JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the city of St. Augustine prepares to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, including the annual Fireworks over the Matanzas festivities.
On the Fourth of July, the All Star Orchestra will perform form 6 to 8 p.m. in The Plaza de la Constitucion, serving up Big Band and popular tunes with a patriotic flare. People attending this free concert should bring lounge chairs for seating.
The fireworks over Matanzas Bay starting will begin at 9:30 p.m. The 20-minute display is choreographed to a stirring soundtrack of popular and patriotic music played over a sound system designed to transform the entire Bayfront between the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Bridge of Lions into a theater of sight and sound.
There will be limited parking throughout the downtown area, so visitors are encouraged to arrive early and use the Historic Downtown parking facility at 1 Cordova St., adjacent to the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Visitor Information Center. The rate is $1 per car, per entry all day.
With many pedestrians and increased bicycle traffic, visitors in vehicles are asked to take extra precaution and to please be patient.
The free park and ride shuttle on Anastasia Island, provided by the city with support from Ripley’s Red Train Tours and Old Town Trolley Tours will be available from 6 p.m. until midnight from the following four parking locations along Anastasia Boulevard:
• 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.).
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. Old Town Trolley Tours and Ripley’s Red Train Tours are providing a dozen buses for the shuttle.
Download/print the Park & Ride map.
The St. Augustine Police Department has a traffic plan to move 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 CityStAug.com/Fireworks.
Parking in city-owned lots and on the street is free on Wednesday, July 4, as it is on all federal 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 a.m. to 5 p.m., 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 p.m. until approximately 11 p.m.
Rerouting of traffic begins at 8:30 p.m. and will include prohibiting vehicular traffic on the Bridge of Lions, Avenida Menendez, Cathedral Place and S. Castillo Drive in order to accommodate the vast number of pedestrians. The Bridge of Lions will be closed to vehicles starting at 8:30 p.m. and will re-open at 11 p.m.. Additional street closures include the following:
• Picolata Rd. between U.S. 1 & San Marco (8:30-11 p.m.)
• San Carlos between U.S. 1 & San Marco (8:30-11 p.m.)
• King Street will have two westbound lanes, and one eastbound lane, west of MLK Boulevard. (8:30-11:30 p.m.)
• King Street 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 U.S. 1 to N. Cordova (8:30-11:30 p.m.)
• Orange Street will be closed from U.S. 1 to S. Castillo (8:30-11 p.m.)
• North Cordova will be closed from Orange to the Garage (8:30-11 p.m.)
The best advice is to arrive early, explore the city, enjoy the show, and be patient during departure.
Fireworks over the Matanzas is produced by the city of St. Augustine with support funding from the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council.