SWFL celebrates the Fourth of July

Southwest Floridian’s kicked off Independence Day with celebrations early Wednesday that will last into the night with fireworks galore.

Cape Coral’s Red White & Boom!

Tens of thousands of people are expected to spend their Fourth of July holiday at Cape Coral’s Red, White and Boom!

Planning for the event has been going on for six months. There are 60 vendors lining Cape Coral Parkway.

“We place the orders, make sure we can get a spot,” said vendor Phil Mangione. “There’s just so much demand for the fourth of July.”

All in anticipation of the big event: fireworks.

“It’s a little hectic people getting out of here at night time, but the fireworks are amazing,” said Cape Coral resident Troy Fortune.

Fort Myers Beach 4th of July Celebrations

Beachgoers are taking the Fourth of July festivities to Fort Myers Beach.

“It’s a beautiful day, the water is gorgeous, people are friendly, everyone is having a great time,” said Florida Gulf Coast University student Jeffrey Arbour.

Others thank those fighting overseas on Independence Day.

“our service people over there fighting for our freedom so I can sit on this beach today, I can’t thank them enough, God bless them,” said North Fort Myers resident Caroline Roth.

WINK News reporter Gina Tomlinson spoke with residents and visitors alike about their holiday experiences. Watch the full segment below:

Charlotte County Freedom Swim

Hundreds got in the water Wednesday to participate  in the 27th annual Charlotte County Freedom Swim.

Following the swim, attendees can continue the fourth of July festivities at Fishermen’s Village.

There’s kid crafts, treats and face painting at Harpoon Harry’s. There are also bathing suit and hula hoop contests for adults. The fireworks display begins at 9 p.m. at Charlotte Harbor.

WINK News reporter Kristi Gross spoke with veterans and first timers who made the voyage from Gilchrest Park to Fishermen’s village. Watch the full segment below:

A Fourth of July history lesson

(CBS News) If there’s one truth Americans all hold to be self-evident, it’s that we rightly celebrate our freedom on July 4th, the date that appears on the Declaration of Independence.

Not so John Adams, the founding father who later became our second President.

Yes, the Fourth was the day the Continental Congress approved the Declaration, largely written by Thomas Jefferson (our future third President).

But for Adams, the true holiday was July 2nd, the day Congress actually voted for independence.

He made his case for the Second in a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3rd, 1776 … 242 years ago today.

“I believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival …” he wrote. “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

And so our Independence IS celebrated — on July the FOURTH.

For the rest of his life, John Adams reputedly declined to take part in ANY July 4th celebration. But in the end, the Fourth sought HIM out.

John Adams died on July 4, 1826 … the very same day as Thomas Jefferson, on the 50th anniversary of the first of our Glorious Fourths.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Taylor Petras
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