If Thomas Jefferson were alive today and spending the Fourth of July in Baltimore, he'd doubtless be impressed with all the ways we have come up with to celebrate the nation's birthday. From parading through the streets to tapping our feet to the stirring strains of John Philip Sousa, folks in these parts are second to none in celebrating Independence Day. Hey, when even our pets get in on the act, it's clear that Baltimoreans and their neighbors take this stuff seriously. Of course, many people celebrate with cookouts and fireworks displays of their own. But if you're looking for someone else to do the planning, here are some ways to join Friday with fellow Americans in celebrating that July day 238 years ago, when some universal truths became self-evident and our forebears officially dropped their British accents. -- Chris Kaltenbach Go to baltimoresun.com/events for more July Fourth fireworks displays, concerts and family activities.