On Thursday, July 4, 2024, St. Augustine celebrates America's birthday at the annual St. Augustine Fourth of July celebration, "Fireworks Over the Matanzas" from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.
The following information is from the 2023 Fireworks Over the Matanzas celebration. Updated information for 2024 is incoming.
The event takes place in the heart of St. Augustine's Historic District, beginning with a two-hour live music concert, featuring the All Star Orchestra, in the Plaza de la Constitución. At 9:30 p.m. the sky lights up with a spectacular fireworks display over the historic bayfront and the Castillo de San Marcos. "Fireworks Over the Matanzas" is one of the biggest and best fireworks displays on the East Coast, featuring 5,000 individual shells exploding as high as 2,000 feet and as low as 100 feet.
Concert - 6:00 p.m.
The evening starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Plaza de la Constitución. The popular All-Star Orchestra performs a two-hour big band and swing music show along with patriotic favorites. The concert is free and open to the public - visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
Fireworks - 9:30 p.m.
Lighting up the sky over the Matanzas Bay, with the Castillo de San Marcos and the Bridge of Lions in the foreground, the "Fireworks Over the Matanzas" display is truly unforgettable. The 20-minute fireworks show is set to patriotic music on an extensive sound system that carries over the entire bayfront. Fireworks by Santore produces the annual show.
"Fireworks Over the Matanzas" is one of the best events in Florida to catch Independence Day fireworks. Visitors are welcome to line the streets and sit anywhere along the Bridge of Lions and South Castillo Drive to view the fireworks from downtown.
See below for details on road closures. These closures begin at 8:00 p.m. (and end at 11:00 p.m.), so visitors must make sure they are appropriately situated before then.
After the fireworks display, around 10:00 p.m., guests can visit any one of the historic downtown pubs and restaurants for a bite to eat and a cool drink. Remember, St. Augustine enforces "no open container" laws, so visitors should make sure they drink only inside St. Augustine's restaurants and bars.
Parking in city-owned lots and on-street is FREE on July 4th, as it is on all national holidays. The parking lot at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is not a city lot and not free on holidays. Access to that parking lot is restricted from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. on July 4th. Street parking will be limited in the vicinity of the Plaza to facilitate traffic detours in the evening. Click here for a map of handicapped parking locations in downtown St. Augustine.
Aveneda Menendez and South Castillo Drive will be closed beginning at 8:00 p.m. to accommodate this event. The Bridge of Lions will be closed to both boat and vehicle traffic. Everyone attending should find their parking area prior to 8:00 p.m., when the traffic rerouting begins. Additional street closures include:
Picolata Road between U.S. 1 and San Marco Avenue (8:00 - 11:00 p.m.)
San Carlos between U.S. 1 and San Marco Avenue (8:00 - 11:00 p.m.)
King Street will have two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane west of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (8:00 - 11:30 p.m.)
King Street will have one westbound lane and one eastbound lane east of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, up to Aveneda Menendez.
There will be no east-bound traffic on W. Castillo from US-1 to North Cordova (8:00 to 11:30 p.m.)
North Cordova will be closed from Orange St. to the Historic Downtown Parking Facility entrance (8:00 - 11:30 p.m.)
For locals and visitors staying in St. Augustine Beach, free park and ride shuttles will be available on July 4th, from 6:00 p.m. until midnight via parking locations along Anastasia Blvd. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Old Town Trolley Tours is providing the shuttle service and will pick passengers up at one of three locations and drop them at the east end of the Bridge of Lions.
Passengers may park for free on Anastasia Island at:
Public restrooms are located around historic downtown. Check out the map below.
For those who travel by sea
The Bridge of Lions will not open for marine traffic after the 8:00 p.m. opening until 11:00 p.m. - or shortly after. Vessels will be prohibited from an area north of the Bridge of Lions. The southern boundary is from mooring ball 14, east to Marker 7. The northern boundary of the No Boat Zone extends from north of the fort, northeast to just beyond the three dolphins and southeast to Marker 5. This area may shift slightly as a result of weather patterns. Marine patrol will monitor the area.
St. Johns County Beach Shuttles
From July 1 to July 4, 2024, the St. Johns County offers free shuttles to Mickler's Landing and the St. Johns County Ocean Pier between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.