BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Saturday is the Fourth of July, and Baltimore will be celebrating in a big way. Before the nighttime fireworks at the Inner Harbor, the Washington Monument will reopen and be rededicated with a daylong celebration.
Ron Matz has more on the “Monumental Bicentennial.”
George is ready for his closeup.
“This is the first public monument to George Washington. Architect Robert Mills designed this monument first before he designed the Washington Monument in D.C.,” said Faith Millspaugh, co-chair of the Monumental Bicentennial.
The Washington Monument will reopen Saturday.
“We have a free family fair all day starting at 11:30. During that time, we have music from Patriotic to Zydeco. We have reeanactors, including George Washington himself. There’s food and drink and games and crafts. It will be wonderful for families and children,” said Millspaugh.
The Fort McHenry Guard will be part of the all-day celebration–a Monumental Bicentennial for the Fourth of July.
“The two time capsules we have from 1815 and 1915 are now at the Maryland Historical Society. You’ll be able to see them during the festival because the Historical Society will be open,” said Millspaugh.
The monument has undergone a $6 million, 18 month restoration.
“A lot of work has gone into the restoration. We started re-pointing and cleaning the stone on the exterior of the monument so the water would not leak in. We also renovated the doors and the fence. We restored them to their original finish,” said Adrianne Carroll, co-chair of the Monumental Bicentennial.
“We also restored the balconies,” she continued. “We disassembled all of the stairs. We put the stairs back together, replacing a lot of the rustic features. So you’ll be able to climb up to the top–and it’s an outstanding, remarkable view.”
The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy and the city are planning for a big day.
“It will be a great celebration citywide. We have the reopening of the Washington Monument during the day, and then we move to the Inner Harbor and we’ll have fireworks. It will be a red, white and blue celebration for the Monumental Bicentennial,” said Tracy Baskerville, from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.
Appropriate for the Fourth of July, Saturday’s celebration begins with a naturalization ceremony. Forty people will become U.S. citizens.
“The celebration starts at 8:30 Saturday morning with a naturalization ceremony. Forty candidates for citizenship will become U.S. citizens. At 10:45, we have a ribbon cutting. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration,” said Millspaugh.
The official re-dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Saturday followed by an old fashioned country fair around Mount Vernon.
“Just have a plan. There will be some street closings. On Friday, we’ll have a lane closure in Mount Vernon, and then the rest of it will be closed on Saturday. The festival starts early and goes til about 5 o’clock and some streets will be closed as we clean up,” said Baskerville.
For a complete schedule of Saturday’s Washington Monument events, CLICK HERE.