They’re back! The skies above Tavares will once again be dotted by veteran paratroopers as they descend into Lake Dora. On Saturday, July 23, 80 jumpers from the Phantom Airborne Brigade will awe onlookers during the Phantom Family Day Water Jump beginning at 10 a.m.
Members of the brigade will jump from the Tico Belle, a WWII C-47 Skytrain flown by Valiant Air Command in Titusville. The vintage aircraft’s history includes dropping paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne into Normandy on D-Day, participating in Operation Market Garden in Holland, and providing support for the Berlin airlift. Since the Tico Belle can only transport 22 combat-ready paratroopers at a time, the plane will make multiple passes over Lake Dora with groups of jumpers.
The first group of paratroopers are scheduled to jump over Lake Dora at 10:00 a.m., with additional groups jumping every 20 minutes. Four flights are scheduled with a total of eight passes over the lake with ten jumpers each. The ideal vantage point is by boat in the area allowed during the event and the shoreline of Wooton Park located at 100 E. Ruby Street in downtown Tavares. Free parking is available in the nearby parking garage located at 100 N. Sinclair Avenue.
Phantom Airborne Brigade is a veteran’s organization giving military-trained Airborne veterans the opportunity to participate in military static-line jumps after leaving active duty. Disabled and combat wounded paratroopers also participate in the group’s organized jumps. The veterans include members of the 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne, 173rd Airborne, LRRP, Special Forces, 1Para, Rangers, and others.
The City of Tavares’ 4th of July Parade and Fireworks will be held Monday, July 4th in Tavares, starting with a small-town parade along Main Street. The family-friendly event features live music, community vendors, food trucks, a family fun zone, and other activities from 4:45 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
After the parade, Tavares will kick off the evening festivities with live music in downtown’s Wooton Park. The main act is a Florida band, Slickwood, that performs country music, along with Bluegrass and rock. The entertainment will end with fireworks over Lake Dora.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 4:45 p.m. Street Party on Main Street begins before the parade 5:00 p.m. Seaplane flyover Main Street 5:00 p.m. Parade begins going east on Main Street from the Courthouse past City Hall to St. Clair and Abrams Avenue 6:00 p.m. Kids’ activities in Tavares Square commence 6:00 p.m. Kids’ dance party with interactive Live DJ in Tavares Square begins 6:00 p.m. Performance by the band “Slickwood” begins on the main stage in Wooton Park 6:30 p.m. Main Street opens to allow traffic to flow normally, will remain until the conclusion of the event. 9:00 p.m. Fireworks
Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Free parking is available in the parking garage at 200 N. Sinclair Ave. in downtown Tavares.
The City of Mount Dora’s annual Independence celebration, Freedom on the Waterfront, returns on Sunday, July 3rd. The small town festivities are a slice of Americana and start at 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Evans Park at the end of Donnelly Street in downtown Mount Dora. Live music performances on the park’s stage will feature artist Bailey Callahan, plus the Red Mint Band. The patriotic evening on the waterfront will end with a spectacular fireworks show over Lake Dora at 9:15 p.m.
The free family-friendly event will also feature a Kids Zone with lots of fun activities and food in Gilbert Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Evans park is located at 100 South Donnelly Street. Shuttles will be available at the First Baptist Church Mount Dora at 1000 East 1st Avenue. Handicap parking will be located in the lower level of the parking garage on Donnelly Street.
Downtown Eustis will come alive on July 1 when the city hosts its Independence Day Hometown Celebration in Ferran Park. The free, family-friendly event kicks off at 5 p.m. and the festivities continue through 9:30 p.m. The evening’s entertainment includes the Central Florida Show Ski Team and live music by Johnny Wild and the Delights. Attendees can enjoy a variety of vendors, over two dozen food vendors, free ax throwing, and other activities.
As part of the Independence Day event, the City will offer free admission to the Eustis Aquatic Center pool and splash pad (weather permitting). Bathing suits are required. Check back at Eustis.org for hours of operation.
The night will culminate with an impressive display of fireworks over Lake Eustis at 9:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to the park to view the show.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: 5:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Ax Throwing 5:30 p.m. - Central Florida Show Ski Team 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Johnny and the Delights on the Bandshell stage 9:30 p.m. - Fireworks over Lake Eustis
Ferran Park is located at 250 Ferran Park Drive at the downtown Eustis lakefront. Pets are permitted, but must remain on a leash.