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Zambelli Fireworks

Zambelli Fireworks

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It didn't take long, however, for the fun to begin.The cities of Bristol, Rhode Island, and Philadelphia celebrated one year later on July 4, 1777, with gunfire, ships draped in red, white and blue bunting, music, speeches, parades, fireworks and other hoopla.

The Revolutionary War would last another six years.Though fireworks are launched for every kind of celebration in the United States, the majority of them go up in smoke on the Fourth of July.Like most American traditions, fireworks have a diverse background.

Fireworks originated in China over a thousand years ago, and were brought to Europe by Marco Polo in the 13th century.The Italians experimented with the simple, orange- and white-colored Chinese fireworks and developed dozens of forms and a brilliant rainbow of colorful variations.

When Italians began immigrating to the United States in the 19th century, they brought their expertise with them.Pyrotechnico, the New Castle, Pa., company that has produced the Annapolis July 4th fireworks since 1985, was founded in 1889 in Pietramelara, Italy, by Constantino Vitale.Vitale immigrated to the United States in 1920 and settled in New Castle, a small town located between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The company is now operated by a great-grandson, Stephen Vitale.The company puts on over 2,000 fireworks displays each year, all over the country.Similarly, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, the company producing displays in Glen Burnie, Baltimore and Ocean City, was founded in 1893, also in New Castle, by Antonio Zambelli.

And, like the Vitale family, a fourth generation Zambelli is running the business.When the city of Annapolis decided it could no long pay for the entire cost of the display, prosecutor Fred Paone became the town's first fireworks czar.

He established July 4th Annapolis Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated solely to find donors to fund the annual show.Under Paone's direction, the show has become one of the largest July 4th fireworks displays in the state, drawing over 80,000 viewers.

In 2002, Paone handed the title of Mr.

Fireworks over to County Attorney Jonathan Hodgson, and Paone is now is a city alderman.In May, the sparkly mantle passed to Matt Pipkin, 41, lifelong Annapolitan and area executive for First Citizens Bank.

This year's show will cost $35,000, and Pipkin is still raising funds."I enjoy watching the fireworks from the Naval Academy grounds," he said.

"The plebes arrived in Annapolis just a few days before and are just beginning Plebe Summer.

It's inspiring to watch these young men and women as they see fireworks in Annapolis for the first time."This year's show includes greatest hits from years past, panoply of rockets, shells, star mines, snowball comets - and big bangs.

He was disappointed the county didn't chip in this year, but said the show will go on."The economy is slow and it's tough to raise funds," Pipkin said.

"But, it's a family tradition.

A celebration."For those looking for legal fun on over the July 4th weekend, there are dozens of activities designed to suit just about every taste.Check the following listings for a vast variety of daytime and evening activities that are patriotic or just plain fun!Happy Birthday U.S.A.!AnnapolisThis year's Annapolis Fourth of July parade begins at 6:30 p.m.

on Amos Garrett Boulevard, heads right on West Street, winds around Church Circle and flows down Main Street before disbanding at City Dock.At 8 p.m., the Naval Academy Concert Band begins its highly anticipated performance at Susan C.

Campbell Park.

Drink in the maritime view of Annapolis Harbor and the terrific music.Fireworks begin at about 9:15 p.m., fired from a barge moored in Annapolis Harbor.

The rain date is Sunday.

The best sites to view the fireworks will be at Susan Campbell Park at the end of City Dock or from your boat in the harbor.Also, the Spa Creek Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 p.m.

to create a spectator pier overlooking the harbor for an unobstructed view of the fireworks.Other suggested areas include Jonas Green Park at the foot of the Naval Academy Bridge and any of the street-end parks in Eastport facing Spa Creek.The Naval Academy will have a very limited public area available for viewing that will be accessible only via Gate 1.

No access to athletic fields will be permitted.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Gate 1 will be closed to all vehicles.

No other gates will be open to the public.To enter the academy grounds, visitors age 16 and older are required to show valid photo identification.

No alcoholic beverages or pets will be permitted.When you travel into Annapolis, expect numerous parking restrictions in effect.

In addition to the Spa Creek Bridge closing, several main and feeder streets will be shut throughout the evening.

See the map at right for details.This is a good evening to use the free shuttle services from the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Boulevard.

Parking will be available at the stadium for $5.

The shuttle will be offer drop off and pick up at Lawyers Mall, in front of the State House on College Avenue, from 4 p.m.

until midnight.

Try it - it's a great service.Another good way to get around Annapolis on the Fourth is by bike.The city Department of Transportation will operate a special bike valet service for and during parade and fireworks.

Free bike valet service will be available from 5 to 10 p.m.

July 4th at the Newman Street parking lot, located behind the City's Recreation and Parks building.

All bikes parked by the service must be picked up by their owners by 10:30 p.m."We've provided shuttle services from Navy Memorial Stadium to downtown for the fireworks for many years, in an effort to ease traffic congestion," says Danielle Matland, director of Transportation.

"Offering a bike valet service is another way to encourage residents and visitors to find a more traffic-friendly mode of transportation to the festivities.

And now, cyclists have a safe alternative beyond bike racks to leave their bicycles while they enjoy the day."There will be dozens of new American citizens watching the fireworks on July 4th.

At 9:30 a.m.

a naturalization ceremony under a big tent behind William Paca House and Garden, home to one of Maryland's four signers of the Declaration, will welcome scores of new American citizens.

The ceremony is free and anyone can attend.Afterward, from 10 a.m.

to 2 p.m., admission to the Georgian mansion at 186 Prince George St.

is free.

Visitors can tour the gracious home, hear live musical performances and interact with costumed interpreters portraying Paca and members of his long-ago household.There are children's activities and everyone has the opportunity to sign their "William Paca" - the heck with John Hancock - on the Declaration of Independence with a quill pen.For information, visit www.annapolis.orgIf crowds and traffic jams are not your cup of cappuccino, swing over to Quiet Waters Park for the inaugural night of the annual Summer Concert Series.Big Daddy Stallings, well-known on the D.C.-Baltimore entertainment axis as a veteran blues-meister, will create a few fireworks of his own, along with saxophonist Joe "E-Flat" Thomas and Nighthawk harmonica man Mark Wenner.Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on the lawn, pack a picnic and bring your friends.

For information, call 410-222-1777 or visit .Elsewhere locallySeverna Park - Sponsored by the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, this annual parade begins at 10 a.m.

on the Fourth of July.

For details on this and other parades, see the box on Page XX.Fort George G.

Meade - The post's Independence Day celebration starts at noon July 4th at the McGlachlin Parade Field.

There will be live music and a special performance by the USA Cheerleaders.

More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this year.At the field, there will be pony rides, a skateboard ramp, food and refreshments and many more activities for the whole family.

Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m."It's a great, fun filled day.

What better place to celebrate the nation's independence then among the men and women in uniform who guard that freedom?" said Veronica Castro, a Fort Meade spokeswoman.Please note, all visitors without a DOD decal on their car, must enter the installation via the Reece Road and Route 175 gate.

Be sure to have a photo I.D.

and anticipate a security check of your vehicle before entry.Glen Burnie - The Glen Burnie Improvement Association is back with a fireworks show tomorrow at Sawmill Creek Park on Dorsey Road.The display by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will begin between 8:45 and 9 p.m.

The show will last between 20 and 25 minutes as over 6,000 shells light up the sky.

Fireworks can be viewed from Sawmill Creek Park or the Third Avenue Park.Parking will be available at Monsignor Slade Catholic School, 120 Dorsey Road.

Overflow parking will be available in the Cromwell Station light rail parking lot.

Handicapped parking only will be available at Sawmill Creek Park.

If you go, you should bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating.For more information, call the GBIA at 410-766-6760.Shady Side - The annual parade sponsored by the local Kiwanis Club begins at 10 a.m.

July 4th at the Shady Side Post Office and continues to the Kiwanis Hall on Snug Harbor Road.In a tradition marking its 20th year, at 1 p.m.

the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society and Greenstreet Gardens host a free performance by the 40-piece Bay Winds Concert Band.

The concert and other family-friendly fare, including a baking contest and patriotic speeches by several elected officials, will take place on the lawn at the Captain Salem Avery Museum, 1418 E.W.

Shady Side Road.Bring a chair and enjoy the music as you gaze out over the West River.For more information, visit or call Sharon Sudduth at 410-507-3177.Historic London Town and Gardens - On Sunday, experience Independence Day as it was in the 1760s with re-enactors from Ship's Company and London Town.

Located at 839 Londontown Road in Edgewater, attendees will find a kettleful of family day activities from noon to 4 p.m., from playing Colonial games to learning first-hand how Colonials did cooking and housekeeping chores.

Stay to watch sword fighting, militia drills and firing of muskets and cannon.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youths and free for children age 6 and under.

For more information, call 410-222-1919 or visit www.historiclondontown.orgGalesville - The annual parade begins at 2 p.m.

on Anchors Way and heads down Main Street to East Benning.

For information, call Sue Hines at 410-867-3541.Gibson Island - Gibson Island Club hosts fireworks at Mountain Bar Point at 9:30 p.m.

July 4th.

The fireworks can be viewed along the shoreline on the opposite side of the Magothy River from Pasadena to Cape St.

Claire.At the beachOcean City - The resort city is offering residents and visitors not one but two fireworks displays produced by Zambelli International - one at each end of town.

Each July 4th, the town not only celebrates our nation's birthday, but its own.

This year Ocean City celebrates its 134th anniversary, which began with the dedication of the Atlantic Hotel in 1875.The festivities at Northside Park begin at 8 p.m.

with a free concert by Dr.

K's Motown Review.

Also at 8 p.m., there will be a free concert on the beach at North Division Street featuring Rick K and the Allnighters.

A fireworks display will follow at 9:30 p.m.

at both sites.

Resort officials are urging those attending either fireworks display to take the shuttle bus, which runs 24 hours and costs only $2 a day.For more information, call 1-800-626-2326.BaltimoreBaltimore's fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m.

July 4th over the Inner Harbor.

During the choreographed display, the Naval Academy's Electric Brigade will perform a selection of popular and patriotic music in West Shore Park, located near 561 Light St.Entertainment begins in West Shore Park at 4:30 p.m.

with a two-hour show by the a cappella group, Reverb.

Electric Brigade begins its show at 8 p.m.The Top of the World Observation Level at Baltimore's World Trade Center, located at 401 East Pratt St., is the site of "Picnic at the Top" from 7 to 10 p.m.

July 4th.

While the Tom Reyes Band performs, guests can nibble at a continuous picnic-themed buffet.

The floor-to-ceiling windows on the Observation Level's 27th floor offer an unparalleled view of the Inner Harbor fireworks.

Tickets are $75 for adults and $30 for children.

Tickets are available by calling 410-837-8439.From 7 to 10 p.m.

the USS Constellation celebrates with its annual July 4th Deck Party overlooking the Inner Harbor and providing a superb spot for viewing the fireworks.

The catered backyard barbecue is served up with cannon firings, giveaways and more.The ship is located at USS Constellation Pier.

301 Pratt St.

Inner Harbor Pier 1.

Tickets are $65 for adults and $20 for children over age 5.

For more information, call 410-539-1797 or visit www.historicships.orgWatermark is offering a cruise July 4th in Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a close-up view of the fireworks show from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $45 for adults, $25 for children aged 3 to 11, 2 and under ride free.

Snacks are included in the price.

Cash bar.For more information:, D.C.There's no denying it: the District of Columbia puts on the region's grandest show during its daylong Independence Day celebration.

Over a half million folks will crowd into town to take part in it.The Independence Day Parade begins at 11:45 a.m., stepping off at Constitution Avenue at 7th Street and winding up at 17th Street.

It's filled with hoopla, floats, VIPS and marching bands.

Arrive early to stake out a good spot along the route.A parade on a smaller scale takes place at 10 a.m.

on Capitol Hill at 8th and I streets S.E.

A parade of antique cars, Mini Coopers and the Fairy Princess Patrol offer an easy-going alternative to the crowded national parade a few blocks away.

Afterwards, there's a community fair with food, entertainment and kids' games at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.On the National Mall, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival continues from 11 a.m.

to 5 p.m.Public access to the National Mall does not begin until 10 a.m.

All visitors will have to pass through security checkpoints.The best way to get into D.C.

on the Fourth is via the Metro.

However, the Smithsonian Station will be closed that day.

Nearby stations - Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L'Enfant Plaza - will be open.The National Archives, between 7th and 9th streets N.W., offers a Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony on the Constitution Avenue steps from 10 to 11 a.m., and family activities inside from 11 a.m.

to 2 p.m.

For information, visit 10 a.m.

to 3 p.m., the White House Visitor Center, located in the Department of Commerce Building on the Southeast corner of 15th and E streets, is the scene of several family-friendly activities that will give you a perspective on the personalities involved in drafting the Declaration of Independence.

At 6 p.m., the first concert begins on the southwest corner of the Washington Monument with the patriotic sounds of the U.S.

Air Force Band.At the other end of the Mall, on the West Lawn of the U.S.

Capitol, the live Capitol Fourth Concert rocks the Republic from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

The concert is free.

Admission to the area begins at 3 p.m.

The show will be broadcast live on PBS, and repeat from 9:30-11 p.m.And, what a show! Actor Jimmy Smits hosts.

Erich Kunzel conducts the National Symphony Orchestra.

Barry Manilow opens and closes the concert crooning his classical hit songs.

In between, look for performances by the Broadway cast of "Jersey Boys," Michael Feinstein, Natasha Bedenfield and those rascally characters from Sesame Street.At 9:15 p.m., the fireworks begin, launched from the reflecting pool near the Lincoln Memorial.

They will light up the sky for miles around.The fireworks are easily viewed on or near the Mall, or if you are aboard a boat on the Potomac.

There are dozens of accessible spots on the Virginia side of the river where the fireworks can be safely viewed.ElsewhereNational Harbor - The Fourth of July fun begins tomorrow at the National Harbor during its summer festival.

Entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m., with fireworks at sundown.College Park - Put away the books for an evening and enjoy the food and fun at University of Maryland, College Park.

Head to Parking Lot 1, off Campus Drive, near the University Boulevard/Adelphi Road entrance.

Music starts at 7 p.m., fireworks begin about 9 p.m.

For more information, call 301-864-8877.Six Flags America - Come for a day of family fun at the amusement park in Mitchellville - and stay for the fireworks.

Plain White T's is the July Fourth featured performer.

For information, call 301-249-1500.Laurel - The July 4th parade steps off on 4th Street in Laurel at 11 a.m., followed by an antique car show, contests and a full day of entertainment.

Fireworks are at dusk in Granville Gude Park, at Laurel Lake.

For information, call (301) 725-5300, Ext.


Vernon - The National Concert Band of America will perform at noon July 4th at the Mt.

Vernon Estate and Gardens, located on George Washington Parkway, in Mt.


Smoke fireworks will be fired during the concert's finale, a first at this location.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 6 through 11.

For more information, call 703-780-2000 or visit Winters is a freelance writer who lives on the Broadneck Peninsula.
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