Getting a head start on the Fourth


There are plenty of places to see fireworks, hear great live music and eat barbecue favorites in the week ahead.

For those looking for an educational experience, several places offer historical re-enactments and readings of the Declaration of Independence. Here is a sampling of July 4th happenings all over Maryland and Washington, including places where the party starts early this weekend.



The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's Fourth of July spectacular takes place Saturday at Anne Arundel Community College. The alcohol-free family event starts at 6:30 p.m. with jazz from the Rob Levit Trio. The ASO begins at 8 p.m. and a 20-minute fireworks finale follows at Siegert Field, 101 College Parkway. Rain date is Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Call 410-269-1132 or go to


Take a minicruise off the city dock Monday or Tuesday for an unobstructed view of the fireworks. Snacks and a cash bar will be on board, and a DJ will entertain on the Fourth. The boats will board at 7:15 p.m. and cruise from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets for Monday are $20-$40. Tickets for Tuesday are $25-$45. 410-268-7601, ext. 104.

On Tuesday, the William Paca House Independence Day celebration starts with a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens 11:30 a.m.-noon. From noon to 5 p.m., families can hear live music, talk to Revolutionary War re-enactors, make patriotic crafts and sign their own Declaration of Independence, which will be read at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Free. The Paca House is at 186 Prince George St. 410-267-8146 or

An Independence Day parade will begin at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Amos Garrett Boulevard. A performance by the Taiwanese Girls High School Band in front of the Market House is after the parade. The Naval Academy Band will play at Susan C. Campbell Park at the City Dock at 8 p.m. Fireworks are at 9:15 p.m. in Farragut Field on the Naval Academy yard. Park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium off Rowe Boulevard. A free shuttle will go between the stadium and downtown (Lawyer's Mall). Rain date for fireworks is Wednesday. 410-263-7996.


The city's Independence Day celebration begins at noon Tuesday at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre at Light and Pratt streets with street performers. Evening entertainment starts in the same place with piano duo Double Edge at 5:30 p.m. Cover band Radiant plays at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and can be seen from several places in the city, including Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton and Rash Field. 877-225-8466 or

Top of the World Observation Level at the World Trade Center, 401 E. Pratt St., will be open Tuesday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the fireworks display will go on sale at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and military and $3 for children ages 3-12. 410-837-8439 or

Munch on barbecue and listen to Automatic Slim and His Sensational Band at the Constellation Museum's sixth annual Independence Day Deck Party Picnic from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Wine and beer will be served, and ship tours and cannon demonstrations will be given. The ship offers a view of the fireworks away from the crowds. Tickets are $65 for adults and $25 for children 14 and younger. Kids 5 and younger are admitted free. Call 410-539-1797, ext. 422 or visit

The Baltimore Museum of Industry will give tours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The grounds will remain open until 10 to allow guests to watch the fireworks from its waterfront vantage point. There will be a moon bounce and other activities for kids. Tickets are $40 if you park on-site and $5 if you park elsewhere. 410-727-4808, ext. 133 or

The USS Fort McHenry, a 610-foot-long dock landing ship, will visit Fort McHenry for the first time this weekend as part of the fort's festivities. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the fort will have cannon firings, patriotic sing-alongs, historic speeches and readings of the Declaration of Independence. Ship's crew will display fire-fighting equipment, tactical gear and weapons from the ship Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A free concert from the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is Saturday at 6 p.m. Admission is $5; kids 16 and younger are admitted free. Fort McHenry is at 2400 E. Fort Ave. 410-962-4290.



Tuesday's festivities start at 9:30 a.m. with children's games at Catonsville High School. A concert at Christian Temple is at 11 a.m. The parade starts at 3 p.m. at Frederick Road and Montrose Avenue. A concert is at 6:30 p.m. A tribute to veterans is at 9 p.m. At 9:15 p.m. the 45-minute fireworks show starts. 410-744-9655 or


On Monday and Tuesday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra brings its Star-Spangled Spectacular to Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road. The grounds open at 5 p.m. for kids to check out the moon bounce, super slide, rock wall, face painting and magician. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and ends with a choreographed fireworks show both days. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and younger, and tickets at the gate are $17 and $8. On-site parking is limited and costs $10 at the gate or $8 in advance from the Meyerhoff ticket office. 410-783-8000 or


The Dundalk Heritage Fair runs tomorrow through Sunday at Heritage Park on Playfield Road between Dundalk Elementary and the old Dundalk Shopping Center, noon-9:30 p.m. each day. The fair has three stages of music, arts and crafts, kids activities and a beer garden. Music headliners include New Money and Ronnie Dove at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Bellamy Brothers at 8 p.m. Saturday and the Lettermen at 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, children 12 and younger are free. On Tuesday, the Independence Day parade starts at 8:15 a.m. at the Logan Village Shopping Center on Dundalk Avenue. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. at the North Point Government Center and Grange Elementary School grounds, Merritt Boulevard and Wise Avenue. 410-284-4022 or


The 26th Independence Day parade starts at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday at the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company on Bellvue Avenue. Judges will give several awards to parade participants. 410-592-7385.


A parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday with a flyover by four A-10 Warthogs from the Air National Guard 104th Fighter Squadron. The parade starts at Towsontown Boulevard and Bosley Avenue, going north on Bosley Avenue, east on Allegheny Avenue and south on Washington Avenue. 410-832-2190.

The Hampton Improvement Association's Fourth of July Parade will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Gateshead Road and Seminary Avenue and end at the farmhouse visitor center. Follow the parade on bike, scooter, skateboard, antique car or foot. The Declaration of Independence will be read and a tour of the farm property will be given. Light refreshments will be served, and a magician will entertain younger guests. 410-823-1309 or visit



The Carroll County Farm Museum will open at noon Tuesday and will have music, games, food, crafts and farmhouse tours. Families are encouraged to bring picnic food and tour the museum. No pets or alcoholic beverages are permitted. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older and kids 7-18; children 6 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult. After 5 p.m., admission is $5 per car. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. The museum is at 500 S. Center Drive. 410-876-2667.


North East

The Salute to Cecil County Veterans Celebration will be held on Monday in North East Community Park. The Upper Chesapeake Community Band will play at 6:45 p.m. There will be a flag raising at 8 p.m. and recognition of active duty personnel and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom at 8:10 p.m. At 8:15 p.m., the 389th U.S. Army Band will play. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m., and there will be a variety of food vendors. Alcoholic beverages, dogs and sparklers are prohibited. 410-287-5801.


The Washington Monument Grounds on the National Mall hosts the annual Fourth of July fireworks display 9:10 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The National Archives, despite being closed through Monday due to flooding, reopens for a day of patriotic activities Tuesday. From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. there will be a call to order, presentation of colors and reading of the Declaration of Independence. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., re-enactors will impersonate historical figures including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Freeman. 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater, there will be an "American Conversation" between Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and a Thomas Jefferson re-enactor. The National Archives building is on Constitution Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets Northwest. 866-272-6272 or


City of Frederick

From noon to dusk on Tuesday, Baker Park will have music and outdoor activities for all ages. Festivities start at noon with a patriotic opening ceremony. Music will be playing throughout the day on four stages, featuring a variety of local acts as well as Great Train Robbery and former Bad Company lead singer Brian Howe. Kids can participate in pony rides, crafts, a petting zoo, a dunk tank, video game tournaments and can make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There will be a chili cook-off, a pie-eating contest, volleyball tournament, canoes, paddles boats, kayaks and a rock-climbing wall. Admission is free, but there are charges for food and certain activities. 301-694-2489 or celebrate


Bel Air

Head to Bel Air High School at 6:45 Tuesday morning for a flag-raising. A blueberry pancake and sausage breakfast is from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Family entertainment throughout the day includes a hamster race, turtle derby and frog jumping contest. The Bel Air Community Band will play at 8:15 p.m. and fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. Breakfast is $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than 10. The rain date for the concert and fireworks is Wednesday. 410-893-4444 or



Go to Lake Kittamaqundi at the Lakefront of Columbia on Tuesday to shop for homemade crafts and toys, get 3-D fireworks glasses and hear live music from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Parking is $10 at the lakefront starting at 11 a.m. and $5 at Merriweather Post Pavilion starting at 6 p.m.

Ellicott City

The Greater Columbia Musical Independence Day Observance will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4100 St. Johns Lane. The evening features the Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C., Ellicott Brass, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Men's Chorus of the First Baptist Church of Guilford. The event is free. 301-483-6106.



The Montgomery County Fairgrounds will open at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Retrospect will take the stage at 7 p.m. and play until the fireworks start at dark. Food, blinking flags and glow sticks will be sold. No alcohol, glass containers, inline and conventional skates, bikes, pets or fireworks will be allowed into the fairgrounds. Free. Rain date for the concert and fireworks is Wednesday. The fairgrounds are at 16 Chestnut St. 301-258-6350, ext. 129 or

Mont. Village

Festivities will take place on Tuesday at Montgomery Village. At 7 a.m., a 5K run and one-mile walk start at the Lake Marion Community Center, at 8821 E. Village Ave. Registration for the parade will be 8:45 a.m.-9:30 a.m. at the Apple Ridge Ballfield. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the ballfield and ends at the Apple Ridge Pool and Recreation Center. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the pool and recreation center will have carnival games, a moon bounce, bingo, food and entertainment. 301-948-0110 or


Montgomery College's Rockville campus celebrates with an evening of music featuring the Dixieland Express of Maryland, the Rockville Concert Band and the J Street Jumpers. Music starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday and fireworks start at 9 p.m. Free. The campus is at 51 Mannakee St. Parking is available on campus and at Mannakee Street and Route 355. 240-314-5022 or

Takoma Park

The 117th Takoma Park Independence Day Celebration starts at 10 Tuesday morning with a parade starting at Ethan Allen and Carroll avenues and continuing past City Hall to Maple and Sherman avenues. The concert and fireworks begin at 7:30 p.m. at Lee Jordan Field, next to Takoma Park Middle School. 301-650-6444.


On Tuesday, at Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Mill Road in Kensington, there will be children's entertainment from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Free shuttle buses will go between the school and the Westfield Wheaton Mall and the Wheaton Metro station beginning at 6:15 p.m. Rain date for fireworks is Wednesday. Alcohol is prohibited. Free. 240-777-8115.


College Park

The Daryl Davis Band plays in Lot 1 at the University of Maryland campus, off Adelphi Road, at 7 p.m. Tuesday. A 30-minute fireworks display starts at dark. Concession stands will sell food starting at 5 p.m.


Six Flags America offers a night of fireworks and live jazz. Bona Fide featuring Slimman and Tyris will perform on the Subway Stage in the Hurricane Water Park at noon Tuesday. Fireworks start at dusk. Six Flags America is at 13710 Central Ave. in Mitchellville. Adult tickets are $34.99-$49.99 and children 3 and younger are free. 301-249-1500 or



Tuesday, Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, perform at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium at 7 p.m. There will be fireworks after the concert. Tickets are $35.50-$47.50, plus a $2 facility fee. The show is rain or shine. 410-219-3112 or



The Ocean Pines Independence Day fireworks extravaganza is at Ocean Downs Racetrack, 10218 Racetrack Road. The event includes music from Frank Nana, a clown and a horserace game. The event begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, with fireworks at dusk. Admission and parking are free. 410-641-0600 or

Ocean City

Jamboree in the Park happens downtown and uptown Tuesday. The Inlet downtown will have line dances, live music, comedy shows and clowns starting at 8 p.m. Food and games start at 5 p.m. uptown at the 125th Street pier. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. 410-250-0125.

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