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Annapolis announces plans for in-person July Fourth celebration, cancels Memorial Day parade, ceremony

A 2019 photo of Daniel Wilson waving his flag along Main Street as the City of Annapolis held their Fourth of July Parade. On Thursday, Buckley told staff to begin planning a “Welcome Back” celebration for the July Fourth weekend to mark the city reopening after more than a year of restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.
A 2019 photo of Daniel Wilson waving his flag along Main Street as the City of Annapolis held their Fourth of July Parade. On Thursday, Buckley told staff to begin planning a “Welcome Back” celebration for the July Fourth weekend to mark the city reopening after more than a year of restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. (Paul W. Gillespie / Capital Gazette)

There will be an in-person July Fourth parade and fireworks in Annapolis this year, the city announced Thursday.

Mayor Gavin Buckley has told staff to begin planning a “Welcome Back” celebration for the July Fourth weekend to mark the city reopening after more than a year of restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the city said it was in “very preliminary” discussions to host such an event.

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The city also announced that its in-person Memorial Day parade and ceremony at the end of May have been canceled.

The July Fourth celebration will span July 2 through July 5 and will include a parade on July 3 down West and Main streets, music and concerts hosted by the Art in Public Places Commission at venues including Chambers Park and City Dock, fireworks on July 4 and other business and social offerings. City offices will be closed on July 5 in observance of the holiday.

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“This has been one of the most challenging years in our City’s history,” Buckley said in an announcement. “This will be a citywide ‘thank you’ to those who helped us get through it: health care workers, EMTs, public safety, grocery, pharmacy and hardware store workers, as well as city staff. I can’t wait to thank them personally and celebrate the hard work it took to get through this.”

Buckley has pointed to the country’s 245th birthday as a logical time to reopen the city as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to surge in the county and the pandemic slowly dissipates. Still, the celebration will be contingent upon public health metrics.

“We are cautiously optimistic about our progress and we will continue to monitor conditions throughout our planning,” said City Manager David Jarrell.

On Thursday, the Anne Arundel County Health Department reported about 34% of county residents had received their first dose so far and about 24% were fully inoculated.

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Those interested in hosting a float or participating in the July 3 parade should contact specialevents@annapolis.gov.

The city is partnering with Historic Annapolis, Maryland Hall, Visit Annapolis, Art Farm, Downtown Annapolis Partnership and others to plan the holiday event.

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