ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced details for Howard County’s annual July 4th Fireworks celebration at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. During his press conference, Ball also unveiled that the County has formed a new, innovative partnership with the Columbia Association (CA) to offer free public Wi-Fi at all of CA’s 23 pools. Pictures from the event can be found here.



Summertime in Howard County is a special time, marked by family events, concerts, activities and our longstanding tradition of our July 4th Fireworks celebration at Downtown Columbia’s Lakefront. Attended annually by 50,000 of our neighbors, families and friends, this dazzling show of American spirt celebrates our great nation’s independence and the millions of people who have fought and continue to fight for our everlasting freedom.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

This year’s celebration will kick-off at 5:00 p.m. with food trucks, musical performances and more, followed by a spectacular fireworks display starting at dusk (between 9:10 and 9:20 p.m. The Merriweather Arts and Culture Center is producing this year’s incredible entertainment.

“There’s no better way to ignite our patriotism and gratitude for those who have served through military service, political action, government or volunteer service, and acts of kindness than with an evening full of music, food, and fireworks at the Columbia Lakefront – the heart of this town,” said Nick Mooneyhan, Director, Department of Recreation & Parks. “Today marks the beginning of National Recreation and Parks Month. Howard County Recreation & Parks has events scheduled all month long to celebrate July. I welcome you to join us for glow-in-the-dark pickleball, summer concerts and movies, Zumba, art, fishing, food truck nights, and more.”

“We're thrilled to produce the performances for this year's July 4th celebration at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront as part of our partnership with Howard County Government and the Columbia Association. With performances by the energetic Quitapenas and the soulful Big Joe and the Dynaflows, we’re showcasing dynamic performances in both Spanish and English; building stronger connections through the transformative power of the arts; and reinforcing Downtown Columbia's growing reputation as Maryland's premier destination for live music,” said Ian Kennedy, Executive Director, Merriweather Arts and Culture Center.

Ball also unveiled that the County has formed a new, innovative partnership with the Columbia Association (CA) to offer free public Wi-Fi at all of CA’s 23 pools. There is currently no public Wi-Fi available at any of these facilities.

“This beloved annual tradition is just one way the Downtown Columbia Lakefront connects people across our diverse community, and that's what this space is all about” Columbia Association (CA) President/CEO Shawn MacInnes said. "CA is honored to maintain and program the Lakefront year-round, and by collaborating with our partners, we are able to serve and represent our community to the fullest. We hope that everyone coming out to July 4th and any other event at the Lakefront feels a true sense of belonging."

Ball also announced that the County has upgraded the free public Wi-Fi at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront to add the latest wireless technology. This upgrade will set bandwidth limits for each device connected to the wireless network, so no one device takes away and affects the overall performance of the network.

“When I first took office, Howard County had too many residents who did not have access to Wi-Fi or broadband and the disparity grew following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our neighbors were without resources to connect with each other and the world around us,” added Ball. “My team has worked tirelessly to increase our fiber connections, and through partnerships, like this one with CA, we have and are increasing access to Wi-Fi across Howard County.”

This Wi-Fi addition at CA’s pools builds upon Ball’s efforts to have a truly connected community, with free public Wi-Fi at all County Government buildings, 50+ centers, fire stations and parks, as well as Howard County Library System branches and the Long Reach Village Center. Ball is also in the process of extending free public Wi-Fi to the Howard County Fairgrounds, which hosts hundreds of events each year, including the renowned Howard County Fair. This addition to the fairgrounds comes at a time when rural areas across our nation struggle to connect.

"We know CA's 23 neighborhood pools are destinations for families during the summer," MacInnes said. "Last year alone, we saw more than 422,000 visits to these facilities. Providing this additional connectivity not only improves the experience for everyone coming out to the pools, but also gives our team another tool to better serve those individuals. CA appreciates this is an important investment and is grateful for the partnership with the county to make this infrastructure a reality."

July 4th Fireworks Celebration Details

On July 4th, residents and visitors can start placing blankets down at the Lakefront at 3:00 p.m. The fireworks will begin at dusk, between 9:10 and 9:20 p.m., over Lake Kittamaqundi and will last approximately 20 minutes. In the event of rain, the fireworks display only will be rescheduled for Friday, July 5th.  

Presented by the Merriweather Arts and Culture Center, live musical entertainment will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a performance by Big Joe & The Dynaflows, followed by a performance at 7:30 p.m. by Quitapena.

Food trucks will be located in the Lakefront parking lot starting at 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. This year’s participating food truck vendors include Blowfish Poke & Grill, Cousins Main Lobster, Glazey Days Donuts, Kona Ice, Malik’s Ice Cream, Namit BBQ, Pacha Mama Juice, Taco Joint, Tasty Treats and More, Tima Soft Serve, and Tom’s Coffee.

There will be free public parking available at several locations in Downtown Columbia, including The Mall in Columbia, Merriweather District, Symphony Woods Garage, One and Two Merriweather Garage and Sterrett Place NORTH. There will be limited ADA parking available in the Wincopin garage; however, this garage will only be accessible by car before 6:00 p.m. due to road closures. There is no parking at the Lakefront and the Whole Foods parking lots will close at 6:00 p.m. and will not reopen until approximately 11:00 p.m.

The Howard County Police Department will close both directions of Little Patuxent Parkway between Symphony Woods Road and Governor Warfield Parkway from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. and Little Patuxent Parkway between Broken Land Parkway and Symphony Woods Road from about 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Traffic delays in the area can be expected.

For attendees looking to beat the traffic this July 4th, biking is the perfect way to get to and from this year’s event. Free bicycle parking will be available at the Bike Corral located at 10175 Wincopin Circle (next to GrillMarx) between the hours of 1:00 and 10:00 p.m. In addition to being a free place to secure your bike, Bike Corral users will also be entered to win an e-bike courtesy of Downtown Columbia Partnership.

Finally, Department of Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Gordan Wallace reminds us that Independence Day celebrations are best enjoyed safely and left up to the professionals.

“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous. It’s easy to underestimate ‘novelty’ items like handheld sparklers, but these products can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and cause serious injuries,” said Deputy Chief Gordon Wallace. “The easiest way to stay safe is by leaving the fireworks to the professionals this 4th of July.”

For more information about Howard County’s July 4th Fireworks celebration, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/july-4th-fireworks.


Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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