If you're looking to get out there and celebrate our nation's independence this 4th of July, there are plenty of events taking place all throughout the Tampa Bay area celebrating this annual American holiday.  Read on and discover some of the best events featuring fireworks and more taking place on Thursday, July 4th in Tampa and beyond.

4th of July at Channelside Tampa 2013 - Channelside Bay Plaza has consistently been one of the best places in Tampa for a fun, free and family-friendly atmosphere on the 4th of July.  Head out this year for live music, entertainment, and the best fireworks display in Tampa kicking off at 9 p.m. right on the water.  The best place to see the fireworks is from the wharf just outside the complex, but it's limited to the first 3,500 people. Wristbands will be given out for access at the Garrison Street Gate when the event starts at 7:00 p.m.

Hogans Beach 4th of July - Head out to witness the biggest fireworks show in Tampa Bay at the one and only Hogan's Beach this 4th of July.  The party kicks off at 12 noon with live DJ music and drink specials including $2 Bud Light drafts, $3 Corona Light drafts, $5 Bacardi drinks, and $5 bombs.  Admission is is $10 before 4 p.m., $20 after, and free for kids.  Call 813-786-1300 for VIP Reservations.

4th of July Parade and Fireworks in Temple Terrace - Head out to North Tampa for a fun parade and dazzling fireworks display kicking off at Gillette Avenue and Whiteway Drive at 10 a.m.  The day will continue with the 2013 4th of July Celebration at the Temple Tearrce Golf and Country Club from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. with entertainment and fireworks blasting off at 9:15 p.m.

2013 Brandon Blast 4th of July Fireworks - Brandon's annual 4th of July celebration will take place at the Westfield Brandon Mall in the Restaurant Courtyard.  Kicking off at 5 p.m., Brandon Blast will feature a family-friendly assortment of live music, family entertainment, kids activities, and fireworks at 9 p.m. - all for FREE.

2013 Plant City 4th Of July Celebration - This annual Plant City 4th of July celebration attracts thousands of adults and kids alike to Plant City Stadium for a huge, free Fourth of July celebration kicking off at 5:30 p.m. on July 4.  Bring the friends and family out for a celebration featuring face painting, corn hole, volleyball, tug-o-war, inflatables for the kids, food vendors on site and live music.

4th of July Fireworks Cruise aboard Yacht StarShip - The renowned Yacht Starship will host an elegant fireworks dinner cruise where you and yours can see the fireworks over the Downtown Tampa waterfront with an up-close and one of a kind view.   The cruise will board at 6 p.m. and feature open premium bar, a buffet with traditional American favorites, stellar DJ entertainment and spectacular fireworks show choreographed to patriotic music.

If you're on the other side of the bay, Yacht Starship will also host a Clearwater 4th of July Fireworks Cruise with Open Bar departing from the Clearwater Beach Marina at 7 p.m.   Cruise prices are $89.95 for adults and $59.95 for kids.

2013 Fourth of July Extravaganza - Speaking of the other side of the Bay, Downtown St. Pete will play host to the 2013 4th of July Extravaganza kicking off at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.  The event will kick off with an afternoon of food vendors, both in the street and in store, in downtown for the city’s 4th of July celebration. Stick around for the evening and enjoy a dazzling fireworks display over spa beach at 9 p.m.