By: Diane Emeott Korzen Contributing Writer
It’s already been five years now since the City of Boca Raton moved its annual Fabulous Fourth event from the grounds of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to the Spanish River Athletic Facility at De Hoernle Park (across the street from Spanish River Library).
Asked what prompted the move, Boca Public Information Officer Chrissy Gibson said, “The event was moved to the park in 2013; it was held at FAU prior to that. FAU was gracious enough to host the event on its campus for many years, but the event kept growing and so did the
university. The Spanish River complex was a newer facility with wide-open space and overflow parking and we felt it was time to make the change. The event has been very successful there and it’s a tradition that the community really looks forward to.”
On Wednesday night, July 4 the City of Boca Raton will feature the All Star Band playing live Classic Rock music on its Main Stage from 6 to 7 p.m. and again from 8:30 to 9 p.m., according to Community Events Coordinator Monika Amar.
“We [also] have a DJ playing today’s hits and hosting dance-offs and games for the kids all night at a second satellite stage from 6 to 9 p.m., amping it up from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (while the band is on break),”she said.
In addition to musical entertainment, Boca’s Fabulous Fourth offers amusement rides, balloon twisters, face painters, jugglers, food and drinks, “and of course we end the night with a spectacular fireworks display,” Amar said.
The City of Boca Raton has an annual contract with Zambelli Fireworks (which also provides fireworks for next-door neighbor Deerfield Beach, shot off its International Fishing Pier). The cost for Boca fireworks is $30,000.
“This is a joint production we look forward to presenting every year with the support of the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District,” Amar said.
According to Zambelli Internationale Fireworks, located right here in Boca Raton at 1 W. Camino Real, Zambelli has been doing fireworks for both Boca and Deerfield for many years.
Other coastal cities that contract with Zambelli Fireworks include:
Pompano Beach – fireworks shot off the pier
Miami Beach – fireworks on the beach
Lauderdale By The Sea – fireworks on the beach, North of the pier
Delray Beach – fireworks shot from a barge in the Atlantic Ocean
Boynton Beach – fireworks shot from a barge in the Intracoastal Waterway
Lantana – fireworks shot from the Intracoastal Waterway
To the West, Zambelli also does fireworks for Wellington, Greenacres, and Royal Palm Beach — which has its fireworks shot from the new Commons Park.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 people attend Boca’s Fabulous Fourth event each year.
Amar said the city spends approximately $60,000 on this event, “but we are fortunate enough to have sponsors come on board annually. This year we have Boca Raton Airport Authority as our main sponsor of $15,000 for the event.”
Free parking is plentiful, with several nearby public parking lots including Boca Corporate Center offering complimentary shuttle service — beginning at 5:30 p.m. and running continuously until 10:15 p.m.
Blankets and lawn chairs are permitted. (Personal fireworks, sparklers, alcohol, and family pets are absolutely prohibited.) Admission is FREE. For more information, call 561-393-7807.
Boca Raton’s free summertime concert series at Downtown Boca’s Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, kicked off last month with a performance by The Long Run: A Tribute to the Eagles.
In July, catch:
Liverpool LIVE: A Tribute to the Beatles” on Friday, July 13
Dreams: Crystal Visions (A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac) on Friday, July 27
August Tribute concerts:
Purple Madness: A Tribute to Prince on Friday, August 3.
Turnstiles: A Tribute to Billy Joel on Friday, August 10.
The ‘Summer in the City’ series goes through Saturday, August 11,wrapping that night with Symphony Swing by Symphonia Boca Raton.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Show begins at 8 p.m. Blankets and chairs are welcome; with chairs also available to rent for $5.
Concertgoers are encouraged to walk, bike, carpool and use free parking at City Hall and Boca Raton Library. Food and beverages are available to purchase inside the venue. No outside food or beverages are allowed. All shows are rain or shine.
For more information, go to the City of Boca Raton website, and under Popular Links, click on Mizner Park Amphitheater www.myboca.us/826/Mizner-Park-Amphitheater