The Fourth of July fireworks may have gone off a little early this year with protests over parade plans in area communities, but the holiday promises to be as spectacular as in years past with festivities scheduled throughout the long weekend.
G; Following is a roundup of the major events in the area.
Baltimore will celebrate Independence Day with three days of activities at the Harborplace amphitheatre. At 5 tonight, the local Top 40/dance group Tiffany will get things started, followed at 9 by the Motown sounds of Part Harmony.
On July 4, activities at Harborplace will kick off at 11 a.m. with the a cappella group Regency. The magic and juggling of Variety Motion will entertain the crowd starting at 1:30 p.m. Then Tiffany will take the stage for an encore appearance at 4 p.m. From noon to 5 p.m., historic automobiles and hot rods will be on display in the parking lot adjacent to the Harborplace Light Street Pavilion.
At 7:30 p.m., the big band sounds of the Tom Cunningham Orchestra will warm up the crowd for the climax of the evening -- the musically choreographed fireworks display by Zambelli Internationale starting at 9:30 p.m. WNUV (Channel 54) will broadcast the display live with a simulcast by WBSB-FM (104.3). In the case of rain, the fireworks will be displayed at 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
The holiday events will conclude on Sunday with entertainment provided by Regency at 11 a.m., Probable Cause at 3 p.m. and the juggling and comedy of Disorderly Conduct starting at 5:30 p.m.
For transportation convenience, the Light Rail will run until midnight tomorrow, one hour later than usual.
For more information about the city's Fourth of July plans, call (410) 837-4636 or (800) 282-6632.
The Towson Area Fourth of July parade is scheduled to go on as planned despite a controversy over the parade committee's rejection of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes' application to participate. Themed "America, Home of the Brave," the parade will begin proceeding north on York Road from Cross Campus Drive at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Free parking will be provided at Baltimore County garages at 100 W. Susquehanna Ave., 110 W. Susquehanna Ave., 108 Ware Ave. and 115 Towsontown Blvd., with provisions for the handicapped. For more information call Kay Turner at (410) 825-9384.
Despite tension between the parade committee and a gay and lesbian veterans group that was denied permission to participate, the 46th annual Catonsville Fourth of July parade will start at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Frederick Road and Montrosse Avenue. At 9:15 p.m., the town will present a fireworks display at Catonsville High School.
In Bel Air, young fire company supporters can put down their picket signs and join in the holiday festivities. Thanks to a compromise, the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company trucks will participate in the town's annual parade tomorrow despite a dispute over an earlier request that the company limit the number of trucks in the parade. The event, which usually attracts about 50,000 spectators, will begin at 6 p.m. at routes 1 and 24. The remainder of the day's events, including a flag raising at 6:45 a.m. and a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., will take place at the Bel Air High School complex on Kenwood Avenue. A concert is scheduled for 9 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Call (410) 893-4444.
Fourth of July festivities in Columbia will begin at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Lake Kittamaqundi. Plans include a full day of musical entertainment, face painters, magicians, storytellers, games and clowns. Fireworks will begin at the lake at 9:30 p.m. and continue for one hour. Parking will be available for $3 per car. Call (301) 740-4545.
In Annapolis tomorrow at 6 p.m., an Independence Day parade will proceed through downtown, beginning on St. John's Street and ending at Gate 1 at the U.S. Naval Academy. After the parade and before the fireworks, at 9:15 p.m., the U.S. Naval Academy Band will perform on Farragut Field on the Academy grounds near the Robert Crown Sailing Center. The best viewing area for the fireworks is Farragut Field, but they can also be seen from Dewey Field and Hospital Point on the Academy grounds, the Annapolis city dock, and the Eastport (Spa Creek) Bridge. Free parking will be provided at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, off Rowe Boulevard. A free shuttle, between the stadium and downtown Annapolis, will operate from 4 p.m. until midnight.
For those looking for a celebration of classical proportions tomorrow, the Antietam National Battlefield at Sharpsburg will be host to Maryland Symphony Orchestra's seventh annual Independence Celebration. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, the orchestra will perform classical and patriotic music under the direction of Barry Tuckwell. After the concert, a fireworks display by Zambelli Internationale will entertain the crowd. For more information, call the battlefield at (301) 432-5124.