The City held the first Fourth July parade on Rhode Island Avenue. Over 500 people participated in the parade through 54 groups, and about 3,000 attended. Overall, it was a very successful event. One challenge staff faced was getting resident volunteers and parade participants.

To ensure that the parade had engaging participants, the City hired several bands, performers, and entertainers to walk in the parade. For 2023, we expect that UMD and the City will again have a 4th of July fireworks event. Unfortunately, the City cannot host two separate events on one day and be led on both due to current staff capacity.

At last night’s meeting Staff proposed that the 2023 parade be held on Saturday, May 6, starting at 10 am. In addition to relieving the immense pressure of hosting two events on one day, one of the major benefits would be that both local schools and the University of Maryland will still be in session, so it may be easier to pull participants (including marching bands) from those organizations.

The Council generally agreed to staff proposal.

Holding the event on May 6 could also increase volunteer participation and resources for staffing and road closure deployments. Furthermore, moving the date to May 6 would also decrease the cost of City staff and contractor overtime and premium costs by not holding the event on a National Holiday.