Almost 250 years after the birth of the United States, the Fourth of July means picnics, barbecues, music and, above all, fireworks. Regardless of where you are in Maryland, there will be spectacular celebrations nearby. Here's a roundup of Independence Day celebrations throughout the state:
Cumberland: The Potomac Concert Band kicks off Constitution Park's annual Independence Day celebration with an outdoor concert. There will be a fireworks display after the show. The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Constitution Park, 57 N. Liberty St. Free. Call 301-759-6635.
Annapolis: America's newest citizens are sworn in at a naturalization ceremony tomorrow at the William Paca House, once home to Maryland's signer of the Declaration of Independence. After the ceremony, the house is open until 2 p.m. for tours, music and a Revolutionary War encampment. The ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. at 186 Prince George St. Free. Call 410-267-8146 or go to annapolis.org.
Annapolis: Celebrate an old-fashioned Fourth of July in Annapolis. The parade starts at 6 p.m. tomorrow at West and Main streets. A concert by the U.S. Naval Academy Band's Electric Brigade follows at 7 p.m., preceding a fireworks display. Both events are at Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, 160 Duke of Gloucester St. Free. Go to annapolisalive.org.
Annapolis: Enjoy a DJ, snacks and a spectacular view of the fireworks today on a Watermark Cruise. Times vary, and tickets are $20-$40. Boats leave from the City Dock, 160 Duke of Gloucester St. Tomorrow's cruises are sold out. Call 410-268-7601 or go to watermarkcruises.com.
Fort McHenry: Celebrate "The Glorious Fourth! ... an Old-fashioned Fourth of July Weekend" at Fort McHenry noon-4 p.m. tomorrow. There will be a cannon firing, a musket salute, fife and drum music, period dancing, games and a 3 p.m. public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Admission is $7 for a seven-day pass; children younger than 16 are admitted free. Fort McHenry is at 2400 E. Fort Ave. Call 410-962-4290.
Inner Harbor: Spend tomorrow at the harbor celebrating America's independence. Performances by Smooth Teaze, an a capella doo-wop group, and Uptown East, a Top 40 group, are 3 p.m.-8 p.m. The U.S. Naval Academy's Ceremonial Band plays at 8:30 p.m., and the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. The free concerts take place at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, at Light and Pratt streets. Go to promotionandarts.org.
Inner Harbor: The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sanibel arrives at the Inner Harbor at 6 p.m. Saturday and departs at noon Sunday. Visitors can check out the ship 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Sunday. The Sanibel docks at the Constellation Dock on Pier 1. Free admission. Go to sailbaltimore.org.
Inner Harbor: The National Aquarium in Baltimore hosts its own Pier Party on the Fourth. Starting at 7 p.m., enjoy live music and snag a prime spot for viewing the fireworks over the harbor. Tickets are $15-$40, and advance reservations are required. The aquarium is at 501 E. Pratt St. Call 410-727-3474.
Catonsville: Catonsville hosts a full day of events on the Fourth of July, including children's games and races, live music, a grand parade at 3 p.m., a pre-fireworks musical salute, color-guard tribute and fireworks. Events start at 9:30 a.m., and the fireworks show begins at 9:15 p.m. at Catonsville High School, 421 Bloomsbury Ave. Free. Call 410-744-9655 or go to catonsvillecelebrations.org.
Cockeysville: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra returns to Oregon Ridge Park for the Fourth of July Spectacular. The orchestra's selections include Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Sousa's S tars and Stripes Forever, choreographed to a fireworks display. Concerts start at 8 p.m. tonight-Saturday at Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Road. Tickets are $9-$18. Call 410-783-8000 or go to bsomusic.org.
Dundalk: The Dundalk Heritage Associate holds its 72nd annual Independence Day Parade, including 16 bands, floats and marching units tomorrow. The parade is part of the Dundalk Heritage Fair, which runs tomorrow-Sunday. A $5 admission fee to the fair is required to see the parade, which begins at 8:30 p.m., and the fireworks show, which starts at 9 p.m. The fair is at 2700 Playfield St. Call 410-284-4022 or go to dundalkheritagefair.com.
Essex: The Eastern Yacht Club hosts a Fireworks Extravaganza over Middle River on Saturday. The club opens at 3 p.m., and the fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. The $1 admission fee benefits the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County's scholarship program. The Eastern Yacht Club is at 2330 Seneca Road. Go to mtabc.org.
Towson: The Fourth of July Parade in Towson starts at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Bosley Avenue and Towsontown Boulevard and includes a National Guard flyover, military units and floats, and bands. Fireworks are over Loch Raven Academy, 8101 LaSalle Road, at dusk. Both events are free. Call 410-832-2190.
Chesapeake Beach: Enjoy an afternoon at the Chesapeake Beach Water Park and fireworks at dusk. The water park will stay open until 10 tonight for the pyrotechnics show over the bay. Chesapeake Beach Water Park is at 4079 Gordon Stinnett Ave. Tickets are $9-$18. The park opens at 11 a.m. Call 410-257-1404 or go to www.chesapeake-beach.md.us.
Greensboro: The Greensboro Lions Club hosts a Fourth of July Games event tomorrow, including sack races, an egg toss, potato races, a softball throw and a sawdust pile. There will also be a greased pig chase for kids younger than 12, and ice cream will be served at noon. The free event is at the Charles S. Bilbrough Memorial Park on Route 480. Call 410-479-0655 or go to tourcaroline.com.
Westminster: Take a trip back in time at the Carroll County Farm Museum's old-fashioned celebration of the Fourth. The farmhouse will be open to tours noon-6 p.m. tomorrow, and there will be live entertainment all day long. The fireworks display starts at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $3-$5 noon-5 p.m. After 5 p.m., a donation of $5 per car is requested. The museum is at 500 S. Center St. Call 410-386-3880 or go to carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org.
Elkton: Listen to live music, snack on amusement-park treats and watch fireworks light up the sky at Elkton's celebration tomorrow. The fun starts at 7 p.m. at Meadow Park on Delaware Avenue. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Free admission. Call 410-620-7964.
North East: Cecil County salutes its veterans with fireworks, music and food at North East Community Park, 200 W. Walnut St. The fun starts at 5 tonight, and the fireworks begin at dusk. Free. Call 410-287-5801 or go to northeastchamber.org.
La Plata: Enjoy fireworks and fun, including pony rides, face-painting, a clown and a DJ, tomorrow at the Charles County Fairgrounds, off U.S. 301. Gates open at 5 p.m., and fireworks begin at dusk. Free. Call 301-932-1234.
Port Tobacco: Celebrate Independence Day Colonial-style, with horse-drawn carriage shuttles, a flag-raising ceremony and a keynote speech on "Players Through Time" at 10 a.m. tomorrow. The event at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site, 6655 Rose Hill Road, runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Call 301-392-1776.
Cambridge: The Choptank River festival, tomorrow-Sunday, includes performances by Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Tanya Tucker and the Drifters, a fireworks show tomorrow night and a carnival. The festival is at Sailwinds Park, 200 Byrn St. Tomorrow's activities start at 3 p.m., and the fireworks show is at 8:30 p.m. The festival starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $25-$45, $70 for a weekend pass. Call 410-228-7245 or go to sailwindscambridge.com.
Frederick: Frederick's Fourth of July celebration includes a "best patriotic dress" contest, four stages of entertainment, a chili cook-off, a pie-eating contest and beer gardens. The fireworks show starts at dusk, immediately followed by a carillon concert by John Widmann. Events start at noon tomorrow and last all day at Baker Park, 121 N. Bentz St. Free. Call 301-600-2841 or go to celebratefrederick.com.
Accident: Accident's Fourth of July Homecoming celebration includes historic walking tours, a craft fair, musical performances, hayrides and a parade. The historic Drane log cabin is also open to the public. The festivities run 9 a.m.-10 p.m. tomorrow at the South Street Complex. The parade starts at 11 a.m. Free admission. Call 301-746-6346.
McHenry: Wisp Resort celebrates the Fourth of July Hawaiian style with a luau that includes hula dancing and live music by the Tuika & Polynesian Revue, games, an outdoor grill and bar, and fireworks on the mountainside. The party is 4 p.m.-8 p.m. tomorrow at the Wisp Resort, 296 Marsh Hill Road. Tickets are $5, and reservations are recommended. Call 800-462-9477 or go to wispresort.com.
Bel Air: The Hays House Museum opens its doors tomorrow for free tours and activities, including re-enactments, to celebrate Independence Day. There will also be American history costume contests, games and music by the Catherine Street Consort. The party is 9 a.m.-noon at 324 Kenmore Ave., next to Bel Air High School. Free. Call 410-838-7691 or go to harfordhistory.net.
Bel Air: Bel Air celebrates Independence Day all day long tomorrow, with a flag-raising ceremony at 6:45 a.m., then events throughout the day, including horseshoe pitching, a hamster race and a turtle derby at Shamrock Park, at Lee Way and Hickory Avenue. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at Bond and Gordon streets, and the fireworks display is over Rockfield Ballpark, off Churchville Road. Free. Call 410-893-4444 or go to belairjuly4.org.
Havre de Grace: The Independence Celebration and Carnival runs through Saturday, when there will be a Fourth of July parade on Union Avenue at 2 p.m. There will also be a concert and fireworks at Tydings Memorial Park. The concert starts at 7 p.m., and the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Today and tomorrow, the carnival is open 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; an unlimited-ride pass costs $20. On Saturday, the carnival will be open 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; rides will be priced individually. Tydings Memorial Park is on Commerce Street. Call 410-939-4362.
Columbia: The Fourth of July Celebration at Lake Kittamaqundi kicks off at 5 p.m. tomorrow with two stages featuring live bands and a 9:30 p.m. fireworks show over the lake. The event is free. Lake Kittamaqundi is at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront, 10221 Wincopin Circle. Call 410-740-4545.
Georgetown: Watch tomorrow's decorated boat parade at the Georgetown Harbor on the Sassafras River. Trophies and prizes go to the most lavishly dressed boats. After the parade, enjoy fireworks over the Sassafras. Free. The parade starts at 5 p.m. Call 410-275-1200.
Gaithersburg: Head to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds tomorrow for a Fourth of July celebration that includes a performance by Powerhouse at 7 p.m. and a fireworks display at dusk. The fairgrounds are at 16 Chestnut St. Free. Call 301-258-6350 or go to gaithersburgmd.gov.
Rockville: Montgomery College's Rockville campus hosts Rockville's Independence Day Celebration tomorrow, with concerts by the Fugitive Brass Quintet and the Rockville Concert Band on the Stadium Stage, and Redline on the Campus Stage. The campus is at 51 Mannakee St. The concerts begin at 7 p.m., and fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Free. Call 240-314-8620 or go to rockvillemd.gov.
Takoma Park: Tomorrow's 119th Independence Celebration in Takoma Park includes a parade in the morning and an evening program featuring concerts by community members and a fireworks show. The parade begins at Carroll and Ethan Allen avenues. The evening's activities are at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road. Free. Call 301-270-6876 or go to takomapark4th.org.
Bowie: Celebrate Independence Day tomorrow with the Bowie Baysox, an Orioles' minor-league affiliate, and enjoy a two-hour picnic buffet and barbecue, a baseball game and post-game fireworks. The Baysox take on the Erie Seawolves at 6:05 p.m. The Prince George's County Stadium is at 4101 N.E. Crain Highway. Tickets are $17-$23 and include admission to the buffet, game and fireworks show. Call 301-464-4865 or go to baysox.com.
Bowie: The M&R; Band kicks off Bowie's celebration of America's birthday tomorrow. The event includes a mayor's welcome, an introduction of elected officials and a fireworks show in the evening. Activities start at 4:30 p.m., and the fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. at Allen Pond Park, 3330 Northview Drive. Free. Call 301-809-3011 or go to www.cityofbowie.org.
College Park: The University of Maryland, College Park celebrates the Fourth of July tomorrow with a free concert at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks at dark. Refreshment stands open at 5 p.m. The fun takes place at Lot 1 of the campus, off Campus Drive. Call 301-864-8877.
Greenbelt: Art projects and a sculpture garden are on display at Greenbelt's celebration of America's independence. A concert by the Greenbelt Concert Band at 7 p.m. tomorrow precedes the fireworks at dusk. The fun starts at 4 p.m. at Buddy Attick Park, 555 Crescent Road. Free. Call 301-397-2200 or go to www.greenbeltmd.gov.
Largo: Spend tomorrow at Six Flags America, and then enjoy a nighttime pyrotechnics show over Hurricane Bay in the park's Hurricane Harbor. The fireworks event is free with admission to the park, at 13710 Central Ave. Call 301-249-1500 or go to sixflags.com/america.
Laurel: Enjoy a full day of patriotic activities tomorrow at the Laurel July 4th celebration. The parade starts at 11 a.m., and there are car shows, music, games and fireworks at dusk. Events are free and held at Granville Gude Park, 8300 Mulberry St. Call 301-725-5300, ext. 44.
Chester: The Chesapeake Exploration Center celebrates Independence Day tomorrow with music, face-painting, children's rides and a magic show. The fun starts at 6 p.m. The U.S. Naval Academy Band will perform at 8:30 p.m. and will kick off the fireworks show at 9:20 p.m. with "Stars and Stripes Forever." The event is free. The Chesapeake Exploration Center is on the northwest side of Kent Narrows, off Piney Narrows Road. Call 410-758-0835 or go to discoverqueenannes.com.
Crisfield: View a dazzling fireworks show tomorrow over the Somers Cove Marina. The pyrotechnics start about 9 p.m. The marina is at 715 Broadway. Free. Call 410-968-0925 or go to crisfieldchamber.com.
St. Mary's County
Hollywood: Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra Brass Quintet perform at the Independence Day Concert on Sunday at the Sotterley Plantation. Other activities on the mansion's lawn include an auction and children's games. The concert is 1 p.m.-4 p.m. at 44300 Sotterley Lane. Admission is $10 per car. Call 301-373-2280 or go to sotterley.com.
Leonardtown: Enjoy exhibits, food and fireworks at the Freedom Fest on the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds. The party starts at 5 p.m. tomorrow and lasts until 10:30 p.m. Free admission. Call 301-475-4200, ext. 1849.
St. Michaels: A parade kicks off the Independence Day celebration, which features a grill, locally made ice cream, potato-sack and water-balloon races on the St. Michaels Museum lawn and a lecture on the town's role in the War of 1812. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m., and the museum is on St. Mary's Square. Go to tourtalbot.org.
Hagerstown: Enjoy fireworks at Fairgrounds Park tomorrow. Live entertainment begins at 6 p.m., and fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Fairgrounds Park is at 400 N. Mulberry St. Free. Go to hagerstownmd.org.
Sharpsburg: Head to the Antietam National Battlefield for the Antietam Salute to Independence Celebration on Saturday. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra plays 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and fireworks follow the concert. The battlefield's Visitor Center is 5831 Dunker Church Road. Visitors cannot park on the battlefield; they must park on designated lots off Route 34 and take a shuttle bus to the battlefield. The bus is $1; admission to the battlefield is free. Call 301-432-5124.
Downtown: Watch bands, military units, fife and drum players, drill teams, floats and national dignitaries at America's National Independence Day Parade tomorrow. The parade kicks off at 11:45 a.m. and takes place between Seventh and 17th streets on Constitution Avenue. Free. Go to july4thparade.com.
Downtown: The National Archives Building celebrates the Fourth of July with a Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony on its Constitution Avenue steps at 10 a.m. tomorrow. There will also be historical activities, meetings with people portraying historical figures like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and exhibits until 2 p.m. Free. The Archives Building is at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Go to archives.gov.
National Mall: Watch fireworks light up the National Mall, Washington Monument and Potomac River at 9:20 p.m. tomorrow. Free. Go to washington.org.
U.S. Capitol: Celebrate the Fourth of July with PBS as it hosts "A Capitol Fourth" on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol tomorrow. Actor Jimmy Smits hosts the free 8 p.m. concert, which features Huey Lewis and the News, Jerry Lee Lewis and the National Symphony Orchestra. Go to pbs.org/capitolfourth.
Mardela Springs: The Adkins Museum and Historical Complex, 106 Bratten St., hosts a Fourth of July celebration tomorrow with barbecues, contests, a tractor pull and an antique car show. The party is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 410-677-4740.
Ocean City: Join the Jamboree in the Park tomorrow for live music, carnival games, a rock-climbing wall and amusement-park snacks. The fireworks display starts at 9:30 p.m. If you would rather watch from the beach, go at 8 p.m. to hear the United States Navy Band, then watch the pyrotechnics from the shore. The Jamboree starts at 5 p.m. at the Northside Park, 125th Street and the bay, and the band plays at North Division Street and the beach. Free. Call 410-250-0125 or go to ococean.com.