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The Fourth of July holiday means tens of thousands of people will hit Jacksonville-area beaches, and fireworks are scheduled to go off from the Jacksonville Beach Pier at 9 p.m. Monday.
Jacksonville Beach police issued a warning Friday, asking the public to report any issues they see right away as the crowds are expected to be heavy.
The fireworks show will necessitate a beach closure from 5th Avenue North to 3rd Avenue North. No one will be allowed on the oceanfront or in the water in that two-block Public Safety Zone.
News4JAX learned the Jacksonville Beach Pier will not be open to the public just yet — after a yearslong project to rebuild it because of hurricane damage.
Traffic — both pedestrians and vehicles — will be heavy, police said. That means you can expect some roads to be limited or blocked, starting at 5 p.m. — so be patient, police urged. And please plan ahead.
- SR A1A will have several turning lanes blocked to aid in the northern and southern flow of traffic.
- Beach Boulevard will have limitations at different intersections to aid in the westerly flow of traffic.
- Pedestrians are strongly encouraged to only cross at properly marked pedestrian crossings.
- The main travel route for northbound and southbound traffic along the three beach communities will be SR A1A. A secondary route will be Penman Road to Florida, and then to Mayport Road.
- The main travel routes westbound will be J. Turner Butler Boulevard, Beach Boulevard, and Atlantic Boulevard. A secondary route for westbound traffic will be Wonderwood Drive.
Police also ask visitors to help keep the Beaches clean. The City of Jacksonville and Keep Jacksonville Beautiful will partner with Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol for the annual July 5 Beaches Cleanup from 7-9 a.m. on Tuesday. Click here for more info
Cmdr. Mike Key with the Neptune Beach Police Department said that from Seagate Avenue to Cherry Street, all along the First Street corridor of Neptune Beach, the roads will be completely shut off to vehicle traffic.
“We have bicyclists that are going to be commuting — thousands of them,” Key said. “We really want the safety of those bicyclists, the pedestrians, the skateboarders, everybody else to really be safe as they commute and enjoy their Fourth of July.”
— Neptune Beach Police (@NeptBchPolice) June 29, 2022
Jacksonville Beach police offered a reminder that the fireworks celebration is a family-friendly event and that officers will be on hand to keep the event fun and safe for all.
They also provided a list of prohibited items or actions:
- Legal Fireworks: Consumer grade fireworks permissible for use in the state are generally classified as sparklers, fountains, and novelty fireworks that do not explode, spin or fly through the air. Furthermore, state law requires the purchaser of any consumer fireworks be at least 16 years old.
- Illegal Fireworks: Firecrackers, ground spinners, Roman candles, rockets, bottle rockets, mortars, and others that explode spin or fly. Illegal fireworks will be confiscated, and the owner subject to penalty.
- Good vice: Even legal fireworks, commonly called “Safe and Sane”, emit extremely hot sparks that may exceed 1,200 degrees, so please do not ignite fireworks in crowded areas such as the beach.
- Trash: Please remember to collect your trash and dispose of it properly in the receptacles provided at each walk over. Trash left on the beach creates a hazard for others as well as to the wildlife that inhabits the area.
- Alcohol: The Jacksonville Beach Police Department will be strictly enforcing Drinking in Public laws.
Police urged parents and guardians to keep a close watch on children because the crowds will make it easy for children to become lost.
“Please remind your children to go to the nearest Lifeguard (Large Red Chairs on the beach) or Police Officer to immediately ask for help if they become lost. ults, please do the same to report a child who is lost. Immediate reporting is key to a successful outcome,” JBPD said.
For a map of travel routes, click here.