City of St. Augustine prepares for annual Independence Day celebration
Fireworks Over the Matanzas, entertainment and shuttles are scheduled
Fireworks Over the Matanzas, the City of St. Augustine’s annual Independence Day celebration, returns Tuesday, July 4, starting at 6 p.m. with The All-Star Orchestra performing a two-hour concert in The Plaza de la Constitución performing Big Band and popular tunes with a patriotic flare.
The 20-minute fireworks display will reach high over Matanzas Bay starting at 9:30 p.m. choreographed to a stirring soundtrack of popular and patriotic music delivered over an extensive sound system. The entire Bayfront between the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Bridge of Lions will be transformed into a theatre of sight and sound.
Free Park & Ride Shuttle
The City will offer satellite parking and shuttle service on Anastasia Island, provided by Old Town Trolley Tours. Parking and shuttle service will be available from 6:00pm until midnight from parking locations along Anastasia Blvd.:
- Anastasia Baptist Church (1650 A1A South),
- St. Augustine Amphitheatre (1340-C A1A South),
- R.B. Hunt Elementary School (125 Magnolia Dr.) and
- *St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park (999 Anastasia Blvd.).
*As this is a parking-only location, those who park there will need to access the shuttle at the R.B. Hunt Elementary School stop by crossing Anastasia Blvd.at the lighted crosswalk just east of the attraction where law enforcement officers will assist pedestrians to cross the road safely.
The shuttle will drop passengers at the east end of the Bridge of Lions and pick-up from that location for the return trip following the fireworks.
Parking and Traffic
Parking will be limited throughout the downtown area, so visitors are encouraged to arrive early and use the Historic Downtown Parking Facility and nearby parking lots. With multitudes of pedestrians and increased bicycle traffic, those in vehicles are asked to take extra precaution and to please be patient.
The St. Augustine Police Department has a traffic plan that moves vehicles safely and as quickly as possible out of the downtown area following the show. A summary of the parking details can be found at www.CityStAug.com/Fireworks.
Parking in city-owned lots and in on-street spaces is free on Tuesday, July 4, as it is on all federal holidays. Drivers are reminded to confirm that they are parked in a city-owned lot and not a private lot where towing may be enforced by the lot owner.
The Historic Downtown Parking Facility, adjacent to the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Visitor Information Center at 1 Cordova Street, offers parking for $15.00 per car, per entry or $3.00 with the ParkNow Card.
Parking in the lot at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is not free and is enforced from 8:00am – 9:00pm, seven days a week, including federal holidays. There will be no vehicular access to or from the Castillo’s parking lot on July 4th from 6:00pm until approximately 11:00pm.
Rerouting of traffic begins at 8:00pm and continues until 11:00pm and includes prohibiting vehicular traffic on the Bridge of Lions, Avenida Menendez, Cathedral Pl., and S. Castillo Drive. Additional street closures include:
- Picolata Rd. between US-1 & San Marco Ave. (8:00pm – 11:00pm)
- San Carlos between US-1 & San Marco Ave. (8:00pm – 11:00pm)
- King St will have two westbound lanes, and one eastbound lane, west of MLK Blvd. (8:00pm – 11:30pm)
- King St. will have one westbound lane and one eastbound lane, east of MLK up to Avenida Menendez
- There will be NO east bound traffic on W. Castillo from US-1 to N. Cordova (8:00pm – 11:30pm)
- N. Cordova will be closed from Orange St. to the entrance to the Historic Downtown Parking Facility (8:00pm – 11:00pm)
Arriving by Water
The Bridge of Lions will not open for marine traffic, starting after the 8:00pm opening, until approximately 11:00pm. Vessels will be prohibited in an area north of the Bridge of Lions to a point approximately in line with Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Marine law enforcement will patrol Matanzas Bay and notify vessels in violation of the prohibited area.
The St. Augustine Municipal Marina will have limited hourly dockage on the 4th of July. Contact the marina directly on VHF CH 16 or CH 71 for availability and docking instructions.
It is important to note that fireworks may be cancelled or postponed due to weather given the unpredictability of Florida’s summer rain showers. A cancellation or postponement will likely be a last-minute decision.
If the fireworks are cancelled, the public will be notified on the city website at www.CityStAug.com/Fireworks and on the city’s social media pages at @CityStAug. If a cancellation notice is not posted, then the fireworks are still scheduled.
Fireworks over the Matanzas is produced by the City of St. Augustine with support funding from the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council.