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Havre de Grace Independence Day carnival set for June, parade and concerts July 5

The events for Havre de Grace’s 2020 Independence Day celebration, including a five-day carnival in June followed by the annual downtown parade, concerts and fireworks show on July 5, are set following the City Council’s approval of applications for the events during the council meeting Tuesday.

The city’s Independence Day Commission, working with multiple volunteers and sponsors as well as the city government, coordinates the annual events. Taryn Martin, vice president of the commission and wife of Mayor William T. Martin, discussed the planned events during the early portion of the meeting reserved for public comments on items on the evening’s agenda.

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Patrick Sypolt, director of administration, also read the details contained in each event application as it was presented to the City Council — council members voted unanimously in favor of all applications.

The Carnival on the Chesapeake will be held in Tydings Park; it is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9 through Saturday, June 13. The Pennsylvania-based Houghton Enterprises will operate the “family-friendly” carnival, “complete with rides, games and concessions,” Taryn Martin said.

The carnival is a key fundraiser for the commission’s events happening the week of Independence Day — 25% of proceeds from ticket sales goes to the commission, according to the event application.

The hours for the carnival will be from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Visitors can pay $1.25 per ticket to go on rides or purchase a $25 wristband for unlimited rides. About 2,000 people are expected to attend over five days, according to the application.

The Independence Day festivities are scheduled for Sunday, July 5, starting with the downtown parade. The theme of this year’s parade will be “Warrior Pride: Celebrating Independence Through Education” in honor of the opening of the new Havre de Grace Middle/High School this fall, according to Martin.

The anticipated attendance is 10,000, according to the event application. The parade begins at 2 p.m., and the route will be along Union Avenue. Setup for the event begins at 8 a.m. — Council President David Glenn, who confirmed with Police Chief Teresa Walter, emphasized the setup time as “just a friendly reminder to all residents.” City leaders have made it clear in prior years that people cannot reserve a spot along Union to watch the parade until 8 a.m. the day of the event.

Walter also noted that city officials have taken local churches into consideration as part of parade planning, since the events will fall on a Sunday.

There will be two concerts on July 5. The first begins at 5 p.m. and will be in Hutchins Park on the Susquehanna River waterfront, featuring Baltimore-area bands Jah Works and Super Bueno; about 1,500 people are expected to attend, according to the application.

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Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate; beer and wine will be on sale, too. Identification will be checked at the entrance, and people 21 and older will receive a wristband allowing them to purchase drink tickets. About four to five food trucks also will be on the premises, according to the application.

An free evening concert, featuring the Maryland Military Band, will be in Concord Point Park, also along the water, and it starts at 7:30 p.m. The anticipated attendance is 2,000 people, according to the application.

A fireworks show, launched from a barge in the Susquehanna, is scheduled to begin when it gets dark that night, around 9:30 p.m. after the concert, according to Martin.

“We look forward to celebrating with everyone in July,” she said.

Councilwoman Carolyn Zinner praised the members of the Independence Day Commission for their hard work in coordinating the events, noting they have been working “diligently” since last year’s Independence Day celebration.

“This year, we’re hoping there’s no rain,” said Zinner — last year’s Independence Day fireworks had to be rescheduled because of the weather.

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