TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the first holiday in a year and a half without major coronavirus restrictions, and central Maryland is gearing up for big celebrations.

“This parade is over 125 years old and this is probably one of the most important biggest parades we’ve ever had,” said Nancy Hafford, organizer of Towson’s 4th of July Parade and Director of Towson’s Chamber of Commerce.

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In Towson, organizers were setting up decorations for their parade, Bike Rush and Family Fun Run all happening on Saturday morning.

“We’re all very excited and we’ve seen how happy people are to have a parade again cause it’s been two years,” said Hafford.

In Catonsville, many have been preparing for their parade for weeks, and have been setting up chairs along Frederick Road to get the best possible seat to see all the fun.

“People take it really seriously,” said Matt Clement of Catonsville. “You know everyone comes out everyone sets up and there’s tons of cars they throw candy to the kids.”

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Some like Sage Pelusi are just excited for the parade to be back in action.

“It’s really exciting this year because we didn’t get to do it last year, and you see people you know, and you can bike in it,” Pelusi said.

In Columbia, Howard County is getting the lakefront ready for their fireworks show Sunday, but they’re also offering a lot more.

“It will have live music with two bands, eight food trucks, a designated vaccine area for people who haven’t been vaccinated to get their vaccine, and a 20-minute fireworks show,” said Howard County Recreation and Parks Director Raul Delerme.

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It’s all for perhaps some of the most anticipated 4th of July celebrations after a tough year and a half of the pandemic.

Stetson Miller