July Fourth on Fort Myers Beach began with a parade down Estero Boulevard and ended with evening fireworks set off from the pier at Times Square. The Town of Fort Myers Beach sponsored the daylong activities, and the staff of the Bay Oaks Recreation Center, with Director Randy Norton in charge, managed the events.
At 10:00 AM, parade goers were lined up along Estero Boulevard, and parade members assembled on Bay Street, next to the Fort Myers Beach Library. It was a warm, sunny day, as the floats, cars, carts, vans and trucks got ready to begin the parade. Well-represented in the parade were Mustangs, Corvettes and classic cars, whose owners are members of their respective local clubs. The Vietnam Vets made an imposing convoy on their motorcycles. The floats were awash in red, white and blue, and you couldn’t miss the krewe groups because they were the most animated and loudest. Awards were given in the categories of Best Decorated, Best Musical Display, Best Patriotic Theme (colors and enthusiasm) and Best of Parade. The judges were Janna Holmes and Becky Bodnar, members of the Bay Oaks Advisory Committee, and Bob Raymond, former Town Council member.
The true purpose of July Fourth, Independence Day, is to celebrate our country’s declaration of independence from the British Empire. It has become a celebration of everything Americans hold dear, like our history, government and traditions. It has become a special day for communities to come together and to celebrate our commonality and show our devotion to our great country.
Parade watchers line up on Estero Boulevard in front of the Fort Myers Beach Library.
The start of the parade is on Bay Street, beside the library.
Sarah Mayher, Bay Oaks Recreation Coordinator, is in charge of parade participants.
Floats and cars are lined up.
The Honor Guard comes to attention.
The Honor Guard begins the parade.
The Fire Department is next in line.
Decked out CERT golf cart
Veterans of Foreign Wars
VFW Ladies Auxiliary - “Best Decorated Float”
Betty Simpson, Grand Marshal of the parade, with her son driving the BMW convertible and her grandson beside her--a family affair
Town Hall float
Vietnam Brotherhood cart
Ed Bellefeuille and passenger
Miss Teen America and child pageant winner
Mustangs line up for parade
Miss Florida US International
Mustangs line up for parade
Ponies in Paradise Mustang Club
The Ryan Family
The Southwest Florida Corvette Club
The Indy 500 Corvette Pace car of May 27, 2007
The Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol
Fort Myers Beach Masonic Lodge - “Best Patriotic Float”
Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures
Sand Paper, Beach newspaper float
Gulf Shore Mustang Club
Apple green Mustang
Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information trailer, "Roxie"
Black Sheep Krewe
Krewe of Sloth float - “Best Patriotic Spirit”
Krewe of Sloth float - “Best Musical Display”
Illustrious Judges, Janna, Bob and Becky
Judges, Bay Oaks staff and end of parade