The Fourth of July is on a weekend this year, and many residents are making plans to observe Independence Day with backyard barbecues and fireworks with friends and family. In and around West Orange County, folks can celebrate on multiple days and enjoy everything from live music, games and a 5K to pancake breakfasts, a children’s parade and fireworks.
The city of Winter Garden is hosting a weekend of Red, White and Blue Americana starting Friday, July 2, with Red White & Blues on the Plaza — a live performance featuring blues music from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Centennial Plaza in the center of downtown.
The Winter Garden Farmers Market Independence Day Celebration is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 3, at the Downtown Pavilion, 104 S. Lakeview Ave. It will include a vendor booth patriotic contest, live music and a life-size family game zone.
On Sunday, July 4, the festivities start in the morning and end after dark.
The Winter Garden Masonic Lodge is bringing back its annual pancake breakfast, and starting at 8 a.m., families can enjoy flapjacks in the lodge dining hall, 230 W. Bay St. Children eat free and adults pay a $5 donation for pancakes, sausage, fruit and a variety of drinks. Soul Haven Ranch will be on site with some of its horses. Booths will be set up, including a child identification opportunity and a chance for children to grab some free decorations for their bikes, scooters and wagons.
Afterward, children can participate in their very own parade. The 17th annual All-American Kids Parade lines up at 9:45 a.m. for a festive stroll up and down downtown Plant Street.
The event is sponsored by the Winter Garden Masonic Lodge, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and Winter Garden Downtown Merchants. For information, call the history center at (407) 656-3244.
The weekend ends with a boom at the fireworks display starting at 9:15 p.m. at Newton Park, 29 W. Garden Ave. Guests can take a blanket or chairs to celebrate the holiday with fireworks over Lake Apopka.
For information on these and other Winter Garden events, visit cwgdn.com.
The annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast returns in Windermere and will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, July 4. To celebrate the return, the town is waiving ticket fees this year.
To allow for more seating and spacing, the event will be held at Town Square Park outside Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St.
Guests are asked to take their own toppings, such as sprinkles, whipped cream and fruit. The town will provide pancakes, sausages, beverages, butter and syrup.
Volunteers are needed for this town event. To help, contact Diane Edwards at [email protected]. For information, call Windermere Town Hall at (407) 876-2563 or visit town.windermere.fl.us.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
The fireworks are back at Walt Disney World, just in time for the July 4 weekend. Starting, July 1, the nightly shows take place at two theme parks.
The Magic Kingdom show, “Happily Ever After,” features Cinderella Castle as the main character through technology and projection. Many familiar Disney characters also are part of the show, as are contemporary versions of Disney songs and pyrotechnics.
At Epcot, the “Epcot Forever” show takes place over the World Showcase Lagoon with lasers, kites, fireworks and special effects as children narrate the story of past, present and future. Familiar theme park music adds to the excitement.
The Clermont Freedom 5K walk and run will take place July 4 through the streets of downtown Clermont. The race kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at the Clermont Historic Village Museum, 490 West Ave., and finishes at Suncreek Brewery; participants also can join virtually and still enjoy the race swag.
The entry fee includes a finisher’s medal, race tank, beer, post-race snacks. For more race information or to register, visit bit.ly/3xU9VeV.
That evening, visit Waterfront Park, 330 Third St., Clermont, for the Red, White & Boom event from 7 to 11 p.m. Enjoy food trucks, deejay music and fireworks over Lake Minneola. Viewing sites include Waterfront Park and Victory Pointe.
The city of Apopka is holding its July 4th Celebration at the Apopka Amphitheater, 3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway. The free, family-friendly event includes a performance by dance party band Midnight Mayhem at 7 p.m. and a fireworks celebration beginning at 9. Guests can take lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities.
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.