Columbia, the second biggest city in Maryland, celebrates July 4th in 2020 with a free family fireworks extravaganza along the Columbia Lakefront. The event is sponsored by the Howard County Government with support from the Columbia Association. Entertainment includes live bands on two stages and a variety of children’s entertainment. Bring blankets, chairs, and a picnic and if you want to travel light, food and drinks will be for sale onsite.
Where to See the Fireworks
The event location is the Columbia Town Center Lakefront (10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044). The 27-acre man-made lake is located just off of Little Patuxent Parkway, across from the Columbia Mall. It is a popular gathering spot for many summer festivals including the Fourth of July fireworks. No boats are permitted on the lake July 3–5 due to the fireworks event.
Fireworks Event Information
To get to the Lakefront area take US29 to the Columbia Town Center exit, Little Patuxent Parkway and stay in the left lane. After you go under the pedestrian bridge, look for signs designating public parking. Little Patuxent Parkway will be closed starting at 7 p.m. and will not re-open until after the fireworks are over, so be sure to arrive early enough to avoid the closure and traffic as well.
Parking is free but limited in the lots near the lake. It is within walking distance to the mall, so attendees usually park in the mall parking lots.
Those wishing to place a blanket or sheet on the grass may do so beginning at 8 a.m. on July 4. Those wishing to place a tarp on the grass may do so beginning at 3 p.m. Placement of tarps and chairs must wait until 3 p.m. in order to protect the grass.
The event starts at 5 p.m. and is over at about 10 p.m. (fireworks start around 9:30 p.m., or whenever it's dark enough). In the case of severe weather like heavy rain or thunderstorms, the fireworks may be rescheduled for July 5th. For information on delays, check the official Facebook page.
Entertainment and Food
A military band usually kicks off the event with patriotic music and entertainment continues until dusk when the fireworks start.
You can bring your own picnic (no glass bottles or alcoholic beverages) or buy food from one of the vendors on site. Download the free festival app, "HoCo July 4th," available through the iTunes app store (iPhone) or Google Play store (Android) to listen to the soundtrack playing at the fest or to view maps, directions, parking information, and a list of vendors.
Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival
All summer you can enjoy activities on the lake. The Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival, sponsored by Columbia Association and held on the lawn at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, is the place to go for musical entertainment and picnicking all summer. Located off of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia these free events take place on selected evenings June through September. Admission is free for this family-friendly series of events.