From July 2 to July 4, 2022 a host of events will occur around the beltway to celebrate America’s birth. A list of local festivities has been compiled below. Independence Day, otherwise known as the Fourth of July, is commonly a time to reflect on the passage of the Declaration of Independence. Celebrations mark this country’s separation from the British Empire in 1776. The Library of Congress reported online that “observing Independence Day only became commonplace after the War of 1812.” Although a law made Independence Day a federal holiday in June of 28, 1870, some African Americans have struggled with celebrating it.
Many African Americans were still enslaved when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist and orator who pointed out the hypocrisy of slavery’s existence in America, since the Founding Fathers of the Declaration of Independence who upheld the ideas of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” in it skipped the reality that enslaved people lacked these same rights. Frederick Douglass’ descendants recreated his famous “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” July 5, 1852 address in a presentation offered by The Smithsonian. Please visit https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/nations-story-what-slave-fourth-july to hear them.
It is also noteworthy to mention that the Banneker Institute of Philadelphia, located in Pennsylvania, “urged African Americans to celebrate Independence Day while bearing witness to the inconsistencies between the ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the practice of slavery” in 1859, per The Library of Congress. Jacob C. White Jr. was cited as the Chairman of the meeting who “promised his audience a brighter future.” Remarks were extracted from a rare book called “The Celebration of the Eighty-Third Anniversary of the Declaration of American Independence.” Since African Americans contributed to this Nation’s story, a positive aspect of the holiday can be marked by a mixture of celebration and education.
On Saturday, July 2 from 5 p.m.- 10 p.m. enjoy Dinner Under the Stars in Annapolis, Md. under a canopy of white lights. Live music and art demonstrations will be held under the backdrop of an open-air café feel. Please note that West Street’s first block in downtown Annapolis will be closed to traffic on Wednesday evenings and some Saturday evenings this summer. Visit https://www.visitannapolis.org/events/annual-events-and-festivals/4th-of-july/ for more information.
Take a tour of one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence’s home and garden to find out more about William Paca. A Historic Annapolis 4th of July Celebration will be held at the William Paca House and Garden, located at 186 Prince George Street in Annapolis, Md. from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on July 3, 2022. General admission prices range from free to $12 per person. See https://www.visitannapolis.org/event/historic-annapolis-4th-of-july-celebration-william-paca-house-and-garden/9770/ for details.
A parade will be held in Annapolis on Monday, July 4 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., beginning at Amos Garrett and West St. It will head down West Street, proceed the wrong way around Church Circle, then continue down Main St. Fireworks launching from a barge are scheduled from 8 – 9:45 p.m. The USNA Blues & Gold Independence Day Concert, located at Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, will be provided by The United States Naval Academy Band and others at Annapolis City Dock at 8:00 p.m. Plan parking options accordingly. Traffic is expected. See https://www.visitannapolis.org/events/annual-events-and-festivals/4th-of-july/.
Celebrate America’s independence with bands, classic cars, the Color Guard and more activities from 8 – 2 p.m. A parade is scheduled to be held at 12:30 p.m. in downtown Arbutus. Visit https://arbutus.org/4th-of-july/ for more details.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
Fourth of July festivities and fireworks are returning to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. The Navy Band Commodores at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater kick off a concert at 4 p.m. Street performers and activities will occur along the promenade on July 4. A spoken word performance of Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” will be held at 7:30 p.m. A few featured activities include a 9:30 p.m. orchestra performance followed by a 13-minute fireworks display. Read the full line up presented by The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore (WPB) via https://baltimore.org/event/baltimore-4th-of-july-celebration/ .
The Six Flags July 4th Fest, presented by Coca-Cola, will be held at Six Flags America, located at 13710 Central Ave in Bowie, Maryland from July 2-4 p.m. All-day rides, music and fireworks displays starting at 9:30 p.m. in Gotham City are included in admission. Visit https://www.sixflags.com/america/events/4th-of-july-weekend . Check one-day ticket prices online.
Attend the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s event at Oregon Ridge Park, located at 13555 Beaver Dam Rd., Cockeysville, Md. for their annual Star-Spangled Spectacular on Sunday, July 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. Patriotic favorites, a violin performance and a spoken word artist will be included. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Ticket prices range from $15 -$25 per person. A fireworks display is included. Visit https://baltimore.org/event/star-spangled-spectacular-at-oregon-ridge-park/ for more information.
A 20-minute July 4th fireworks event will be held at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia, Md. at approximately 9:20 p.m. on July 4, 2022. Park free of charge at The Mall in Columbia. Little Patuxent Parkway may close by 7 p.m. due to traffic. Visit https://www.howardcountymd.gov/july-4th-fireworks to find out more details.
Dundalk’s 4rth of July Fireworks is scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m. on July 4th at Grange Elementary. See https://www.dundalkheritagefair.com/fireworks/ for more information.
An Independence Day Celebrations in Edgewater will be held on July 2, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at American Legion Cummings-Behlke Post 226 in Edgewater, located on 830 Mayo Rd. A 12:00 p.m. parade is scheduled. A fireworks display will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. Other activities will be held during the day. Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/post226/posts/5376946688994987/ for details.
Fort McHenry National Monument
Visit the historic landmark, Fort McHenry, located at 2400 East Fort Ave. in Baltimore to learn more about where our national anthem was born. Check admission prices and hours online. Confirm that Independence Day hours will be from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 pm. On July 4rth, 2022 and that ticket prices will begin at $15 per person. See https://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm for more information.
On July 3 at 9 p.m., Glen Burnie Improvement Association will host an annual fireworks display at Sawmill Creek Park on Dorsey Rd. The event’s rain date is Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Visit https://www.facebook.com/GlenBurnieImprovementAssoc/posts/10159707317312931 for parking information and more details.
The City of Laurel’s 43rd Annual Independence Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, 2022 from 2:00 – 10 p.m. in the Laurel Lakes area. Enjoy a parade, car show, music, and a closing fireworks portion at 9:15 p.m. The car show will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Granville Gude Park (Laurel Lake) at 8300 Mulberry St. See https://www.laurel4th.org/ for details.
Towson’s 4th of July parade commences at 10:30 a.m. at Bosley and Burke Avenues on July 4rth. See https://www.towsonparade.com/faq to read more information.