A community celebration Anne Arundel County: From rare BSO visit to fireworks, July 4 meant to be shared by all.

July 03, 1996

THE FOURTH OF JULY is the one national holiday Americans love to celebrate as a community. Whether by parade, picnic or )) musical performance, we have the opportunity to gather and commemorate the day that marks the beginning of our novel experiment in democracy.

Even though Independence Day is tomorrow, celebrations in Anne Arundel County kicked off last Saturday with a music, dance and fireworks spectacle sponsored by the county's Cultural Arts Foundation. Despite the threat of rain, 4,000 people ventured to Anne Arundel Community College's Siegert Field in Arnold. They were treated to a first-class cultural event.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was the headliner. It had been six years since the last BSO performance in Anne Arundel. Its rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" made the wait worthwhile. With a superb sound system, digitally synthesized cannons and colorful rocket bursts, the orchestra successfully conveyed the composer's triumphal theme. If that wasn't enough excitement, the symphony performed John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" as an encore with another volley of fireworks.

Performances by the Crabtowne Big Band, Annapolis Chorale and the Ballet Theatre of Annapolis demonstrated that top-flight talent flourishes close to home, too.

Tomorrow, an evening parade in the state capital, a concert by the U.S. Naval Academy Band and a fireworks display will provide a full evening of entertainment. If past years are any indication, hordes of people will flock to downtown Annapolis and the academy sea wall.

Friday brings more fireworks, at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena. And for those who can't get enough celebration, the Chesapeake Cultural Arts and Herrington Harbour Marina Resort in Rose Haven on Saturday will sponsor a swim, picnic, music and dance extravaganza.

When strapped for money, local governments sometimes threaten to drop these shows. They make such budgetary cuts at their own peril. Without these community events, this particular holiday wouldn't feel right. The Fourth resonates with special meaning when we assemble to revel in this country's good fortune.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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