With Baltimore City still crawling in a $121 million deficit, the mayor was forced to propose cutting the annual July 4th celebration to save money. But
Ports America Chesapeake (PAC), which has sponsored the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration for the past three years, has recently stepped in to sponsor the Independence Day festivities with live entertainment and fireworks.

“I am grateful that Ports America Chesapeake partnered with the city to save this great Baltimore tradition,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “This year, Ports America Chesapeake is going to light up Baltimore’s skies!”

The July 4th event will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of Harborplace, Baltimore City’s top attraction, with a weekend of special events and family entertainment. The celebration kicks off on Friday July 2 with a special ceremony full of surprises, followed by a weekend of free musical performances, a crab cake eating contest, and a fun fashion costume show.  

“For almost 90 years the City of Baltimore and Ports America have been working together to create jobs, commerce, and a better quality of life in this great port city,” PAC officials released in a statement. “Most recently, we’ve entered into a 50-year concession with the Maryland Port Administration, which will create 5,700 jobs and add over $1 billion of value for the city and state.  

The PAC Independence Day celebration will begin at 2 p.m. with jazz group Lovecraft. At 8 p.m., the Naval Academy’s Electric Brigade will perform popular music, followed by a colorful display of fireworks at 9:30p.m. All entertainment will be held at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater on Pratt and Lights streets.