As boaters, we know the best place to catch a Chesapeake Bay fireworks show is from the water. Be sure to use caution when boating at night, be courteous and stay alert, and always have a designated skipper at the helm. Whether you are anchoring out or kicking back on the shore, we wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday. 

chesapeake bay fireworks
Don't miss these upcoming Chesapeake Bay fireworks shows for the Fourth of July! Photo by Lexi Pline

Chesapeake Bay Fireworks Shows

Stay tuned for any weather updates on event websites and be sure to check that shows are still planned as scheduled before heading out on the water. If we missed your favorite fireworks show, email [email protected]. We will continue to update this page as more shows are announced. 

Wednesday, July 3

Chesapeake Beach, MD: Every year the Town of Chesapeake Beach sponsors a fireworks display at the center of the Town. Viewing begins at dusk (around 9 p.m.). Rain date July 6. 

North East, MD: The 32nd Annual Salute to Cecil County Veterans celebration takes place from 4 to 10 p.m. at the North East Town Park. Veterans’ service organizations, food vendors, military vehicles and personnel, rubber ducky race, face painting, and more. The official ceremony begins at 8 p.m. and the evening concludes with fireworks over the water. 

Rock Hall, MD: Fireworks over the harbor at 9 p.m. The Independence Day parade takes place Thursday, July 4 at 10 a.m. Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, July 4

Annapolis, MD: The Fourth of July parade runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. and kicks off at Amos Garrett and West Street before heading down West Street, the wrong way around Church Circle, and down Main Street. Anywhere along the parade route will provide a good view of the parade. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. from a barge in Annapolis Harbor. Begin lining up at 8 p.m. for the best view. Viewing areas include public spaces northeast of the Severn River, City Dock, along the Naval Academy Bridge, any of the street end parks facing Spa Creek, and aboard a boat in the Annapolis harbor. The Spa Creek Bridge will be closed to traffic from Eastport into Annapolis beginning at 6 p.m. The bridge will remain closed until the conclusion of the fireworks at approximately 10 p.m. Click to visitannapolis.org for tips on where to park.

Baltimore, MD: 1 to 10 p.m. at various locations around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Stay tuned for more details at baltimore.org.

Chester, MD: Celebrate Independence Day with Queen Anne's County at the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitors Center. The free event starts at 6 p.m. There will be activities for children, live music, food trucks, and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Rain date July 5 (only fireworks, activities will be cancelled). Free parking at the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center; handicap parking available. 

Kinsale, VA: Live music, food, drinks, and vendors will be at The Slips Marina, where the crowd will gather to celebrate and watch fireworks launched at 9:30 p.m. over the Yeocomico River. Hosted by the Yeocomico Club, The Slips, The Kinsale Market, and the Cople Volunteer Fire Department, this is a great annual community event. The local support makes it possible to put on the fabulous fireworks show each year; donations are welcome. For tax-deductible donations you can write a check to the Cople District Volunteer Fire Department with “Fireworks” in the memo and drop it at the marina, firehouse, or mail to CDVFD at PO Box 51, Kinsale, VA 22488.

Newport News, VA: Celebrate Independence Day from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at Victory Landing Park with great food, live music, festive entertainers, giveaways, and a spectacular fireworks display above the James River. This year’s Stars in the Sky will feature musical performances from Good Shot Judy and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra. Gerome Meminger will also be conducting a live stage painting performance. Admission and parking are free. 

Norfolk, VA: The Fourth of July Great American Picnic takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. at Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk waterfront. Relax on the lawn and enjoy an evening of all-American fare including hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, seafood, cotton candy, and much more, along with live musical entertainment from military brass bands. The night is capped off by the sensational fireworks show high above the Elizabeth River, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Free and open to the public; presented by Norfolk Festevents. 

Ocean City, MD: Celebrate the nation's birthday with great music and an amazing fireworks show at two locations—Downtown Beach and Northside Park. Free. Stay tuned for updates at ococean.com.

Solomons, MD: A full day of patriotic fun, including a flag raising ceremony at the Watermen's Memorial at 10 a.m., noon boat parade, a free live concert at the boardwalk gazebo from 7 to 9 p.m., and fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. (visible from nearly all points on Solomons Island). 

The 13th annual Solomons Island Fourth of July Boat Parade will start at 8.331264 by 76.450065 (up Mill Creek) in Solomons, MD, and go around the buoy on Back Creek. The starting cannon will sound at noon. Show your American pride and dress up your boat or your person and join in the fun (stars and stripes and fun only). Follow the boat in front of you and do not lag behind (must be able to do 6 mph); safety first. No registration, just show up. For more information, please contact [email protected] and stay on channel 68 the time of the parade.

chesapeake bay fireworks
Courtesy of the Solomons Island Fourth of July Boat Parade

Washington, DC: Celebrate Independence Day in the Nation's Capital with the National Independence Day Parade (11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.) on Constitution Avenue NW between 7th Street and 17th Street, the Capitol Fourth Concert (8 to 9:30 p.m.) broadcast live from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol, fireworks on the National Mall (9:09 to 9:27 p.m.) hosted by the National Park Service, and more. 

Yorktown, VA: It's going to be an action-packed day full of excitement for the whole family. The day kicks off with an 8K/5K run/walk at 8 a.m. followed by the 9 a.m. parade on Water and Main Streets. At 7 p.m. on the Riverwalk Landing Stage, don’t miss the Fifes and Drums of York Town performance and reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will be a jazz band concert at 8 p.m. and fireworks over the York River at 9:15 p.m. Head to visityorktown.org for details on parking, maps, street closures, and more.

Saturday, July 6

Middle River, MD: The Middle River Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County (MTABC), will take place at dusk (approximately 9:15 p.m.). The barges will be anchored just outside the six knot zone in Middle River, so get your boat anchored up early to be ready for a spectacular show! The community’s support will be needed to make this a spectacular event. Visit mtabc.org to make an online donation, or call (410) 335-7000 for more information. MTABC would like to thank Kyle Fennel of Chesapeake Marine and Rob Cooper (The Dock Guy) for their generosity in donating the use of barges for the show.

St. Michaels, MD: Fireworks in St. Michaels Harbor are scheduled for shortly after dusk with a rain date of July 7. Bring your lawn chairs and find a good spot in town, or, come by boat and anchor out in the Miles River. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) will host Big Band Night; doors open at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $7 for CBMM members, $12 for non-member adults. Visit cbmm.org/event/big-band-night to purchase tickets.


Tips for Anchoring Out:

Pay attention to off-limits areas, such as the restricted zone around the Naval Academy seawall. If no boats are anchored in a particular spot, there may be a reason for it.

Have a chart with you to monitor water depth.

Mooring and docking prices vary by town, so inquire before you go.

While your boat is at anchor, running lights should be off and a single white anchor light on. As soon as the anchor comes up, the running lights should be on.

Use a spotlight sparingly and keep it aimed low. Avoid shining it directly at other boat operators.

Try not to anchor too close to other boats, and make sure you’ve let out enough line to ensure your anchor will hold. Dragging anchor through the spectator fleet will definitely make you unpopular.

Kids and poor swimmers should wear a lifejacket at all times.

Give commercial vessels, such as water taxis and tour boats, room to maneuver.

Use common sense and courtesy. Avoid collisions, keep your speed down, and have a non-drinking designated operator at the helm.