A bang-up holiday week is in store for Anne Arundel County residents as barbecues, carnivals, parades and fireworks mark the Fourth of July.
Many communities have scheduled events throughout the week. Pasadena and Rose Haven are holding their festivals Friday and Saturday, respectively. And Fort Meade will throw a party -- including a carnival, fireworks, a talent show and a truck and auto show -- from Wednesday to Saturday.
Sticklers who believe the Fourth of July should, indeed, be celebrated on the July 4 can still wave their flags at Annapolis' annual parade and fireworks extravaganza. And this year, Annapolis organizers say, the dawn of the 1996 Summer Olympics makes celebrating independence even more meaningful.
Olympic torchbearers past and present will help usher in the nation's 220th birthday at the Annapolis parade.
Local runners who sent the torch on its way to Atlanta this year and to Los Angeles in 1984 are slated to join the parade and fireworks, which more than 50,000 people are expected to attend.
Annapolis spokesman Thomas W. Roskelly was quick to point out that the Olympics are not the theme of this year's parade but a welcome addition.
"It's Independence Day. What more of a theme do you need?" he said. "We're clearly looking for a lot of red, white and blue to be represented."
The Annapolis Independence Day Parade begins at 6: 30 p.m. on St. John's Street. It will wind through the downtown, into the Naval Academy and along the Yard, disbanding on Holloway Road near Santee Basin.
City officials suggest people watch the festivities from the governor's mansion side of College Avenue, Church Circle and all along Main Street, the Market Space and Dock Street area and on academy fields.
At 8 p.m., the Naval Academy Band will provide music at Farragut Field, followed by a fireworks display at 9: 15 p.m.
Suggested viewing areas for fireworks include the Farragut and Dewey fields on the academy grounds, the City Dock, the Eastport Bridge, the parks in Eastport and aboard boats in Annapolis Harbor.
Spectators also can watch the fireworks from the garden of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Charles Carroll House will celebrate the day with free public tours of the historic home and gardens from noon to 4 p.m. House gates will open again at 5: 30 p.m. for an 18th-century-style family picnic, with a buffet of roasted pig on the spit, Maryland Boordy wines and Celtic music, courtesy of "Ironweed." Admission for the picnic is $18 for adults, $13 for children under 12 and free admission for children under 6.
The Carroll House is in the 100 block of Duke of Gloucester St., behind St. Mary's Church. Parking will be available for Carroll House patrons. For more information, call 269-1737.
Parade spectators are urged to leave their cars at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium off Rowe Boulevard. Parking at the stadium and a shuttle to downtown Annapolis from 4 p.m. to midnight will be free.
Vehicles will be barred from downtown between 5: 30 p.m. and about 10: 30 p.m.
Parking will be prohibited on Main, Randall and St. John's streets and on the City Dock and Market Space.
It also will be prohibited between West and Franklin streets on Cathedral Street; on both sides of Severn Avenue between First and Burnside streets; between Severn and Chesapeake avenues the east side of First, Second and Third streets; the north side of Chesapeake Avenue; and the first block of Bay Ridge Avenue south of Sixth Street.
Vehicular traffic into the north side of the Eastport Peninsula will be restricted to residents between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. All streets within the boundaries of the Naval Academy, College Avenue, Duke of Gloucester Street and Compromise Street also will be restricted to area residents.
Two nights of fireworks, a carnival, talent show and auto and truck show are among the events that will brighten up McGlachlin Field at Fort Meade during the annual MeadeFest from noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
"It kind of opens up the post to the community," said Phil Strambler, director of marketing for the post. "It embraces the community and gives the feel that Fort Meade is a friendly place."
Weather permitting, fireworks at McGlachlin Field on Cooper Avenue will begin at 9: 15 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. Local entertainment includes Tre-Peace, the Meade Senior High School jazz ensemble and several country, rhythm and blues, Top 40 and rockabilly bands. The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon will perform Saturday at 7 p.m. before the fireworks finale.
Admission is free to all events, including Saturday's Auto/Truck Show and Bazaar, but patrons will have to pay for rides, games, food and beverages. Ride tickets will cost 90 cents each, or $15 for 20 tickets.
For information, call 301-677-6323.
Fireworks will shoot out of the Patapsco River as Anne Arundel County sponsors its celebration of Independence Day.