Celebrating the 4th of July in Downtown Baltimore

Downtown Baltimore is, hands down, the best place around to celebrate the 4th of July. After all, Charm City is the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner – and it has a great party to mark the occasion of the nation’s birth.

This year, the 4th falls on a Thursday – the perfect kickoff for a long and fun weekend. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the downtown Baltimore area for the holiday:

Inner Harbor Fireworks

The Inner Harbor’s Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July celebration is always a huge event that’s talked about all year long – with good reason.

The fireworks over the harbor start at 9:30 p.m. and last for 18 minutes (rain date is the following evening at 9:30 p.m.). The best view is from the Inner Harbor promenade and other areas lining the harbor.

The party starts earlier, though, with a performance from the U.S. Navy Jazz Band Commodores starting at 7 p.m. the Commodores set up in the Inner Harbor Amphitheater at Pratt and Light Streets and play two and a half hours of classic and current hits.


Picnic at the Top of the World

If you’re looking for a terrific spot to take in the fireworks without the crowds, consider the Picnic at the Top of the World in the top floor of Baltimore’s World Trade Center.

The picnic begins at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30) and lasts until the fireworks are over. Tickets range from $35 to $75 (depending on age and when you buy) and include catered food and (non-alcoholic) drinks, kids’ activities, a DJ and a photo booth.


Venture out on the Water

While the fireworks are fantastic from the shore, they’re even better from the water. If you’d like to head out on a boat to celebrate, you have several options.

On the Historic Ship the USS Constellation, check out the Independence Day Deck Party, catered by The Classic Catering People.


Spirit Cruises has a three-hour dinner cruise, including a three-course buffet dinner, an open bar, a DJ and dance floor and giant games to keep you entertained before and after the fireworks show.


Watermark Cruise’s Baltimore fireworks cruises depart from the Inner Harbor finger piers. There are a couple options: on one, light snacks will be served and there will be a full bar; another, on the Catherine Marie, features a BBQ meal catered by Red Hot & Blue.


Urban Pirates will has family cruises all day long on the 4th of July and a special two and a half-hour adult “BYOG” (bring your own grog) cruise at 7 p.m.


Where to Park

If you’re heading downtown for any part of the fourth of July, plan your parking strategy ahead – it’ll save you time and frustration and allow you to enjoy the holiday that much more.

Harbor Park Garage, located at 55 Market Place, is right in the middle of the action. The garage is easily accessible from I-83 and other routes in and out of the city and is just a short walk from the Inner Harbor, historic ships and boat cruise launches, the World Trade Center and many restaurants, bars and other venues that offer great vantage points to watch the fireworks.

Plus, the garage is safe, well-lit and staffed 24/7 with a friendly crew of employees who will be happy to answer questions and point you in the right direction, so you can enjoy your Independence Day from start to finish.