Spectators view Fort Meade's 30-minute fireworks show last year.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - Thousands of people of all ages will be bustling from activity to activity during the installation's annual Independence Day celebration that begins Monday at noon on McGlachlin Parade Field.

Organizers expect a crowd of more than 10,000 for the celebration that will climax at approximately 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks display.

Rides are free, but vendors will charge for food and beverages.

A wide range of youth activities will be featured including a bounce house, trackless train, inflatables and games.

DJ Teddy will spin tunes from 1 to 5 p.m. The Pheonix Band will take the stage at 6 p.m., performing until the fireworks show, and then again, following the display of lights.

MIX-106.5 Radio will be on site from noon to 5 p.m. with music, games and prizes.

"We host the festivities annually to bring the community together and celebrate our nation's birthday," said Stacy Echard, Community Recreation Division acting chief. "Our special events coordinator, Jean Jordan, has worked very hard with the hope that the community has a blast."

Vendors will provide a mix of favorite American foods, including barbecue beef and pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cake and popcorn, as well as Thai food.

There will also be an assortment of frozen treats.

In the event of rain, the alternate date for the fireworks will be Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. and will not be open to the general public. There will be no other activities on the rain date.

Visitors to the installation can enter at the Reece Road or Route 32 gates throughout the event. In addition, the Mapes Road gate will open to the general public at 5 p.m.

Parking will be available in the Defense Information Systems Agency parking lot on Cooper Avenue. Overflow traffic will be directed to the Post Exchange and commissary parking lots on MacArthur Road, between Reece and Mapes roads.

Parking for VIPs and the handicapped will be available in the Smallwood Hall parking lot near the parade Field.

The Fort Meade Police will help spectators safely exit the installation at the conclusion.

Visitors are invited to participate in Fort Meade's Fourth of July "Tweetup" sponsored by the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office throughout the day.

"The more tweets, the better," said Jason Kelly, installation new media manager. "We want to engage the community."

Kelly invites those who are not currently following Fort Meade on Twitter to sign up for Twitter and follow @meadetv for live traffic updates, photos and tweets during the installation's Independence Day celebration.

Tweet your photos and content to @meadetv with the hashtag #FM4th for retweets and posts to Facebook.

Page last updated Sun July 3rd, 2011 at 08:55