Independence Day is a community affair in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach with pool parties, food trucks and fireworks.
In Wellington the fun kicks off at the Wellington Aquatic Complex, 12150 Forest Hill Blvd., with a plunge into the center's Olympic-size pool, splashing in the water play area or zipping down the waterslide.
The Patriotic Pool Party takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Friday.
Regular pool entry fees apply, according to community programs manager Michele Garvey. The cost is $5 for adults; $2 for seniors 55 and older; $3 for children ages 3 to 17 and free for children 2 and younger.
"This year we are adding something new," she said. "Every hour there are going to be pool games for the kids to participate in for free. The lifeguards will lead the games from noodle races to cannon ball competitions."
In Royal Palm Beach the water fun centers on the annual Red White and Blue Fourth of July Kids Fishing Tournament at Lakeside Challenger Park, 701 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. The free event begins at 6 a.m. and although residents may register the day of, community and cultural events superintendent Carlos Morales said participants should sign up in advance.
"They can pre-register at the Recreation Center [100 Sweet Bay Lane] up to the day before," he said.
Royal Palm Beach will have the Star Spangled Spectacular at Commons Park, 11600 Poinciana Blvd., which is the second year the Independence Day fun has moved to the great lawn.
"There are fun activities for the whole family," Morales said. "It's really about coming out and having a good old- fashioned time."
The fun starts at 1 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m. with various activities including several tournaments such as sand volleyball and the popular corn hole. There will also be field games, pie-eating contest and the annual Mayor's Kayak Tournament.
For the youngsters there is the Kids Fun Zone area packed with rides, slides and games. The zone will require a wristband purchase at $10 per child.
Throughout the day there will also be live entertainment with music from Keep the Faith Bon Jovi Tribute Band and The Boss Project Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band. Making Faces will also perform along with disc jockey music to keep everyone moving.
There will also be food trucks and a beer tent for adult-only consumption.
In Wellington, events begin at 6 p.m. at Village Park, 11700 Pierson Road, with family friendly fun. There will be bounce houses, a petting zoo and pony rides. Beat the heat inside the gym with face painting and bingo, Garvey said.
"There are also traditional games," she said. "Everyone can participate in apple pie-eating contest, sack races, egg spoon races and old-fashioned games like that throughout the day adding to the fun."
To get everyone moving there will be live entertainment from Brass Evolution and Turn Stiles, a Billy Joel Tribute Band.
The night ends with a fireworks display presented by Zambelli Fireworks International at 9:15 p.m.
"Each year our crowds top the year before," Garvey said. "Last year we counted over 8,000 guests and this year we hope for more."
Free shuttle service will be available from the Palm Tran bus stop at the Mall at Wellington Green beginning at 5:30 p.m. until after the fireworks.
The fireworks go off at 9 p.m. in Royal Palm Beach with the display also by Zambelli Fireworks. Parking will be available at Commons Park with overflow parking being directed to Ewing Park located behind Village Hall with shuttle service.
Visit WellingtonFL.gov and RoyalPalmBeach.com.