Fourth of July parades set in north Baltimore

Caroline Tufts of Mount Washington, chairwoman of the Spirit of Mt. Washington Independence Parade, sports a patriotic hat during festivities after the 2011 parade. (File photo/2011 / July 2, 2013)

Roland Park and Mount Washington will celebrate the Fourth of July in their usual style, with red, white and blue parades and popsicles.

Both parades kick off at 10 a.m. on the Fourth. No bad weather is on the horizon for the Fourth, unlike last year, when residents in both communities were reeling from a heat wave and the aftermath of a rare derecho storm that left thousands of people without power.

In Roland Park, Del. Sandy Rosenberg is expected to read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the Roland Park Library. The Roland Park parade will go down Roland Avenue, from the library to Roland Park Presbyterian Church, with fire engine No. 44 from the Roland Park fire station leading the way and firefighters spraying children with hoses afterwards. Patriotic-colored popsicles will be given out free after the parade.

A crowd of 400 people is expected, including Rosenberg, state Sen. Lisa Gladden, Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, and City Council members Sharon Green Middleton and Mary Pat Clarke.

In Mount Washington, the parade begins and ends at Springwell, 2211 W. Rogers Ave., on a route that will take it from Wexford to South roads, then to Cross Country Boulevard and back to Rogers.

Scheduled pre-parade activities include prizes for the most patriotic human and pet costumes and floats, plus games, crafts, vintage cars on display, a moon bounce, and patriotic tattoos, as well as a bagpipe performance.

Parade organizers in Mount Washington are emphasizing the costume contests this year, trying to get people to dress up more, a tradition they say has fallen by the wayside in recent years.

After the Mount Washington parade, an expected crowd of 600 to 700 people will be treated to food and snacks — much of it donated by Whole Foods — including watermelon slices, lemon sticks and homemade cupcakes at Springwell. New this year will be the sale of hot dogs, to raise money for the Mount Washington School, a public K-8 school..

Entertainment before and after the Mount Washington parade will include the Greenspring Valley Trombone Ensemble, rock music by Paul Yutzy and the Giggmohr Brothers and magic tricks by two different performers, one of them a neighborhood youth. In another tradition, the Mount Washington Pool will be free from noon to 4 p.m.

In the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, Independence Day will be commemorated with live music and fireworks. The city's annual Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration takes place from 4 to 10 p.m. Scheduled performers include reggae band Jah Works starting at 4 p.m., and the U.S. Naval Academy Band Electric Brigade performing Top 40 music, starting at 7 p.m., in the Inner Harbor Amphitheater at Pratt and Light streets. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will kick off the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.