Fourth of July
Baltimore’s Fourth of July Celebration, noon-9:30 p.m. July 4, Inner Harbor, (410) 837-4636, free. Nothing says Happy Birthday America like fighting the crowds at the Inner Harbor. Spend the day eating over-priced junk food and watching a variety of entertainers perform, and then top it off by making your neck sore as you look up at the bursting colors in the sky. The fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.
Baltimore Museum of Industry’s Fourth of July Celebration, July 4, Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, ext. 144, www.thebmi.org, $35 per car, $25 for museum patrons, $5 person. The Baltimore Museum of Industry invites you to check out the Inner Harbor fireworks from their Locust Point promenade. It seems fitting to us. What better place to see a bunch things blow up than a museum dedicated to dangerous work conditions. There’s more than one way to lose a finger.
Independence Day Fireworks Cruise, 6:30-10:30 p.m. July 4, Inner Harbor, (410) 727-3113, www.harborcruises.com, $85. The Bay Lady and Lady Baltimore set off on a four-hour tour with buffets, cash bars, DJs, and yet another way to see the Inner Harbor fireworks display. Don’t forget your radio made out of coconuts, just in case.
USS Constellation Museum’s Independence Day Deck Party Picnic, 7-10 p.m. July 4, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, (410) 539-1797, www.constellation.org, $65, members $50. If you’d rather look down at the Inner Harbor crowds with disdain, hop aboard the USS Constellation for bands and barbecue. They promise that Automatic Slim and His Sensational Band will “rock the boat,” so don’t forget your motion sickness pills.
A Star-Spangled Spectacular, 8 p.m. July 4, Oregon Ridge Park, (410) 783-8000, www.baltimoresymphony.org, $15, children $7. The more sophisticated set can celebrate the Fourth of July with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as it runs through the usual patriotic suspect, including Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. There will also be fireworks and amusement for the kiddies, who would otherwise be bored out of their minds.
Accident’s Homecoming, 9 a.m.-10:p.m. July 4, Fire Hall, Accident, (301) 746-6336, www.garrettchamber.com, free. Where did Accident go? Why are we welcoming it back? Oh, it’s the name of the town. Sorry about that. Celebrate the 4th in this unfortunately named town with craft and quilt shows, music, games, a parade, and the worrisomely vague “patriotic program.”
Bay Country Festival, June 30-July 4, Sailwinds Park, Cambridge, (410) 228-7762, free. This five-night festivals includes food, carnival rides, live entertainment, and volleyball, horseshoe, and tug-of-war competitions. And if you’re feeling really competitive, enter your offspring into the Little Miss and Little Mr. Neptune contests. It’s for babies between three and nine months old, because you’re never too young to be judged.
Bel Air Independence Day, July 4, Bel Air High School, Bel Air, (410) 893-4444, free. Celebrating America’s diversity is this year’s theme for the Bel Air Independence celebration. Eat pancakes, toss horseshoes, watch amphibians race, and enjoy the evening Independence Day parade with fireworks later that night. All activities that just scream diverse to us.
Catonsville’s July 4th Celebration, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. July 4, Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-9655, www.catonsvilleweb.com, free. This event will remind you of a simpler time as you force your kids to decorate their bikes, play leapfrog, and participate in races of the wheelbarrow, sack, and egg/spoon varieties. Then check out the parade down Frederick Road and top it off with a fireworks display at Catonsville High School. With all that running around, they’ll probably be asleep before the first rocket’s red glare.
Concert on the Beach, 8 p.m. July 4, North Division Street and the beach, Ocean City, (800) 626-2326, www.ococean.com, free. Patriotic music and fireworks at the beach.
Deep Creek Fireworks Celebration, 9:30 p.m. July 4, Deep Creek Lake Area, McHenry, (301) 387-4386, www.deepcreeklakeinfo.com, free. Sorry you missed all the action when Mount Vesuvius went kerplow? Get to Deep Creek Lake and watch them launch fireworks from the top of a mountain. You’ll get the fire-raining-from-the-sky effect without worrying about being trapped in an unflattering position for centuries.
83rd Annual Barbara Fritchie Classic, 9 a.m. July 4, Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, (301)663-8333, free, Start your engines! Spend your Day of Independence watching motorcycles race at the country’s oldest flat track event. If we got them to skip it this year, how long would it take for another event to catch up?
Fireworks at Fairgrounds Park, 6-10 p.m. July 4, Fairgrounds Park, 400 N. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, (301) 739-8577, ext. 116, www.hagerstownmd.org, Watch a fireworks display with 15,966 explosions and find out how many times can you say, “Oooh” and mean it.
Fireworks Sailing Cruise, 6:30-10 p.m. July 4, Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 80 Compromise St., Annapolis, (410) 263-7837, www.schoonerwoodwind.com, $73, kids ages 12 and under $53. Only losers are landlocked on the Fourth of July. You don’t want to be a loser right? So set sail on the 74-foot schooner Woodwind for a cruise around the Severn River for food, entertainment, and an up close view of the fireworks. Think the price is too steep? Loser.
4th of July Boat Parade, July 4, Choptank River and Cambridge Creek, Cambridge, (410) 228-2142, free. Who needs inflatable cartoon characters, when you can see a parade of historic boats? Nathan of Dorchester, a Chesapeake skipjack , will lead things off. It was commissioned in 1994, but it looks wicked historic.
4th of July Celebration, 5 p.m. July 4, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, (301) 258-6350, www.ci.gaithersburg.md.us, free. Listen to music, watch fireworks, and find out who the most photogenic local 3-year-olds are when the winners of the Little Mr. and Miss Firecracker photo contest are announced.
Frederick’s 4th: An Independence Day Celebration, noon July 4, Baker Park Bandshell, 2nd and Bentz streets, Frederick, (301) 694-2489, free. Josh Gracin will be performing at Frederick’s all-day celebration. He’s the country singing Marine who got his ass-kicked by Clay Aiken on the second season of American Idol. You know that had to hurt. There will also be a volleyball tournament, a chili cook off, a best patriotic dress competition—so don’t forget your American flag short shorts—and those exploding lights in the sky everybody likes so much.
Independence Day Fireworks Cruise, 7:30-10:30 p.m. July 4, Dock Street, Annapolis, (410) 268-7601, www.watermarktours.com, $45, children $25. If you’re feeling fancy head to Annapolis and leave the hoi poloi behind by hopping on one of Watermark Cruises boats. You can listen to music from a DJ, munch on snacks, pay for your own drinks, and watch Annapolis Harbor’s fireworks display. Chances of being boarded by pirates: 2 percent.
Independence Week Festival, June 30-July 4, VFW Grounds, 355 Glede Road, Easton, (410) 822-0065, www.eastonmd.org, free. Yes, this is still the “alcohol free” festival, but don’t panic. Just eat a lot of junk food before going on the carnival rides. It’ll come out more or less the same.
Jamboree in the Park, 5-10:30 p.m. July 4, Northside Park, 127th St., Ocean City, (800) 626-2326, www.ococean.com. Celebrate Independence Day the old-fashioned way: arts and crafts, family games, and explosives. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. And when you’re done with all that wholesome fun, go make out under the boardwalk. We’ll totally cover for you.
July 4th Celebration, 6 p.m. July 4, Main Street, City Dock and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, (410) 263-7997, www.annapolis.gov, free. Annapolis offers you an old-fashioned Independence day with a parade, a U.S. Naval Band concert, and the requisite shiny lights in the sky. Leave your iPods, cell phones, digital watches, and other newfangled gear at home or risk being declared a witch by people in costumes who take stuff like this too seriously.
Pirates of the Chesapeake, 10:45-11:45 a.m. July 4, Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis, (410) 268-7601, ext.104, www.watermarkcruises.com, $13, kids ages up to 11 $8. Want to celebrate the birth of our country by being pillaged? Watermark Tours has you covered with their pirate tour. Captain Billy Baye and his sidekick Grumpy Stumpy the Crab will tell pirate tales, sing songs, and if you’re really bad, make you walk the plank. Chances of being boarded by pirates: 100 percent.
Red, White and Blue Cookout, July 2-4, Berrywine Plantations/Linganore Winecellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy, (301) 831-5889, free. Head to Mount Airy to fly kites, play frisbee and volleyball, and get totally drunk on wine. If they ask you why you’re not spitting out the wine after you taste it, tell them your mother said spitting isn’t polite.
Solomons Fireworks Celebration, starts at dusk July 4, Boardwalk Area, Solomons, (410) 326-1950, www.solomonsbusiness.com, free. We don’t know about you but all these Fourth of July events are starting to sound the same to us. Fireworks, food, music, the vague promise of fun for the whole family. This one’s on Solomon Island so if you live near there, you’re probably going anyway.
Wheaton Sparkles on the 4th, 6:30-10 p.m. July 4, Grandview Avenue and Reedie Drive, Wheaton, (240)777-8115, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/wheaton, free. The rest of the year it’s dull as dishwater, so this is probably the best time to check it out. You can also see Milkshake, former Love Riot musicians Lisa Mathews and Mikel Gehl’s band for parents who think they can get their children to stop singing Barney songs. It ain’t happening.
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