It's straight-up un-American to celebrate our nation's independence without blowing shit up. We recommend that, rather than going DIY with M-80s in your backyard, hit up one of these officially sanctioned July 4th celebrations.
2012 Independence Day Open House View the galleries for free, in conjunction with Winter Park's Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday; Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park; free; 407-645-5311; morsemuseum.org.
21st Annual Hunter Vision July 4th Watermelon 5K Run/Walk Independence Day event with a watermelon-eating contest and a kids run. 7:30 a.m. Wednesday; Mead Garden, 1500 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park; $28-$35; 407-898-1313; trackshack.com.
4th of July Celebration Bar and restaurant specials, buy-one-get-one-free airboat rides and live music by 13th Floor. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday; Black Hammock Fish Camp, 2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Road, Oviedo; free admission; 407-365-1244; theblackhammock.com.
A Flashback 4th of July "A Salute to Cinema" theme includes a movie-themed costume contest, kids activities, live music by Mo Geetz, DJ Tami, Jordyn Kane and others, and a fireworks show. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday; Celebration Town Center, 690 Celebration Ave., Celebration; free; celebrationtowncenter.com.
Celebration of Freedom 12 Kids area, Winter Springs Got Talent performance, live music, national anthem and presentation of colors, food and drinks, and a choreographed fireworks display. 5-9:30 p.m. Wednesday; Central Winds Park, 1000 E. State Road 434, Winter Springs; free; winterspringsfl.org.
Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky Patriotic fireworks display over Magic Kingdom. 9 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista; included with park admission; 407-824-4321; disneyworld.com.
Firecracker 5K Run Independence Day 5K run through downtown Avalon Park to benefit the Avalon Park Foundation. 7 a.m. Wednesday; Avalon Park Town Center, 13001 Founders Square Drive; $25; eventsatavalonpark.com.
Fireworks at the Fountain Patriotic celebration with food, a kids area and a massive fireworks display over the lake. 4-10 p.m. Wednesday; Lake Eola Park, North Rosalind Avenue and East Washington Street; free; cityoforlando.net.
Fourth of July Festival Traditional celebration with an apple pie bake-off, a hot dog-eating contest and a fireworks display. 5-9 p.m. Wednesday; Avalon Park Town Center, 3831 Avalon Park East Blvd.; free; 407-658-6565; avalonpark.com.
Independence Day Bash Street party with shopping vendors, food from area restaurants and an evening fireworks display. 6-9:30 p.m. Sunday; Harbor Park, 4990 New Broad St.; free; 407-745-9345.
Independence Day Celebration Food trucks, beer and wine, kids games, live music by Jake & the Elwood Blues Revue and fireworks over the mall. 5-10 p.m. Wednesday; Oviedo Mall, 1700 Oviedo Marketplace, Oviedo; free; 407-977-2400; facebook.com/oviedomall.
Independence Day Cookout Hot dogs, burgers and beers to celebrate America. 6-8 p.m. Wednesday; World of Beer, 3402 Technological Drive, Suite 201; call for price; 321-235-9741; wobusa.com.
Independence for the Animals Vegan Potluck Picnic Bring a dish to share, entertainment and games with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. 2 p.m. Saturday, July 3; Mead Garden, 1500 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park; $3 donation, bring a vegan dish to share; 407-968-2400; arff.org.
July 4th Celebration With the Brevard Symphony Orchestra Bring a blanket or chairs for an outdoor concert in the park and fireworks over the river. 8 p.m. Wednesday; Cocoa Village, State Road 520 and Brevard Avenue, Cocoa; free; 321-639-3500; cocoafl.org.
Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration Live patriotic music performed by the Bach Festival Brass Band and the Bach Festival Choir, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bicycle parade and more. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday; Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park; free; 407-599-3463; cityofwinterpark.org.
Red Hot & Boom Outdoor festival with kids activities, food and drinks, a fireworks display and concerts by Cobra Starship, Karmin, JoJo, Outasight, A Rocket to the Moon and more. 4-11 p.m. Tuesday; Cranes Roost Park, 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs; free; 407-571-8863; uptownaltamonte.com.
Red, Brick & Boom Independence Day event with a 3-D fireworks display. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday; Legoland, One Legoland Way, Winter Haven; included with park admission; 877-350-5346; legoland.com.
Red, White & Brew Two-day block party with live bands, a Sam Adam's beer garden, food, games and more. 9 p.m. Tuesday, 4 p.m. Wednesday; Wall Street Plaza, Wall and Court streets; free-$10; 407-849-0471; wallstplaza.net.
Red, White and Zoo Live music, games, crafts for the kids, animal encounters and more. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 3755 N. U.S. Highway 17-92, Sanford; free-$12.95; 407-323-4450; centralfloridazoo.org.
Rockin' 4th of July Celebration Live music by Mulch, Sweat and Shears, with a fireworks display backdrop. 9:45 p.m. Wednesday; Disney Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista; included with park admission; disneyworld.com.
Star Spangled Sanford Food vendors and a splash pad on the RiverWalk, with fireworks over Lake Monroe. 5-10 p.m. Wednesday; Fort Mellon Park, 1000 E. First St., Sanford; free; 407-688-5120; sanfordfl.gov.
The Heartbeat of Freedom Patriotic-themed IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth pyrotechnic and laser light show. 10 p.m. Wednesday; Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista; included with park admission; 407-824-4321.
Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert Meet-and-greets with Disney characters dressed in patriotic attire. 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday; Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista; included with park admission; 407-824-4321; disneyworld.com.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.