From New Year’s Eve parties to Easter activities, St. Augustine hosts a plethora of holiday celebrations each year. But did you know that breezy summer nights on the bayfront and an extraordinary firework show make the 4th of July one of the best times to visit St. Augustine? This July, don’t miss your opportunity to sit on the seawall of Historic Downtown and celebrate Independence Day.
When: Festivities for the 4th of July kick-start at 6:00 pm with a patriotic concert by the All-Star Orchestra, which ends at 8:00 pm. The firework display begins at 9:30 pm over the Matanzas River.
Where: The free concert takes place under the gazebo in the Plaza de la Constitucion. Fireworks are shot over the Matanzas River, which beckons the majority of people to the bayfront of Historic Downtown
What to bring: If you plan on spending the entire day in the city be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat or sunglasses, lawn chairs or a blanket, and snacks!
Arrive early and spend the day downtown.
There is plenty to do in the City all day long. Most people arrive between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm and enjoy everything downtown has to offer. Spend the day walking around downtown, picnicking on the grounds of the Castillo, take a tour, or visit the many attractions scattered throughout the City.
- Family-friendly things to do: Kid-Friendly Museums, Indoor Activities.
- Other things to do: Girls Getaway Guide, Theaters, St. Augustine Bucket-List, and other things to do in the city.
Kick-start 4th of July festivities with music in the heart of St. Augustine.
At 6:00 pm sharp, 4th of July festivities officially kick-off at the Plaza de la Constitucion. Gather around the Plaza’s gazebo for a two-hour show filled with band, swing, and patriotic music by the All-Star Orchestra! The concert is free, but be sure to bring along a picnic blanket or folding chair, snacks, and plenty of water.
Where to go to see the fireworks.
Once the concert in the Plaza ends, make your way to the bayfront to set up for the firework display. Socialize with locals, listen to live music in the crowd, and chat with your family and friends. The firework display starts at 9:30 pm and lasts approximately 20 minutes while 5,000 shells of twinkling fireworks light up the sky. Although space is limited downtown, there isn’t a bad seat in the house! Great photo opportunities await you whether you sit along the seawall, on the grounds of the Castillo, or by the Bridge of Lions.
What you need to know.
Several times throughout the year, the City provides a free shuttle that transports riders downtown for big events. On the 4th of July, the shuttle service will run from 6:00 pm until midnight. The shuttle will pick-up and drop-off riders every 30 minutes from the following locations:
- Pick-up locations: Anastasia Baptist Church, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, R.B. Hunt Elementary School, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
- Drop-off location: Riders will be dropped off on the east side of the Bridge of Lions.
- Where is the best place to stay in St. Augustine during the 4th of July weekend? It is best to stay in the Historic District, check out these places.
- Is alcohol allowed? No, alcohol is prohibited on public property in the city of St. Augustine.
- Will there be medical personnel on site? Yes. The St. Johns County Emergency Medical Services and St. Augustine Fire Department will be stationed at the corner of South Castillo Drive and Cuna Street along with a “cool zone trailer” where people can rest if they’re feeling overwhelmed by the heat.
- Will any roads close down? Yes. The Bridge of Lions will be closed to vehicular traffic from 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm and closed to marine traffic from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Additionally, S. Castillo Drive, Cathedral Place, and Avenida Menendez will close at 8:30 pm.
- Where can I park for free? When you use the free shuttle service you can park for free on Anastasia Island. Check out the pick-up locations above. You can also park on-street and in the City marked lots for free on the 4th of July. The Castillo de San Marcos’ parking lot is closed from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
- Are boats allowed in the Matanzas River? Yes, but there is a no-boat-zone. Check it out here.
- Are pets allowed? Yes, St. Augustine is a pet-friendly city. Just be sure to follow our leash laws.
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Photo credits: OldCity.com