For some families, sitting on a blanket in the grass and looking up at a night sky filled with fireworks is a Fourth of July tradition. For others, Independence Day is best spent watching an old-fashioned patriotic parade from the comfort of a lawn chair.
In Baltimore and beyond, opportunities for celebrating the holiday either way abound. And many of the events are complemented by concerts, children's activities, craft exhibits, carnival rides and more. So pack a picnic basket, grab your blanket or chair and load the family in the car for a full day of fun. All events listed take place July 4 unless otherwise noted.
FOR THE RECORD - In last Thursday's Live section, the date of the Kiwanis Club fireworks show at Lakefront in Columbia was listed incorrectly. The show was held Sunday night. The Sun regrets the error.
Anne Arundel County
Annapolis celebrates Independence Day with a parade beginning at 6:30 p.m. It sets off from St. John's College and proceeds to the Naval Academy. At 8 p.m., the Naval Academy Band performs at Farragut Field until the fireworks begin at nightfall. The rain date for the fireworks is July 5; the parade and concert do not have a rain date. Call 410-263-1184.
Anne Arundel Community College presents an outdoor concert at Siegert Field on July 1 starting at 5:30 p.m. Anne Arundel County arts groups will perform from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m.; the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8:15 p.m. and provide music for a fireworks finale to the evening. Selections include patriotic tunes such as "Stars and Stripes Forever" and music from "Star Wars." Call 410-647-7100.
Fort George Meade
Fort Meade, off Mapes Roadin Odenton, hosts MeadeFest 2000 - a day of fun for children and adults. The day kicks off with a 5K run/walk and 1.3-mile kids course at 8 a.m. A carnival runs from noon to 1 p.m.; the U.S. Army Drill Team performs at 3 p.m.; the 389th U.S. Army Band plays at 7:30 p.m.; and fireworks are set to begin at 9:30 p.m. To register for the run/walk, call 301-677-7726. For general information, call 800-662-4012.
The city's commemoration of our country's birthday is being combined with a celebration of Harborplace's 20th anniversary. Baltimore is planning a fireworks display to top its millennium extravaganza and much more. Activities and events taking place throughout the day at the Harborplace Amphitheatre include a pie-eating contest, musical and other entertainment by a variety of acts and an antique car show and parade. The celebration begins at 11 a.m. Starting at 9:30 p.m., fireworks will be shot off from three barges in the Inner Harbor. Fireworks rain date is July 5. Call 888-BALTIMORE.
The Museum of Industry holds a holiday celebration starting at 6 p.m. Enjoy a catered meal, raffles, casino-type games, music and a great view of the Inner Harbor fireworks. Tickets are $45 for adults ($35 members), $25 for ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Proceeds benefit the museum's educational programs. Parking is free. Call 410-727-4808, Ext. 105.
What better place to celebrate the Stars and Stripes than at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, 844 E. Pratt St. On July 1 from noon to 4 p.m., come and play games, enjoy refreshments and let the children decorate their own patriotic hats. Performing a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Inde- pendence will be Alan Gephardt, portraying Francis Scott Key. Free with museum admission, $3-$5. Call 410-837-1793.
Events run from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. at Catonsville High School and on Frederick Road. Children's races and games begin at 9 a.m., parade at 3 p.m., music just before the 9 p.m. fireworks show. The rain date is July 8. Call 410-744-7042.
The Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company and the Greater Kingsville Civic Association are co-sponsoring a parade. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. with pre-parade entertainment. At 10:50 a.m., the fire company kicks off the parade at its building on Bellvue Avenue. The marchers will proceed to St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Jerusalem Road. Units include antique vehicles, bands, fire apparatus and the Ravens' mascot. Call 410-592-7385.
Oregon Ridge Park invites families to its "Star-Spangled Spectacular" July 3 and 4. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs Sousa marches and patriotic songs under conductor Daniel Hege. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door for adults; children under 12 are $7 and parking permits are $5. Rain date is July 5. Call 410-783-8000.
Everyone loves a parade! In Towson, the marchers and floats take off from Towsontown Boulevard and Bosley Avenue at 10:30 a.m. Bands and military corps will be among the units. Call 410-832-2190.
The Calvert Community Band will play patriotic music on the Patuxent riverfront from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fireworks will blast off about 9:15 p.m. Come by boat or car. Call 410-535-4583.