Groveland has a new site for bigger July 4 celebration

Groveland will hold its long-running Miss and Mr. Firecracker Pageant as part of its Fourth of July celebration. // Photos by city of Groveland

The city of Groveland is growing so fast, it needs a larger location to host its signature event.

The city is partnering with Lake Catherine Blueberries to host the Star-Spangled Spectacular 4th of July celebration at the blueberry farm at 5849 Lake Catherine Road in Groveland. The new location is expected to better accommodate the anticipated crowd. Groveland has a population of just 12,493 but is one of the fastest-growing cities in Central Florida, according to a news release.

The free event will begin at 10am with the Miss and Mr. Firecracker Pageant. Most of the day’s other events will begin at 4pm. The fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m. and will feature dueling fireworks from two launch sites—the only place in Central Florida to do so.

The celebration also will include fun activities for children, two stages of live musical entertainment, and traditional festival food, soft drinks, and adult beverages. Groveland’s 4th of July celebration also is the only one in Florida to have a sanctioned Steak and Dessert Cook-off.

“This year’s Fourth of July will be one to remember,” Mayor Dina Sweatt says in the release. “There are many new projects that the council has voted on. This Fourth of July event is only the beginning!”

Risen BMX will perform hourly demonstrations of their high-flying tricks.

Groveland has one of the longest-running July 4 celebrations in Central Florida. Traditionally, the event was held at Lake David Park. However, the new site allows for more onsite parking and space for expanded activities. Those will include traditional activities, such as face-painting and pony rides, along with “new generation” activities, such as a video game arcade, gaga dodgeball, and water tag, says Dustin Lowe, manager of Lake Catherine Blueberries. Another highlight will be hourly demonstrations by BMX riders performing thrilling stunts.

The Freightliners, known for a hard-driving bluegrass sound, is one of the six bands scheduled to perform.

Musical entertainment will feature six bands playing classic rock, bluegrass, and Latin music on two stages. The bands are: Gunner Down, the Freightliners, Midnight Rising, the Steven Green Band, Mariachi Voces de Mexico, as well as Johnny Lee Wyatt & the American Fools.

For more information, including how to sign up for the pageant and cook-off, go to or call event planner Bruce Haase at 414.788.3342.