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Catonsville, Towson cancel Fourth of July festivities due to coronavirus concerns

Catonsville and Towson will not be holding their popular annual Fourth of July celebrations this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Details for a virtual Catonsville celebration are being worked out, said Fourth of July committee spokesman Tim Small.

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Catonsville’s Fourth of July committee announced on Facebook the cancellation of what would have been its 74th annual parade and fireworks display, which typically draws about 30,000 people to the southwestern Baltimore County community each year, Small said.

“Although no chairs will be lining Frederick Road, and no blankets will cover the hill at Catonsville High School for 2020, we will be back, stronger than ever in 2021,” the committee wrote on Facebook.

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The celebration is paid for by Catonsville businesses and residents. The bulk of fundraising efforts would have been ramped up in April by using money from the committee’s weekly Food Truck Thursdays. Due to the statewide restaurant closures amid the pandemic and the impact of those closings on food businesses, the committee opted not to roll out the food trucks this year, Small said.

“We didn’t want to bring additional competition to businesses that were already hurting,” Small said, adding that he couldn’t say how much money was raised for the canceled parade, but that money will go to support the 2021 festivities.

“It will take all of Catonsville working together to make sure we continue on with this incredible tradition,” the committee wrote.

Canceling Towson’s Fourth of July parade, which has run for the past 136 years, was a “very difficult decision, but there’s no way in seven weeks we can put together an event for 65,000 people,” said Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce.

The parade is funded through business and private donations. Donors will be sent a letter giving them the option of requesting a refund or allowing their donation to be put toward Towson’s 2021 Fourth of July parade, Hafford said.

The Towson Communities Alliance, a coalition of Towson-area community groups, which also canceled its fireworks celebration, is actively raising money to fund its display for Independence Day 2021.

The organization’s fireworks committee hopes "that business donors and private citizens will pitch in to make next year’s celebration the best Towson has ever seen,” the executive board wrote in a news release.

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