It's that 'oooooh' and 'aaaah' time again

July 02, 1993|By Mike Giuliano | Mike Giuliano,Contributing Writer

Baltimoreans are so accustomed to watching fireworks at the Inner Harbor that some of the folks looking skyward Sunday night may have been fixed in that position since New Year's Eve. And there will also be skyward-directed oohs and aahs unleashed all over the state this weekend. Because July 4 falls on a Sunday this year, many of the parades, festivals and fireworks around Maryland are spread out from tonight through Monday.

Some of these public get-togethers can get really congested, but isn't that essentially why we go? If you plan a bit, you may be able to secure yourself a prime spot to plant your picnic basket. Then again, even with the best planning you may find yourself yet again at the edge of the crowd squinting to see all but the highest explosions, then driving home in traffic jams where the only racing is being done by little mouths saying they want to go home -- and right now.

Inner Harbor

The biggest crowds -- we're talking 200,000 people here, folks -- head to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The Harborplace promenade toward the Maryland Science Center side offers good, unobstructed views of the noisy action Sunday night. For a more elevated view, hotel lounges ringing the harbor are good choices. Further away, there are hilltop and rooftop possibilities in such neighborhoods as Federal Hill, Fells Point, Mount Vernon, Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill.

Inner Harbor festivities are a three-day bash, with most of the events at the Harborplace amphitheater. Today the a cappella group Regency sings from noon to 2 p.m., with Top 40 by Eddie Brooks from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., jazz by Cabo Frio from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and comedy and juggling by Jerry Rowan from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

On Saturday, reggae performer Eddi Salim and the Top 40 band Caglo Mac play from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with magic and comic juggling by Barry Wood from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Ron Petride jazz quintet from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and an encore appearance by Regency from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

On Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., there is an antique and classic vehicle rally on the parking lot next to the Light Street Pavilion. And, at the amphitheatre, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., watch dance by the Breeze Team, followed by country and bluegrass by the Gillis Brothers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., singing from Kids Around the World from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the Maryland National Guard 229th Army Band from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Inner Harbor fireworks start Sunday at 9:30 p.m., with Zambelli Internationale handling the incendiary honors. Rain date July 5 also at 9:30 p.m.

For your commuting convenience, the Metro will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and the light rail will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

If you're home and still want to be part of the harbor scene, WNUV-TV (Channel 54) broadcasts live and there is a radio simulcast by WVRT-FM (104.3).

For more information about the city's Fourth of July, call (410) 837-4636 or (410) 752-8632.

For a guaranteed Inner Harbor perch, you may want to check out the Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway, [410] 727-4808), which has a "Picnic on the Pier" on Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hot dogs and soda will be served, with visitors invited to supplement these by taking a picnic supper. General admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children (admission for museum members is $7.50 for adults, $3.50 for children). Parking is free. The museum's galleries are open that evening until 8:30 p.m. to remind us of the days when the harbor was a place to work, not a place to play.

Baltimore County

The Inner Harbor isn't the only crowded place to be this weekend. As many as 200,000 of us are expected to gather for the Towson parade, which kicks off Monday at 10:15 a.m. from York Road and Burke Avenue. Parade participants include the Handel Choir, Baltimore Colts Marching Band, a Mummers string band from Philadelphia, and even a band from Ontario called the Redcoats.

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. Call (410) 825-9384.

A nocturnal tradition for more than 20 years in Towson has been to head to the parking lot of Luskin's (1125 Cromwell Bridge Road, [410] 321-4446) to watch the fireworks display that'll be sent up once again Sunday around 8:30 p.m. Because of the store's setting atop a steep hill, its fireworks can be seen in much of the Towson area. "People watch them from their back yards all over Towson," says Jody Stylc, an assistant buyer at the store. "As early as April we get calls from people saying they're planning their cookouts and want to know if we're doing fireworks again."

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