July Fourth fireworks are returning to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this year, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Friday, following two years of canceled celebrations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has been an extremely long almost three years now,” Scott said. “And I’m thrilled to welcome residents and visitors from all over the region back downtown to the harbor for a fun-filled day of celebrating our nation’s independence.”
The evening’s events will begin at 4 p.m. with a performance from the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, a jazz ensemble, at the Harborplace Amphitheater. At 7:30 p.m. at the BGE Pavilion in Rash Field Park, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Wordsmith will deliver a spoken word rendition of “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass.
“The history of this country and our city is one that we have to tell the complete history of, and make this event more open, more welcoming and more cognizant of everything that has happened, and how everyone that was alive felt at that time,” Scott said.
The spoken word performance will be followed by a concert from the orchestra. A 13-minute fireworks show, put on by Pyrotecnico, will start at about 9:30 p.m.
It will be the first major Inner Harbor fireworks celebration since a New Year’s Eve display rang in 2020. The city put on fireworks last Labor Day, but discouraged gatherings and didn’t plan any events to accompany the show. The city’s New Year’s fireworks have been on hold for two years.
This year, the Orioles will also be in town, facing off against the Texas Rangers at 1:05 p.m., and the game will be preceded by a national anthem performance from the BSO, said Mark Hanson, the orchestra’s president and CEO.
Fans who park at stadium lots on July 4 will be able to leave their cars there throughout the evening’s celebrations at no additional cost, Hanson said.
Visitors also have the option to view the fireworks show from the “Top of the World” observation level at Baltimore’s World Trade Center, which will open to guests at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at viewbaltimore.org.
The American Visionary Art Museum will also be holding its free pet parade July 4 after several years off, beginning at 9 a.m.
The fireworks celebration has been organized in part by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, which is currently reworking some of the city’s major festivals, including Artscape, which is poised for a comeback in Sept. 2023.
Between the performances by the naval band and the BSO, the office will coordinate local food trucks and other vendors at the Inner Harbor’s West Shore Park and along the promenade, according to a news release.
The performance will feature West Side Story’s “America” and patriotic tunes, Hanson said Friday.
“And then Wordsmith will rejoin the orchestra and Jonathan Rush on stage for selections that combine some of his favorite pop and hip hop tunes with classical music,” Hanson said. “It should be a wonderful, wonderful program.”
“I look forward to seeing you all on the Fourth of July,” Scott said. “And yes, if you’re wondering, I will be coming into the harbor by kayak.”
July Fourth Event Schedule
8:30 a.m. - American Visionary Art Museum pet parade registration begins
9 a.m. - AVAM pet parade begins
1:05 p.m. - First pitch of the Orioles vs. Texas Rangers at Camden Yards, preceded by a “Star Spangled Banner” performance from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
4 p.m. - U.S. Navy Band Commodores perform at the Harborplace Amphitheater
7 p.m. - The Baltimore World Trade Center’s “Top of the World” observation level will open for a ticketed fireworks viewing.
7:30 p.m. - Wordsmith will deliver a spoken word performance of “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass at the BGE Pavilion at Rash Field Park.
8 p.m. - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Star Spangled Celebration concert begins
9:30 p.m. - Fireworks begin