Columbia, the second biggest city in Maryland, usually celebrates the Fourth of July 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.
The celebration has been canceled for 2020, but organizers hope to return in 2021.
Where to See the Fireworks
The event location is usually held at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront. The 27-acre manmade 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 to 5 due to the fireworks event.
Fireworks Event Information
To get to Little Patuxent Parkway, you can follow Route 29 towards Columbia, Maryland, and take the exit towards the Columbia Town Center Mall. Stay in the left lane until you pass underneath the pedestrian bridge. Then, you can start looking for signs that designate public parking. 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.
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. 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 usually start around 9:30 p.m.). In the case of severe weather like heavy rain or a thunderstorm, the fireworks may be rescheduled for the next day. For information on delays, check the event's 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 or buy food from one of the vendors on site. However, no glass bottles or alcohol will be allowed.
Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival
It's not just Independence Day that brings the family-friendly party to the park. All summer long, you can enjoy activities on the lake. Although it hasn't been rescheduled for 2020, the Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival, sponsored by Columbia Association and held on the lawn at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront, is typically the place to go for musical entertainment and picnicking around Columbia, Maryland in the summer. Located off of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, these free events take place on selected evenings June through September and admission is free.