Fourth of July is here, and no Independence Day celebration is complete without a killer fireworks display. Although Baltimore City has once again suspended the celebration at the Inner Harbor this year due to COVID-19, there are still plenty of places around town to socially distance outside while watching a dazzling display light up the summer sky.
So pack a picnic, claim your spot, and celebrate America’s 245th birthday at one of these neighborhood gatherings:
Catonsville: Break out those lawn chairs. Now in its 75th year, Catonsville’s Fourth of July festival is making a grand comeback on July 3rd to celebrate the birth of our nation. Leading up to the fireworks, there will be concerts, games, all-ages activities, and the annual grand parade—for which locals traditionally set out their lawn chairs along Frederick Road days in advance—to look forward to throughout the day. The Grand Fireworks Show will kick off at 9:30 p.m. on the Catonsville High School Athletic Fields. 5574 Valley Rd, Catonsville.
Dundalk: The Dundalk Heritage Fair Association is bringing back its 45-year-old community gathering this year with local performances, karaoke, and even inflatable obstacle courses for kids. The fireworks will blast off on July 5th surrounding Grange Elementary School around 9:15 p.m. 2000 Church Rd, Dundalk.
Columbia: Hosted by Howard County Recreation & Parks, the county’s annual July 4th fireworks display will return to the Columbia Lakefront on Independence Day. If you are driving there, free public parking is available at the Mall in Columbia. The party will kick off with live music at 5:00 p.m. before the 20-minute fireworks spectacular lights up the sky around 9:20 p.m. You can arrive as early as 3:00 p.m. to lay out your blankets and claim a spot. Wincopin Cir, Columbia
Bel Air: This year, Bel Air’s Fourth of July celebration is placing an emphasis on honoring our healthcare heroes. The all-day funfair—which will feature everything from horseshoe pitching and water balloon tossing to bike decorating and the annual parade—will start with flag-raising ceremonies in the morning and culminate with the blazing fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m. You can watch the sparks fly from any permitted area in or around the town.
Westminster: Head to the Carroll County Farm Museum to partake in this annual summer soiree. Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. on July 4, followed by fireworks around 9:30 p.m. While you wait, grab a free children’s activity booklet and treats from on-site vendors including The Cow (Italian ice and frozen custard), Johnson Family Funnel Cakes (deep-fried Oreos), and Kona Ice (snowballs.) Admission is $5 per vehicle, and groups can feel free to bring their own coolers with snacks and (non-alcoholic) drinks. 500 South Center St, Westminster.
Annapolis: Following Naptown’s parade on July 3, the Downtown Annapolis fireworks will launch over the harbor on July 4th starting at 9:15 p.m. For the best viewing experience, head to public spaces northeast of the Severn River, City Dock, the Naval Academy Bridge (be aware of limited parking), or park spaces facing Spa Creek. Or, even better, you can board a boat and get a front-row seat to watch the show on the water.
If you’re feeling adventurous and able to travel further:
Mount Airy: The 2021 Mount Airy Fireworks will sparkle on July 3rd at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds. The event is free to the public, and you can bring your chairs, pop-up tents (tents must be taken down by 8:30 p.m.), blankets, and coolers with food. Or you can indulge in some fairground treats from an array of food trucks onsite. The gates will open at 4 p.m., followed by live music at 5 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 1008 Twin Arch Rd, Mount Airy
Washington, D.C.: What’s more exciting than celebrating the nation’s birthday at its capital? Hosted by the National Park Service, the July 4th fireworks will ascend into the sky atop the National Mall—the nation’s most important civic space—at 9:09 p.m. from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Before the fireworks, you can also enjoy the 41st-annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert (pre-recorded due to the pandemic) on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Ocean City: If you are heading downee’ ocean for the long weekend, be sure to save time for Ocean City’s July 4th Music & Fireworks. This year, OC will celebrate Independence Day in style with two fireworks and music shows happening downtown and uptown simultaneously. The showtime for both locations will be 9:30 p.m. on July 4th. Downtown: On the beach at N Division St. Uptown: 200 125th St. Ocean City.
Rock Hall: If you are on the Eastern Shore, visit Rock Hall Harbor on July 3rd to watch the holiday fireworks presented by Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company (which is accepting donations to fund the event). The fireworks will take place at 9:15 p.m.