CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (June 27, 2016) – Celebrate your independence at Southwest Florida’s finest Fourth of July festivities in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands. Whether you’re looking for fireworks, festivals or a holiday-themed leisurely marathon, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has an activity for everyone. 

Below is a sampling of activities planned in the Southwest Florida communities of Englewood and Punta Gorda for Fourth of July. Where ever your Independence Day takes you, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Island would like to thank all our armed forces for the freedom we celebrate. 

Monday, July 4 Festivities
Annual 4th of July Celebration at Fishermen’s Village Waterfront Mall

Fishermen’s Village will host their annual 4th of July Celebration beginning at noon and will later welcome Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim participants following the 2 p.m. start. (Call 941 661-5622 for more Freedom Swim details.) The Green Hibiscus Trolley will provide transportation between Fishermen’s Village and the Swim starting point. Additional activities will include live music by Fingerstyle Guitarist Drew Gale, Noon – 3 p.m. at Good ‘Ole Days Coffee Café, live music near center court featuring Jim Morris, Noon – 3 p.m.; Jimi Pappas, 3-6 p.m.; and Paul Roush 6-9 p.m. Admission and parking are free. (1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda,, Tel: 941-639-8721)

Harpoon Harry’s will be offering kids crafts, face painting, snacks and Hula Hoop contests with live music by DJ Big E all day. Viewing of annual fireworks display over Charlotte Harbor begins at 9 p.m.

King Fisher Fleet will be offering a Fireworks Cruise, departing at 7:30 pm and returning to Fishermen’s Village at 10 pm. Tour Charlotte Harbor, watch the sunset and enjoy the fireworks display. Call (941) 639-0969 for rates/reservations.

25th Annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim
Begin your day at the popular Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim across the Peace River. The 25th annual leisurely swim begins at 2 p.m. on the public beach of the north end of the southbound U.S. 41 Bridge in Charlotte Harbor and ends at Harpoon Harry’s in Fishermen’s Village. Participants are encouraged to arrive a half hour early for special instructions. 

Many participants will wear red, white and blue attire while floating on neon foam noodles, inner tubes, or paddling either a kayak or standup paddleboard. Keep in mind, this is not an organized race but a happening. There is no registration required. 

For more Freedom Swim details, call (941) 661-5622.

4th Fest at Laishley Park 
Experience Punta Gorda’s largest firework display at 4th Fest. A fully donation-based event, 4th Fest features a dozen waterslides, live music and great food all day. A Kid’s Fun Zone will keep the young ones excited while visitors can browse through displays and vendors, munch on festival food and cool off with ice-cold beverages. The Boogiemen Rock-n-Soul Revue will take the stage at 6 p.m., an Independence Day tradition, and perform up to the fireworks display over the Peace River. Immediately following the fireworks finale, a special performance by The Jack Michael Band will be held. 

The fireworks display will begin promptly at 9 p.m. over the Peace River. The spectacular show is anticipated to last 25 minutes. 

Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is $3 for the fireworks display. A wrist band for unlimited daily use of the waterslides is $10. All proceeds go to fund the Punta Gorda Fireworks. (100 Nesbit Street Laishley Park, Punta Gorda,, Tel: 941-637-5953)

Englewood Firecracker Festival & Block Party
The Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club hosts the annual Englewood Firecracker Festival and Block Party on Dearborn Street followed by the Light Up Lemon Bay Fireworks Display. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. with a musical lineup including Echo Matrix, Boca Band and Vinyl Countdown. Over 60 craft vendors will be lining the streets along with the area’s largest muscle car & street rod show, and a kid’s game area with water slides and bounce houses. Of course, the world famous “Chicken Sheet BINGO” returns.  

Fireworks over Lemon Bay are anticipated to begin around 9 p.m. Admission is free and donations for the fireworks display are being accepted. 

About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands 
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty.  In 2014 Port Charlotte has been named the top U.S. Best Value Destination by Trivago, the world’s largest online hotel search site, and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

For more information on visiting Charlotte Harbor visit or call1-800-652-6090.