Laurel's Independence Day celebration set for July 2

  • Members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard march during a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial commemorating the 68th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. The Ceremonial Guard are grand marshals of Laurel's Independence Day parade.
Members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard march during a ceremony… (MC2 Kiona Miller, U.S. Navy )
June 22, 2011

Laurel's annual Independence Day Celebration will be held Saturday, July 2, beginning with a morning parade and ending with fireworks at dusk at Gude Park at Laurel Lakes.

The parade begins at 11 a.m., and follows a route from Sixth and Montgomery streets, to south on Fourth Street to Cherry Lane. Antique and classic cars will lead the parade and then be on display at Gude Park through 4 p.m.

Parade grand marshals follow a military theme, and include representatives from the Air Force, Army and Marine recruiting offices in Laurel. Another grand marshal is Savage resident Herculano Dias, who was a member of an all-black Ranger unit in the Korean War that parachuted behind enemy lines.

Also serving as grand marshals are members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, who perform close order drills with 1903 Springfield rifles that have a 10-inch fixed bayonet.

The lineup of field games at Gude Park begins with a horseshoe contest at 11 a.m., followed by games for all ages, including adults, from 1-3 p.m. Live music begins at 5 p.m., and the fireworks will be set off from Laurel Lake at 9:15 p.m. Cherry Lane and a section of Mulberry Street will be closed before and during the fireworks display.

Rain date, for fireworks only, is Sunday, July 3 at 9:15 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help post "No Parking" signs along the parade route. Workers will meet at the parking lot of Laurel College Center, 312 Marshall Ave., on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. (rain date is June 30) and should bring heavy-duty staple guns, spare staples and a hammer or maul. Sign up to volunteer by e-mailing

The Laurel 4th of July Committee organizes the city's annual celebration. Donations can be mailed to Laurel 4th of July Committee, P.O. Box 416, Laurel, MD 20725.

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