With the former Laurel Mall parking area closed for construction of Towne Centre Laurel, city officials are devising new parking areas and have moved the parade reviewing stand for this year's Independence Day celebration, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 6.
Laurel Emergency Operations Director Marty Flemion and officials from the city's Public Works Department and Laurel Police Department have worked on a plan to allow parking in the right turn lane on westbound Cherry Lane, from Route 1 to Fourth Street. This will allow parade participants to access their vehicles and leave the area at the end of the parade route, which is the intersection of Fourth Street and Cherry Lane. City officials encourage parade participants to car pool to allow for adequate parking in this area.
In addition, the parade viewing stand will be located across from Ashford Boulevard, about a half block north from its usual location behind the former Montgomery Ward store.
The city's Independence Day celebration is organized each year by the Laurel 4th of July Committee. In addition to the parade, which begins at 11 a.m., events planned at Granville Gude Park at Laurel Lakes include a youth music showcase featuring Breasia Studios, and a performance by Enkore Dance Group at Burton Memorial Stage. Family games will be held in the park from noon to 3 p.m., followed by the second annual hot dog eating contest. The band Oracle begins playing around 5 p.m. and fireworks, expected to be a longer show this year, begin at dusk.
This story has been updated.