Laurel's Independence Day celebration set for July 7

Laurel's annual Independence Day Celebration will be held Saturday, July 7, beginning with a morning parade and ending with fireworks at dusk at Gude Park at Laurel Lakes.

The parade begins at 11 a.m., and follows a route from Sixth and Montgomery streets, to south on Fourth Street to Cherry Lane. Antique and classic cars will lead the parade and then be on display at Gude Park through 4 p.m.

This year's parade grand marshals will be three members of the Laurel chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association. Rosie the Riveters were women who stepped up and joined the work force during World War II when many men were serving in the armed forces.

Events at Gude Park include a horseshoe contest at 11 a.m. and the first annual hot dog eating contest at 2 p.m. Contestants will be limited to 12 hot dogs and will be judged on consumption time. There will be no field games this year, according to Laurel 4th of July Committee chair Kay Harrison.

Live music begins at 5:15 p.m., and the fireworks will be set off from Laurel Lake at 9:15 p.m. Cherry Lane will be closed at 6 p.m. and reopened after the fireworks display.

Rain date, for fireworks only, is Sunday, July 8 at 9:15 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help post "No Parking" signs along the parade route. Workers will meet at the parking lot of Laurel College Center, 312 Marshall Ave., on Thursday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. and should bring heavy-duty staple guns, spare staples and a hammer or maul. Sign up to volunteer by e-mailing

The Laurel 4th of July Committee organizes the city's annual celebration. Donations can be mailed to Laurel 4th of July Committee, P.O. Box 416, Laurel, MD 20725.

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