Fireworks shows across Northeast Florida lit up the skies for Independence Day, drawing large crowds to areas like St. Augustine, downtown Jacksonville, and Jacksonville Beach. The spectacular displays lasted roughly 20 minutes, captivating audiences.

In St. Augustine, locals and visitors claimed their spots along the Matanzas River as early as 3 p.m. to ensure a good view. “You can always get a good spot if you come out early. If you don’t, you’re kind of stuck on the other side of the road,” said Jeffrey Allsop.

Over in Jacksonville’s Riverside, the festivities extended beyond fireworks. Attendees enjoyed a pie-eating contest, live music, and a variety of food trucks. “Got some good food trucks, a pie-eating contest, and activities for the kids,” noted Clark Moore.

Brittany Moore, visiting from Australia, got to experience a slice of American heritage. “It’s really nice. For us, we’re here on a special mission from Australia to have treatment done. So, it’s a nice opportunity for us to experience what Americans do on July 4th because we’ve never done that before,” she shared.

Many appreciated the city leaders’ efforts to create a festive environment. “One of the things I love is the platform the City of Jacksonville has provided for our family to come here. What’s unique about it is my babies are also French Canadian, so it’s an opportunity for them to experience every bit of their culture, and it’s free,” said another attendee.

At Jacksonville Beach, beachgoers enjoyed watching the fireworks with sand between their toes. William Peterson cited the “scenery” as a major draw. “We got the beach; we stay cool and see fireworks,” he said, appreciating the spacious feel despite the large crowd.

The successful celebrations left many eagerly anticipating next year’s displays. “It’s a great moment to share with my family. It’s patriotic. It’s fun,” commented one attendee.