BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The July 4th holiday was quite different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland are on the steady decline, Baltimore took extra precautions and canceled its usual fireworks show over the Inner Harbor.

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It’s hard to imagine celebrating Independence Day without fireworks, especially in Baltimore, the home of the Star-Spangled Banner. But the City’s annual show was cancelled back in May due to the pandemic.


“There’s nobody around. It’s a bummer, it’s really a shame,” said Baltimore resident Margaret Lewis.

“This is our first time here, we came for the Fourth of July, but we’re sad because no fireworks,” said Sandra Rodriguez.

One business owner said he’s concerned the lack of July 4th festivities will affect his downtown restaurant.

“Customers come downtown to look at the fireworks, so I don’t know how that’s going to affect our business,” said restaurant owner Nick Kariuki.

Baltimore’s Fire Chief Roman Clark reminded people this week that homemade fireworks and sparklers are illegal in the City.

“I personally would have never imagined a Fourth of July without fireworks,” Clark said. “Yet, unfortunately, here we are. So, please remember to celebrate safely and legally.”

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the police department is aware of the many complaints related to fireworks over the last few weeks.

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He said his officers are on the lookout for locations that are illegally processing fireworks.

“Members of our community are encouraged to report locations where fireworks are being stored, ignited and even sold,” Harrison said.

Although Baltimore is not hosting its annual fireworks show, other places across Maryland will have displays. Click right here to find a complete list.

In Aberdeen, the IronBirds hosted a drive-in fireworks event.

“Just with the whole pandemic and everything going on, it’s totally different than previous years it has been,” said Aberdeen resident Ben Lewis.

Families said the event was just what they needed.

“It’s different but it is kind of good because you can spend that quality one on one time with your family,” said Shannon Mason.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff