The Fourth of July weekend is filled with excitement, cookouts and fireworks. However, if it was not for Ports of America Chesapeake, the title sponsor, Baltimore’s dream for an event-filled weekend would have gone without a blast, literally.

Baltimore is not only celebrating America’s Independence but also the 30th anniversary of Harborplace. So, extra celebration is in order, and that’s exactly what they plan to give everyone.

A press release from the mayor’s office blamed the historic $121 million budget deficit for the city almost missing out on this historic occasion. Ports of America Chesapeake, a partner with the Maryland Port Administration in the 50-year lease and concession agreement to operate the Seagirt Marine Terminal in the Port of Baltimore, stepped up to make sure that didn’t happen.

Harborplace, Ports of America Chesapeake and other businesses have an array of events going on from July 2 to the big day.

July 2
At the Harborplace Amphitheater on July 2 there will be special events going on from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. consisting of the usual street performers, an event by Phillips Seafood Restaurant and tribute to the ‘80s featuring a costume contest and concert by the band The Reagan Years.

July 3
Events will last from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. featuring a Crab Cake Eating Contest sponsored by Phillips Seafood, and a fashion show featuring styles from The Gallery.

July 4
A concert by the jazz group Lovecraft and the US Naval Band Electric Brigade will carry the day until the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.

The Fourth of July celebration tends to get a little crazy after the fireworks says Taybron Williams, a former employee for the Waterfront Partnership. On the up side, Baltimore Police plan to deploy 300 – 400 officers and other emergency personal. They are estimating a crowd of 75,000 to 100,000, so if you live close by try using the city’s various forms of public transportation. The new Charm City Circulator will extend its hours to midnight and the Light Rail will run one hour after the fireworks end.

If the Inner Harbor is too crazy a venue, the fireworks can also be viewed from Fells Point and Federal Hill. Two barges, deploying the fireworks will be visible, one by the Inner Harbor and the other by the Domino Sugar Factory.

Lastly, please do not drink and drive. Instead call “Tipsy? Taxi!,” providing free rides home to Baltimore residents 21 and older. For more information call 1-877-963-Taxi and have a great weekend.


James Hadley

Special to the AFRO