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Fourth of July activities abound here on island

By Staff | Jul 1, 2009

As the United States celebrates its 233rd birthday this Saturday, islanders won’t have to travel very far in order to take part in a festive July 4 filled with patriotic, fun and family-friendly activities.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., the City of Sanibel’s annual Independence Day Parade steps off at the Island Inn Road and Tarpon Bay Road intersection, and proceeds down Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road.

Due to the parade, the following roads will be closed beginning at 9:15 a.m. on July 4:

Tarpon Bay Road (between West Gulf Drive and Periwinkle Way)

Periwinkle Way (between Casa Ybel Road and Tarpon Bay Road)

Portions of Dunlop Road and Palm Ridge Road

The theme of this year’s parade is “Independence Day Goes Green.” The Sanibel School’s Green Team are serving as the grand marshalls said event organizer Trish Phillips.

“We are encouraging participants to go more green,” she said.

Immediately following the parade, the Bailey’s Center Merchants’ Association (BCMA) will host a family-friendly Fourth of July Backyard BBQ between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Bailey’s Center, located on the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.

The event will include food, beverages, live music, door prizes, mule and wagon rides, pictures with Uncle Sam, a dunk tank and waterslide, car bashing and other activities for children and adults.

Optimists host Road Rally

Sanibel’s longest-running Independence Day event – The San-Cap Optimist Club Road Rally – celebrates 30 years of fun for teams and families as they attempt to solve puzzles and riddles while following a prescribed driving course around the island.

This year, the rally begins in Timbers Restaurant parking lot (a half-block north of Bailey’s Center on Tarpon Bay Road) at noon, and also ends there for the “afterglow” party. Staggered starting times will be preassigned by the Rally Master.

All proceeds from the Road Rally provide funds for the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club’s college scholarship program.

Prizes will be awarded to Road Rally participants for time, mileage and for the most correct answers to the quiz about things seen along the route. A “50/50” raffle will also be available.

“It’s not a race,” said event planner Dani Howard. “It’s an accuracy contest.”

Fireworks at dusk

In addition, Sanibel will host the annual fireworks display, sponsored by Royal Shell Vacations and Royal Shell Preferred Properties, beginning at dusk on Saturday, July 4.

The fireworks are launched from the north end of Bailey Road. The best viewing of the fireworks display is from the bay side of Sanibel and along the Causeway Islands.

Several island retailers are holding special sidewalk sales this holiday weekend, including Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, The Village Shops, Tahitian Gardens Shopping Center, Olde Sanibel Shoppes, Jerry’s Shopping Center and the Seahorse Shopping Center.

City holiday closures/altered schedules

Sanibel City Hall and the Island Seniors’ Civic Center will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 3 and resume normal business hours on Monday, July 6.

Refuse, recycling and vegetation waste collection by Waste Pro, scheduled for the week of June 29 to July 3, will run as scheduled.

The Sanibel Recreation Center will operate regular hours on Friday, July 3 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Recreation Summer Youth Day Camp Program will operate regular hours on Friday, July 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have any questions, call the Rec Center at 472-0345.

As a friendly reminder, the possession and/or discharge of fireworks on Sanibel Island is illegal, per City Ordinance 01-10. “Please help us protect our wildlife. Do enjoy, don’t destroy!”