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Leaders urge safety as Baltimore prepares for Independence Day celebration

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 17:31:22-04

BALTIMORE — Ahead of the return of Independence Day celebrations in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore leaders are reminding residents and visitors to celebrate the holiday safely as they expect a packed out Inner Harbor this weekend.

The Baltimore Fourth of July Celebration will be on Monday, July 4 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with festivities, food trucks, the Navy Band and fireworks to end the night.

“We know there will be lots and lots and lots and we’ll be welcoming them there. We’re going to have everything in place. We’ll be there. There’s a safety plan, all of the things that we have when we have large-scale events, and we want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said.

Fireworks Shortage May Impact Fourth Of July Holiday Celebrations

But for those who haven’t committed to celebrating at the Inner Harbor, City Council President Nick Mosby is asking city residents to not set off fireworks within the city limits.

“We don’t need you to get your own fireworks in your alleys or at your barbecue or anywhere in the city of Baltimore," Mosby said. "Why do that when you can come and listen to all the amazing music, see all the amazing talent and watch fireworks display over the city skyline downtown.”

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison reminded people about the danger of fireworks, sharing the threat they can pose, including loss of vision, severe burns, serious injuries and fires.

It’s advice he’s offering for safety but also a legal warning ahead of the holiday.

“Our officers will be out on the streets looking for illegal sales distribution and illegal lighting of fireworks," Harrison said. "In addition, we be actively patrolling, looking for anyone discharging firearms into the air, which are both dangerous and illegal."

Anyone caught will be arrested by officers, according to Harrison.

“We will have enhanced deployment downtown in our Harbor area, as well as multiple places around the city, throughout the entire Independence holiday weekend,” Harrison said.

Harrison encourages residents to anonymously report locations where fireworks are being stored, ignited and sold, as well as locations where guns are being fired into the air

“Bullets come down with the same velocity and force as they go up, so anyone caught firing guns into the air will be arrested and persecuted to the full extent of the law,” Harrison said.

Festivities at the Inner Harbor kick off Monday at 4 p.m. They’re expecting a packed crowd and traffic that comes with it, so they are urging people to plan accordingly.