Weather permitting, the skies across Anne Arundel County will light up tomorrow with bursts of color as four fireworks shows bring a resounding and traditional end to a day of patriotism, parades and picnics.
Anne Arundel residents looking to celebrate the nation's 224th birthday can find festivities at Annapolis, Galesville and Fort Meade. If they'd rather stay on the water and out of highway traffic, they can park a boat off Gibson Island and catch the private enclave's fireworks.
In Annapolis, the Independence Day parade is scheduled to set off from St. John's College about 6:30 p.m. With everything from firetrucks to "Jazzercise aerobicists," the parade will pull from the best of the capital's culture, said Thomas W. Roskelly, Annapolis' public information officer.
The Naval Academy band has planned a concert for 8 p.m. at the northern corner of Farragut Field. It plans to play until the fireworks start at nightfall, a bit after 9 p.m., from a barge near the mouth of Spa Creek.
Because of multiple road closures and parking restrictions, the city will provide free parking and shuttle service at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The shuttle is scheduled to operate from 4 p.m. until midnight.
Parking will be prohibited from 5 p.m. until about 10:30 p.m. on City Dock, Main Street, Randall Street and Market Space. Parking will also be prohibited along portions of Cathedral Street, Severn Avenue, Bay Ridge Avenue, Chesapeake Avenue, and First, Second and Third streets.
In the South County community of Galesville, the colorful bombs bursting in air will be shot from a barge anchored in the West River. The fireworks display will follow a parade featuring floats, horses, bands, antique fire engines and cars, and children with decorated bikes. It will begin at 7 p.m. on Main Street.
The Fire Department said Galesville Road will be closed at 6 p.m. Parking will be available at $5 per car, with a free shuttle to the waterfront.
Those heading to Fort Meade can expect a day's entertainment, beginning with a 5K run/walk at 8 a.m., a weekend carnival starting its final day at noon, an Army Drill Team performance at 3 p.m. and a concert by the 389th U.S. Army Band at 7:30 p.m. before a fireworks finale.
The MeadeFest 2000 activities will take place off Mapes Road in Odenton.
Severna Park's annual community Fourth of July parade will begin at 10 a.m. and follow a route from St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal and Our Shepherd Lutheran churches on Benfield Road to the Park Plaza shopping center - the site of a carnival running until 1:30 p.m.
The parade is among several that include a tradition of children riding decorated bicycles.
For Gibson Island residents and their guests, the Gibson Island Corp. will have a fireworks show at 9 p.m. over the water off Mountain Point.
There will also be a bit of noisemaking well before the sun goes down. Annapolis members of the Retired Officers Association are inviting all county churches and institutions to join in a nationwide Fourth of July celebration of simultaneous bell-ringing.
They hope bells will be rung 13 times at 2 p.m., one strike for each of the original states, with a minute of preparatory ringing beforehand.
Sun staff writers Claire Adams and Amy Oakes contributed to this article.