Fireworks at the fort: Safety tips for Independence Day celebration over the Matanzas

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — It’s going to be another epic display of fireworks and patriotism at the old fort and over the Matanzas on July 4. The show is planned to begin over Matanzas Bay at 9:30 p.m.


The National Park Service wants to remind visitors of important regulations to keep everyone safe and the surrounding area clean.

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Some of these rules include:

  • Please keep your National Park beautiful by carrying your trash out with you. Littering violations are subject to fines.
  • Vehicles illegally parked outside of marked parking spaces, in parking spaces signed for motorcycles only, upon sidewalks, on the grass or otherwise in violation of federal, state or city statutes will be cited and/or towed at the owner’s expense. No vehicles over 21 feet.
  • Alcohol is prohibited on public property, streets and sidewalks including the grounds of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Alcohol and public intoxication violations are subject to a fine or arrest.
  • Using or possessing fireworks is prohibited. Fireworks will be confiscated and persons possessing or using fireworks are subject to a fine or arrest.
  • Possession or use of marijuana inside a National Park Service unit is prohibited on all federal lands including the grounds of the old fort. While Florida provides for regulated possession and use of marijuana, it remains an illegal drug under federal law and enforced within national park units. Possessing, using or being under the influence of a controlled substance is subject to a fine or arrest.

Parking will be available at the Historic Downtown Parking Facility. The price is $20 per car, per entry, or $3 with a ParkStAug registered license plate. Parking in the lot at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is not free and is enforced by the National Park Service from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days a week, including federal holidays.

If you plan on arriving by boat, the Bridge of Lions will not open for marine traffic from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. Boats will be prohibited in an area north of the Bridge of Lions to a point just in line with Castillo de San Marcos. Below is a No Boat Zone map.

Designated areas were boats can not go during the fireworks display in downtown St. Augustine.

To learn more visit citystaug.com/Fireworks.

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