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St. Augustine prepares for July 4th

A record number of people expected in St. Augustine during holiday

St. Augustine Fourth of July
St. Augustine Fourth of July

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – AAA is calling this Fourth of July travel weekend the busiest one that this country has ever seen. Millions of Americans will hit the road and fly the skies over the next few days.

One area that sees a big uptick in new guests is St. Augustine.

The city could see up to 80,000 people downtown for the celebration. So preparation is key. There are some options for you especially when it comes to parking and walking. But overall, a lot goes into getting ready for a big impression.

The Nation's Oldest City is decked out in red, white, and blue- from the beautiful views to the trolley rides, and the hotels.

Some tourists are starting the holiday weekend early. One of them is Laurie Born who is visiting for the first time from Atlanta, Georgia.

"We decided to come here Saturday night. We walked around, went to a few, sat at the bar a little bit and got to know the city a little bit," said Born.

"There's a lot of things for the kids to do. We always have a nice time," said Jason DeWitt who is visiting from Virginia.

There's something for everyone. This Fourth of July, the city is preparing for a record number of visitors.
A lot of family fun is in the works.

“Starting at 6 p.m. we have a big band right down in the center of town and then at 9:30, there are fireworks over the Matanzas that’s the real big show,” said Paul Williamson, city public affairs director.

And what a spectacle it is! City officials say to make the most of the trip this weekend, you need to
plan ahead.

“A lot of people think St. Augustine is wonderful but parking and traffic, because we have 16th century streets. But this year, the city is instituting a free park and ride shuttle,” said Williamson.

That shuttle will run from Saturday through Monday.

The mainland shuttle, operating from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., will bring passengers to the Visitor Information Center, to/from the St. Johns County Administration Building, and the St. Johns County Health Department.
The island shuttle, operating from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday only, will bring passengers to the east end of
the Bridge of Lions to/from Anastasia Baptist Church, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, R. B. Hunt Elementary
School and St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

“You’re going to want to come and bring a blanket and a lounge chair and just enjoy the day,” said Williamson.

Shuttles are available to ease some of the traffic downtown and give people options.