4th of July 2018 in St. Augustine
Join us in celebrating our nation’s independence in the nation’s oldest city.
Fireworks over the Matanzas begin at 9:30 pm
Starting Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Barge in the Matanzas Bay
Duration: Approximately 20 minutes
The 4th of July in St. Augustine, Florida signals a time to come together and enjoy patriotic fun with your family and friends. Celebrate America’s birthday with family-friendly events and the endless attractions the City of St. Augustine offers! Is Independence Day in the Oldest City on your bucket list? If not, then now is the time to add it! Make St. Augustine your destination for 4th of July “Fireworks Over the Matanzas”.
Walk down St. George Street, browse in the many shops, have cool and crisp watermelon on a bayfront picnic, and top-it-off with clear night skies filled with over 5,000 shells of twinkling fireworks of every shade and hue over the Matanzas River.
The Nation’s Oldest City has one of the largest firework displays on the East Coast.
Enjoy the reflection of the fireworks as they are set off from a barge in the Matanzas Bay. The spectacular 20-minute display is choreographed to a rousing soundtrack of popular and patriotic music delivered over an extensive sound system transforming the entire Bayfront between the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Bridge of Lions.
Enjoy the 4th of July Celebration and a breezy summer night, that will excite and entertain all ages, in a city that has so much to offer to families, couples, and friends. Before the spectacular show, get to know St. Augustine’s extensive history, nearly 90 attractions, and over 300 restaurants. Visit our museums, national monuments, and art galleries!
Personnel from the St. Augustine Fire Department and the St. Johns County Emergency Medical Services will patrol the downtown throughout the evening, staging out of an area at the corner of S. Castillo Dr. and Cuna St. That same area will also be equipped with a “cool zone trailer,” a facility allowing those feeling overwhelmed by the heat to rest for a few minutes, often a good way to avoid heat exhaustion.
Important safety rules that are strictly enforced:
- Alcohol is prohibited on public property including parks, streets, and sidewalks.
- Possession of fireworks that explode or leave the ground is illegal and penalized with the confiscation of the fireworks and a $100.00 citation.
- Sparklers are not allowed on the grounds of the Castillo de San Marcos.
Arrive early – there is plenty to do
Arrive early in the day and stroll down St. George Street, browse the many shops, grab a cold treat, have crisp watermelon on along the seawall or on the green of the Castillo de San Marcos, listen to patriotic big band music, and top-it-off with clear night skies filled with over 5,000 shells of twinkling fireworks of every shade and hue over the Matanzas Bay.
Music is from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Music begins in the Plaza de la Constitución at 6:00 pm and lasts approximately two hours. Head over early to get a good seat by the Gazebo and enjoy the big band sound of the All Star Orchestra. Sing along or mingle with the crowd while you listen to swing, big band, and patriotic songs; the concert is free. Then, with your lawn chair or blanket in tow, walk the short distance to Bayfront and get a prime viewing spot for Fireworks Over the Matanzas. Choose from the grounds outside of the Castillo, Bayfront, or the Bridge of Lions. Note: Vilano Beach is also a good spot for viewing.
For more things to do
The Free Park & Ride Shuttle Service begins at 6:00 pm
From 6:00 pm until 12:00 am on the 4th of July, the City of St. Augustine will provide free parking and a free shuttle service on a first-come-first-serve basis. Old Town Trolley Tours and Ripley’s Red Train Tours are providing a dozen buses for the shuttle. Riders of the free shuttle will be dropped off on the east side of the Bridge of Lions; when riders are ready to head back to their car, they can be picked up at the same location.
There are four parking locations where travelers and residents can park their vehicles for free:
- Anastasia Baptist Church: 1650 A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080
- St. Augustine Amphitheatre: 1340-C A1A S, St. Augustine FL 32080
- R.B. Hunt Elementary School: 125 Magnolia Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32080
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park: 999 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine, FL 32080
For more information, visit our Shuttle Page.
The Historic Downtown Parking Facility located adjacent to the Visitors Information Center is a good place to start your adventure as a parking location as it can fit 1,200 vehicles. The rate is $15 per car per entry or $3 with a Park Now Card. NOTE: Francis Field will not be available for parking.
Parking in city-owned lots and on-street is free on July 4th, as it is on all national holidays. Parking in the lot at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is not free and is enforced by the National Park Service from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, seven days a week, including federal holidays. However, there will be no access to or from the Castillo’s parking lot on July 4 from 6:00 pm until approximately 11:00 pm.
If arriving by water…
For those arriving by water, the Bridge of Lions will not open for marine traffic from 8:00 pm until approximately 11:00 pm. 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. Water-based law enforcement will patrol Matanzas Bay and will notify vessels of the prohibited area. There will also be a No Boat Zone on the 4th of July.
St. Augustine is proud to be a bicycle-friendly city. Here are some of the City’s bicycle rack locations:
- Several bike stations are located along the bayfront, north and south of the Bridge of Lions.
- At the Visitor Center, when you enter from San Marco Ave.
- At the southeast corner of the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.
- At the corner of Orange Street and St. George Street.
- Inside of the Toques Place Lot.
- Across from Lewis Auditorium on Granada Street.
Road closures and traffic rerouting begins at 8:30 pm
Each year St. Augustine celebrates America’s birthday in grand fashion. In order to make room for every visitor and local who wants to watch the show from a prime viewing location, some roads are closed to vehicular traffic. The following streets are closed to vehicular traffic starting at 8:30.
Parking will be prohibited all day on Avenida Menendez north of the Bridge of Lions and the south side of Cathedral Pl. south side of the street. Parking is prohibited after 5:00 pm on King Street and the north side of Cathedral Pl.
The following streets will close at 8:30 pm and remain closed:
The following streets are closed from 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm:
- Picolata Rd. between US1 and San Marco.
- San Carlos between US1 and San Marco.
- King St. will have two westbound lanes, and one eastbound lane, west of MLK Blvd.
- King St. will have one westbound lane and one eastbound lane, east of MLK up to Avenida Menendez.
- NO eastbound traffic on W. Castillo from US1 to N. Cordova.
- Orange Street.
- N. Cordova will be closed from Orange St. to the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.
Avoid traffic after the fireworks
After the fireworks, stick around. Take advantage of the businesses that have extended hours; stroll through the gift shops, find live music to listen to, grab a drink or bite to eat at the many restaurants or one of St. Augustine’s night life establishments.
Happy 4th of July!
Traffic exit routes
- Bridge of Lions will not open to vehicles until 11:00 pm
- King St., 1-lane eastbound, 2-lanes westbound to U.S. 1
- W. Castillo Dr., two lanes westbound to U.S. 1
- I-95 Northbound traffic should use U.S. 1 North to International Golf Pkwy to avoid S.R. 16 traffic