Thursday July 3
Chesapeake Beach Independence Night
Clay Hunt and Pure Delight play under the Bandshell (7-9:45pm). As night falls, a kaleidoscope of fireworks ignites Bay waters. Reserve a table at the Rod ’N’ Reel or pick spots along the Chesapeake Beach boardwalk for a free view. But arrive early; the best spots are usually claimed from 5-6pm. Watching by boat gives you a fine view. Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa: 410-257-2230; www.chesapeake-beach.md.us.
Herring Bay Independence Show
Herring Bay is the backdrop for this Independence Day show. There’s a pre-show outdoor festival, with beach fun, food, music and children’s activities. At dusk, fireworks shoot into the sky, coloring the harbor. Landlubbers watch from the docks, lawn or beach; boaters anchor out for a seafaring celebration. 3-10pm at Herrington Harbour South, Rose Haven: 410-741-5100; www.herringtonharbour.com.
Get an early start on Fourth of July Annapolis festivities, crusing aboard the Harbor Queen to see the show set off by Sherwood Forest; light snacks and cash bar. 7:30-10:30pm from City Dock: $48 w/age discounts; rsvp: http://cruisesonthebay.com/special-cruises/fireworks-cruises
North Beach Fireworks
Chesapeake Beach’s neighbor to the north shares in the fireworks fun. Bring a blanket and a picnic, or buy food from varied vendors before fireworks light up the sky. Dusk at Pavilion and Boardwalk, North Beach: 301-855-6681; www.northbeachmd.org.
Friday, July 4
Annapolis Declares Independence
Annapolis steps into the celebrations with a parade from Amos Garret Blvd., down West and Main Streets, ending at City Dock (6:30-8pm). Fireworks illuminate the Severn River at about 9pm. Boaters get a great view from Annapolis harbor, while landlubbers watch from Dewey Field and Hospital Point at the Academy, City Dock or any street-end park facing Spa Creek. The U.S. Naval Academy Wind Ensemble plays an 8pm concert at City Dock: 410-263-7996.
Baysox Independence Blast
After nine innings versus the Akron RubberDucks, the Baysox celebrate American Independence with colorful fireworks and an extended finale. Gate opens at 6pm; fireworks at 9:15pm at Prince George’s Stadium, Bowie: 301-805-6000; www.baysox.com.
Charm City Flares
Baltimore’s skies flare with thousands of fireworks exploding in the night. A myriad of performers entertain at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater from 11am-4pm; fireworks follow at 9:30pm. Find an outdoor observation area at Harbor, Federal Hill or any of many Baltimore neighborhoods. For an alternative to the hustle-bustle of open-air festivities, come early and watch the show from the Top of the World observation floor in the World Trade Center. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor: 877-BALTIMORE; www.bop.org.
National Independence Day
Join tens of thousands of other viewers on the National Mall, camping out early for a prime spot on the lawn for the National Symphony Orchestra’s annual concert, followed by astonishing fireworks with the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery blasts live cannon into the night air, around 9:15pm. Prime views also from the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Ellipse: www.nps.gov.
Solomons Independence Show
Solomons lights up the sky with its annual fireworks show with illuminations shooting from a barge anchored in the Patuxent River. The entire island has a front row seat to the light show. Arrive early to catch a parade of decorated boats and crew showing their patriotic colors (noon); stroll the Riverwalk; wander through local gift shops; enjoy a seafood feast in one of the casual restaurants; hop a jet ski; take a sailing lesson or rent a sailboat or power boat. Fireworks start at dusk (about 9pm): 410-326-2042; www.solomonsmaryland.com.
Solomons Fireworks Cruise
Watch fireworks flare on the Patuxent River from a watery vantage aboard the Wm. B. Tennison. Ages 7+ only. 8pm from Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons. $37; rsvp: 410-326-2042; www.calvertmarinemuseum.com.