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Boom by the Bay: What to know before Tampa's newest Fourth of July tradition

Posted at 2:04 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 22:09:08-04

'Boom by the Bay' will be a two and a half mile Fourth of July fireworks show along Tampa's Riverwalk.

The four venues to watch include Sparkman Wharf, Armature Works, Tampa's Convention Center and Julian B. Lane Riverfront park.

Tampa’s Police Chief says there will be police officers on foot, on bikes and horses, in boats and cars.

Just like Gasparilla, "Boom by the Bay" is expected to draw a huge crowd-- somewhere between 100k-200k people.

Boom by the Bay is Tampa's new 4th of July event

Dozens of people spent Wednesday putting the finishing touches on the location, including setting up stages, decorations and gates.

"A lot of pre-planning goes into something on this scale," said Shaun Drinkard, the senior director of public programming and operations for the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

He said fireworks are staged off site and will come in ahead of the show, spanning five barges.

One of the best things you can do is set a meet-up location ahead of time in case anyone in your group gets lost.

"If you're bringing a child with you that day, please take a picture of them so we know what they're wearing if you were to get separated with them. It's always easier when we know what we're looking for,” said Chief Brian Dugan.

The event starts between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. depending on the location and fireworks go off at 9 p.m. Getting downtown early will help you find parking and not be rushed. That's still a long time to be out in the heat.

"So that's several hours being in the downtown area and it will get hot. Also, we want to remind you if assistance is needed, we will have paramedic units along the Riverwalk in multiple locations,” said Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Nick LoCicero.

Before you head out, you can text the word "Boom" to 8-8-8-7-7-7 for text messages on weather or last minute info.

Also, if you plan on watching the fireworks from the water, just before the show the waterway will be locked down until after the show is over.

"There will be a certain point in time where if you're in your boat, out on the water, whenever we lock it down, that's where you're going to be stuck for the night," Dugan said.

"I would avoid Curtis Hixon Park. When you look at the sight lines, that's not the place to watch fireworks,” said Chief Dugan.

The Downtowner, TECO's street car and HART buses are all free.

"This is a new tradition. this is something we really haven't seen at this scale. Boom by the Bay is something we want to establish in this inaugural celebration and just grow it from here," said Drinkard.

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