Is there anything more fun, more moving and more important than a hometown Fourth of July parade? Whether joining the parade or watching it, we celebrate our independence as a nation and as a people.
Across the land, communities large and small decorate themselves, their dogs and conveyances from baby buggies to trikes and bikes to convertibles, tractors, fire engines and floats. In a partnership of faith and delight, we join as one entity united by shared purpose.
–Sandra Olivetti Martin
From Amos Garrett Blvd., down West St., around Church Circle and down Main St. Parade at 6:30pm, fireworks at 9:15pm (Main St. and Spa Creek Bridge closed 6-10pm), Downtown Annapolis: www.annapolis.gov.
The state capital bursts with patriotic pride every Independence Day with a parade, music by the USNA Concert Band at Susan Campbell Park and spectacular fireworks over the harbor.
Marching in the parade is a special honor, says Glenn Carr, a parent volunteer of a Special Olympics athlete who has marched for the last four years.
“We’d been loving the Annapolis parade for a number of years,” said Carr, “and I started thinking Why can’t we be a part of the parade? We see a lot of other civic groups here and Special Olympics is a great cause that people love to support.”
Anne Arundel Special Olympics athletes wear their uniforms and medals and march with a banner and wave flags.
“This year we have a decorated van as part of our procession,” says Carr. “It’s a lot of fun, and we love to expose our athletes to the public.”
The sight of these smiling marchers draws a lot of cheering and love from the crowds, he adds. “One of our athletes, a young lady who works at a grocery store, saw some customers at the parade that recognized her, and she was absolutely thrilled. I always tell them to ‘bring your flags and spread your happiness’. It’s a great day for our country.”
Park at city garages and take the Circulator trolley ($1) to the top of Main Street. The trolleys run 8am-midnight. Shuttle service ($1) is also available from Gate 5 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to Lawyers Mall 5pm-midnight.
The closer you get to downtown the harder it will be to park and the more difficulty you will have getting out of town after the celebration.
Watching by boat? Because of the anticipated crowds, boaters are urged to select their preferred viewing area anchorage early and are warned to avoid the 1,000-foot safety zone around the fireworks barge.
Cape St. Claire Parade
Parade begins at 10am from the Cape St. Claire firehouse, travels one mile to River Bay Rd., then to the beach; fun continues at the main beach 11am-2pm: 410-757-1223; www.cscia.org/d/July4th-celebration.
The Cape St. Claire community joins together to celebrate Independence Day with a parade down to the main beach area. The atmosphere is family-friendly with lots of youth sports groups passing out goodies along the route. Rhiannon Dunn, coach of the Cape Rugby Football Club, says the kids in her co-ed touch rugby team plan to throw candy and trinkets from their float.