An annual Fourth of July tradition in Naples is fireworks at the pier, but because of damage from Hurricane Ian, it had to be canceled.
To keep the tradition alive, Collier County stepped in, lighting up the sky at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex.
“When they said that they were having it here, I was like we’re going there,” said Gerilynn Waterburg, Naples resident.
The community was happy to be able to celebrate together tonight, despite the change of plans.
“I used to go to the Naples pier,” Waterburg, said.
Naples residents weren’t sure if there was going to be a Fourth of July celebration this year.
“In light of the Naples city fireworks not happening, the county decided to move the fireworks over here,” said Jeff Walters, Sports Facilities Business Development Director.
And it was quite the celebration.
“I’m like celebrating like fireworks and giving other people like, happiness to like, joy in their self,” said Shoshana Colon.
From the start, the event was packed. People enjoyed bounce houses, face painting, laser tag, live music and, of course, delicious food.
Having this celebration truly means a lot to the community, given the year we’ve had.
“After hurricane and, like, a lot of like stuff happened,” said Naples resident Moses De Jesus, “everybody was just, I don’t know, like distant because of what happened, but now it’s bringing everybody together.”
The celebration may be over, but fireworks are still lighting up the sky across Southwest Florida. Keep celebrating, but remember to stay safe.