Midway between Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., lies Laurel, Maryland, a city of about 25,000 residents with Fort Meade Army base, the National Security Agency, and the physics lab of Johns Hopkins University as major points of interest nearby. Celebrating America's birthday is a big deal in Laurel.
The city's population doubles the day of the Fourth of July celebration to view the parade, car show, live music, field day competition, and fireworks.
The 2018 Fourth of July Fireworks celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 7.
At 9 a.m., the parade begins lining up at 6th and Montgomery streets. Antique and classic cars line up in the parking lot behind McCullough Field. At 11 a.m. the parade begins. The judging stand is on 4th Street at Domer Court. You can view the parade anywhere on 4th Street between Montgomery Street and Cherry Lane.
Food and craft tables will be open at 11 a.m. The car show begins at noon and ends at 4 p.m.
At 3 p.m. at Granville Gude Park, the parks and recreation department will host numerous free games and activities for the family including a giant rainbow parachute, corn hole, and bubbles. These events kick off with the raising of the flag and the national anthem.
Registration for the hot dog eating contest is at 3:30 p.m., with the competition kicking off at 4 p.m. The field activities conclude at 5 p.m., ushering in the start of the music entertainment featuring the headliner band Oracle.
The fireworks display begins about 9:15 p.m. on Laurel Lake and Granville Gude Park. It is a 35-minute display accompanied by patriotic music.
Granville Gude Park
Granville Gude Park, a 29-acre park, features a lakehouse with a snack bar, two lakes, picnic pavilions, grills, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, tot-lot, boat dock with paddle boat rentals, 1.25 miles of hiking and biking trails, open play areas, and an outdoor stage.
With the exception of service animals, no pets are allowed. Alcohol, sparklers, and fireworks are also prohibited. It is recommended that you bring picnic blankets and folding chairs. In the event of minor injuries, a first-aid station will be at the park's lakehouse.
More About Laurel
Founded as a mill town in the early 19th century, the arrival of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1835 expanded local industry and later enabled the city to become a neighborhood for Washington and Baltimore commuters. Largely residential today, the city maintains a historic district centered on its Main Street, highlighting its industrial past. Laurel Park, a thoroughbred horse racetrack, is located just outside city limits.
Festivities on July Fourth
If you are looking for actual festivities on the day of July 4, you might want to consider a jaunt into the nation's capital 20 miles outside of Laurel for the mother of all Independence Day celebrations along Constitution Avenue on the National Mall. Festivities end with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.