking around the newly remodeled Marina.  There will be dozens of vendors, 3 live acts, and a Kid Zone, as well as the huge fireworks extravaganza beginning at dark.  This location is usually packed, so make sure you get your spot staked out early!

Finally, if you're on the beach, you will have not one, but TWO different fireworks displays going at the same time!  Spend the day at Pier Park, where you can find delicious food and drink on every corner!  Then, sit on our beautiful sugar white sand and enjoy the show beginning at 9 PM, with beautiful fireworks from both the City and County Piers. 

No matter which celebration you plan to attend, make sure you put on your sunscreen, a comfy pair of shoes, and don't forget to pack your chairs or blankets!  This Independence Day is sure to be a great time to spend time with friends and family, so enjoy!



Joel Jadofsky