Laurel's Independence Day celebration, organized each year by the Laurel Fourth of July Committee, will be held Saturday, July 6. In addition to the parade, which begins at 11 a.m., events planned at Granville Gude Park at Laurel Lakes include old-fashioned games for all ages, horseshoe contests and the second annual hot dog eating contest. Vendors will offer food and crafts at the park all day, and music and dance entertainment will offered at Burton Memorial Stage, with headliner band Oracle playing around 5 p.m. Fireworks, expected to be a longer show this year, begin at dusk over Laurel Lakes.
For more information, contact the Laurel Fourth of July Committee at 301-725-5300, Ext. 2444.
Schedule of events
9 a.m.: Parade lineup at Sixth and Montgomery streets. This year's parade theme is "Honoring our First Responders," and grand marshals will represent the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad and Laurel Police.
11 a.m.: Parade begins, judging stand on Fourth Street south of Ashford Boulevard; horseshoe contests begin at Granville Gude Park at Laurel Lakes
Noon: Field events
1:30 p.m.: Second annual hot dog eating contest near Barton Memorial Stage
2 p.m.: Entertainment begins at Barton Memorial Stage
3:15 p.m.: Grand opening, posting of the flag with national anthem performed by Stu Knazik and invocation by the Rev. Warren Litchfield
4 p.m.: Parade award announcements
5:15 p.m.: Band Oracle performs
7 p.m.: Welcome from city officials, award announcements
9:15 p.m.: Fireworks shot over Laurel Lakes
All times are approximate. No alcohol or pets, except working dogs, are permitted at Granville Gude Park.
Prior to the parade: Sixth Street will close at 9 a.m. to allow parade contestants to line up. All other roads along the parade route will also be closed, including Montgomery Street eastbound from Sixth Street to Fourth Street, and Fourth Street southbound to Cherry Lane.
Prior to the fireworks: Eastbound Cherry Lane will close at Ashford Boulevard at 1 p.m. Westbound Cherry Lane will close at 5 p.m. in preparation for the fireworks, as required by state and county fire marshals as this area is likely to receive fallout from the fireworks display at Laurel Lakes. No vehicular or pedestrian traffic will be allowed into the area until after the fireworks display is over and the area is checked for debris, approximately 11 p.m.
The city is encouraging fireworks spectators to arrive early and leave by alternate routes.
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 parade.
During the parade, parking will be allowed in the right turn lane on westbound Cherry Lane, from Route 1 to Fourth Street, to 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.
This year's 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.