With the 4th of July celebrations only days away, organizations in Roland Park and Mount Washington are both hosting fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
The Roland Park Civic League is bringing back the annual Roland Park Fourth of July Parade for its 19th year. Starting at 10 a.m. on the Fourth, families dressed in all variations of red, white and blue will march down Roland Avenue.
"We're expecting about 200 people," said Beth Hayes, office manager for the civil league. "Anyone can participate."
The parade is full of children, dogs, bicycles and wagons decorated in American flags and patriotic ribbons, Hayes said. Parade organizers will hand out red, white and blue ice pops to participants, and she is expecting many elected officials to participate again this year.
"[State] Delegate Sandy Rosenberg will be back along with Baltimore Council President Jack Young, to name a few," Hayes said.
Rosenberg will continue the tradition of reading the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence on the Roland Park Library steps to start the festivities. Once he finishes, the fire department's fire engine will lead the parade from the library down Roland Avenue to the Roland Park Presbyterian Church. At the end of the parade, firefighters will open the nearest fire hydrant and spray anyone who needs to cool down.
"My favorite part of the parade is seeing the kids laughing and running through the water at the end," Hayes said.
More information about the Roland Park parade, which will be held rain or shine, can be found at rolandpark.org.
Families in Mt. Washington can participate in their own parade for the 17th year running — the Spirit of Mount Washington Independence Parade. Sponsored by the Mount Washington Improvement Association, the parade is known for the creative 4th of July costumes imagined each year.
"We have this professional mountain biker in the community, and one year their whole family dressed as the forefathers," said Emily Shaw, vice president of the association. "They even turned their bike into George Washington's boat."
This year, three local centenarians from the Springwell Senior Living Community will lead the parade.
"We will be showing our respects for them," Shaw said.
The rain-or-shine parade on the Fourth is organized by a planning committee affectionately known as the "Parade Divas," Shaw said. The group of women spends most of the year meeting and organizing the event. Businesses such as Whole Foods donate lemon sticks and watermelon, neighbors bake cupcakes and the Mount Washington Swimming Club opens its pool for a free swim.
"The whole community is planning to contribute in their own way," Shaw said.
During the parade, expect to see stilt walkers, hula hoopers and a magician walk by. Local firefighters will be present, and Paul Yutzy is also scheduled to return with his band the Giggmohr Brothers. A camera shooter will be taking pictures of parade walkers for a photo costume contest, and the winners will be featured in the community newsletter.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the Springwell Senior Living Community on West Rogers Avenue and will end at the same location. More information about the parade can be found on the Mount Washington Improvement Association website at mwia.org.