There will be plenty of activities Friday in Howard County to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The county government has stepped in to sponsor the celebration at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia's Town Center.
The Kiwanis Club of Columbia announced this year that it no longer had the members or resources to sponsor the event.
The lakefront activities begin at 4:30 p.m. and will include music, food vendors and games. Two entertainment stages will be set up. Scheduled to perform on the main stage are the Patty Reese Band (4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m), The Players Band (6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) and Damon Foreman & Blue Funk (8 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.).
The fireworks display is slated to start at 9:30 p.m. The rain date is Sunday for fireworks only.
Besides the downtown activities, three communities will hold parades. The River Hill parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Clarksville Middle School and travels along Great Star Drive to Signal Bell Lane.
At 10 a.m., the Longfellow parade begins between Longfellow Elementary School and the Longfellow pool entrance. The annual starting point in the elementary school's parking lot had to be moved because of construction, which also will affect parking. The parade will go down Hesperus Drive and end at Eliot's Oak Road.
The 38th annual Fourth of July neighborhood softball game between Eliot's Oak Nuts and Hesperus Wrecks is scheduled to start shortly after noon at the Cedar Lane ballpark behind Harper's Choice Middle School.
The Allview parade is slated to start at noon at Atholton Park and travel along Westleigh and Greenleigh drives.
All county government offices, courts, libraries, the animal shelter and the landfill will be closed Friday in observance of Independence Day. Trash on Friday pickup routes will be collected Saturday. Recycling usually picked up on Fridays will be picked up July 11. County parking meters are free July 4. Howard Transit and Connect-a-Ride will be running limited routes. For schedule information, call 1-800-270-9553. Police, fire and the 911 Center remain open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. For emergencies, call 911; for nonemergencies, call 410-313-2200.