Education & Family

Where to Watch Fireworks Light Up the Sky This Weekend

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, there are plenty of shimmering light shows happening around town.

No Independence Day is complete without fireworks. And after last year’s COVID-19-spawned suspension of the Inner Harbor display, we’re ready for some smoky, sparkling action. Thankfully, with the Fourth of July just around the corner, there are plenty of shimmering light shows happening around town to help you make the most of the long weekend. Below, check out our master guide to help you get in on a slice of summer fun.

Annapolis: Following Naptown’s parade on July 3, the Downtown Annapolis fireworks will launch over the harbor on July 4th starting at 8 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. 

Bel Air: This year, Bel Air’s Fourth of July celebration is placing an emphasis on honoring our local educators. 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 town. 

Catonsville: Break out those lawn chairs. Now in its 76th year, Catonsville’s Fourth of July festival is making a grand comeback on July 4. 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.

Cherry Hill: At the the neighborhood’s annual music and art fest—this time around honoring the Eastern Shore’s beloved Harriet Tubman and her bicentennial birth year—spend the holiday enjoying food trucks, fireworks, showcases, and small vendors in South Baltimore. Middle Branch Park, Baltimore.

Cockeysville: As always, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra honors America on July 3 with a jaw-dropping firework show and performance at Cockeysville’s Oregon Ridge Park. Spread a blanket on the lawn to hear patriotic tunes such as Leonard Bernstein’s “America” (as featured in the 1957 West Side Story musical by Stephen Sondheim), Morton Gould’s “American Salute,” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Summer” from The Four Seasons. 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville.

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 6:00 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

Dundalk: The Dundalk Heritage Fair Association is bringing back its time-honored community gathering this year with local performances, karaoke, and even an inflatable obstacle courses for kids. The fireworks will blast off on July 4th at the North Point Government Center around 9:15 p.m. 1747 Merritt Blvd, Dundalk.

Harbor Point: Head to Sandlot to enjoy the twinkly fireworks with High Noon seltzers, music set to last from noon to 10 p.m., and mouthwatering food truck bites from eateries such as Pizza di Joey and Red’s Smokehouse. 1299 Dock St., Baltimore.

Inner Harbor: In our book, there’s no place like home when it comes to enjoying the Fourth. After taking a predicted pandemic hiatus, the city’s annual display is back in full force. Head to the Inner Harbor early for some picnic dining; music by our Navy’s oldest band, The Navy Commodores; a monologue by spoken word artist Wordsmith; a performance by the BSO at Rash Field Park; and more festivities leading up to the fireworks around 9:30 p.m. 300 Key Highway, Baltimore.

Mount Airy: The 2022 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 around 9:30 p.m. 1008 Twin Arch Rd, Mount Airy

Westminster: Head to the Carroll County Farm Museum to partake in this annual summer soiree. Gates will open at 4 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 2 Bold Chefs (Mediterranean.) 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.

If you’re feeling adventurous and able to travel further:

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 42nd-annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert (hosted by Grammy-nominated country singer Mickey Guyton) on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall, Washington, D.C. 

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.