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Fireworks on the Lake on July 4, Nathan Benderson Park

It’s time to celebrate freedom — together!

| Suncoast Post Staff |

An annual tradition becomes a Suncoast family gathering this year. NBP Fireworks On The Lake Driven By Sunset Automotive Group will be an in-person celebration July 3 at Nathan Benderson Park.   The park at the heart of the Suncoast expects as many as 25,000 people will come together for food, exhibitors, live music, a 4-mile run, family fun and fireworks. The event is free to the public, but because of positive response to designated parking at the 2020 show, parking is ticketed.a

Family fun on Regatta Island returns with two live bands. The Black Honkeys will bring a compelling mix of Motown, funk, rock and more, and the Derek Lersch Band plays modern country sounds. A DJ will fill out the evening’s music.

Also returning for this year is the Kids Zone, a fun, safe, controlled environment for children to play games and enjoy activities.  Runners and walkers alike will enjoy the annual Fireworks 4-Miler On The Lake, presented by the park and Fit2Run, The Runners Superstore. The race course winds around the park’s Cooper Creek Lake.

The presenting sponsor, Sunset Automotive Group, will showcase some of its vehicles — from Cadillacs to Jeeps, from Chevrolets and Buicks to Kias and Maseratis — in places throughout the 600-acre facility.

The Suncoast’s leading TV station, WWSB ABC 7, will televise the fireworks as the finale of its Independence Day special at 9 p.m. Sunday, July 4. 

This is the second year that the park’s fireworks event has been televised. The fireworks show is a production of the park’s nonprofit manager, Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA). ABC 7 is producing the Independence Day television special.

“After a year of forced separation, it will be great to host our community,” said SANCA President and CEO Tomas Herrera-Mishler. “Let’s light up the Suncoast with fireworks and fun. Join us for a patriotic picnic, live music and a family-friendly atmosphere as we celebrate our nation’s birth.”

Sunset Automotive Group’s executive director said the auto retailer is happy to support the community, echoing the group’s slogan, “Connected Through Community.”  “Sunset Automotive Group is honored to be the presenting sponsor of the 2021 NBP fireworks show,” Andreas Jackson said. “As a family-owned and operated business in Sarasota since 1979, we are happy to be able to give back and show our continued support of our surrounding communities.”

ABC 7 Vice President and General Manager Jeff Benninghoff said the station is pleased yet again to partner with the park.  “ABC 7, your local station, is excited to partner again to showcase this holiday tradition,” he said, “to share this Suncoast Strong reunion with those who can’t make it to the park.”

Gates open at 5 p.m. and music starts at 5:30 p.m. with fireworks just after 9 p.m.

Tickets for parking are $20 per car on Regatta Island, and in the park’s south lot, tickets are $15 per car and $40 for recreational vehicles. They’ll go on sale June 16 at the Nathan Benderson Park website.


Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA) is a not-for-profit 501c3 business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park (NBP), a community/public asset and world-class, multi-use sports venue. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our community and be an economic generator for our region. SANCA’s primary purpose is to develop and promote NBP as a world-class event center, team training site and Sarasota County park, while providing outreach programs through recreation, safety training, education and volunteering as a service to our community. For more information, go to the website.


For more than 40 years, ABC7 has been committed to providing news, information, entertainment, and services to Sarasota, Manatee, and surrounding counties. Serving more than 400,000 households each day, ABC7 strives to be the Suncoast’s first and primary source of news and information over the air and on all digital platforms. For more information, please visit the website, or contact Joseph Dunn at


Sunset Auto has 13 full-service dealerships representing 18 different franchises located in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton. We also offer four conveniently located collision repair centers should the need arise. Our exceptional and experienced staff in all departments are ready to assist with any of your automotive needs. Feel free to browse our stores at the website.

Photo from Deposit Photos

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