Fourth of July Committee


Committee Members

The Laurel 4th of July Committee is an all volunteer committee. The committee is sponsored by the City of Laurel and was established in 1978 by the former Mayor Robert DiPietro. We hold fundraising events all year to support the City's Independence Day Celebration honoring our nation's birthday.

The Laurel 4th of July Committee urges anyone who is interested in volunteering to attend our meetings (click here for our volunteer application). Our meeting schedule, and location is published below. If you have ideas for a fundraiser or wish to contact any committee member or place an inquiry by subject matter, please use our e-mail address below. We'll get it to the proper person.

We hope to see you soon. Thank you and we appreciate your continued support.

Phone: (301) 725-5306 ext. 2444
Mail: Post Office Box 416 · Laurel, Maryland 20725


Committee Officers

Chairperson  Carreen Koubek
Vice Chairperson  Traci Crouse
Treasurer  Joanie Cerimele
Secretary  Jeffrey Dufresne

Members at Large and Sub-Committees

Fireworks Chair 
Parade Chair 
Vendor Chair 

Schedule of Events


                               Saturday, July 6, 2013

9:30am….  Parade Lineup @ 6th and Montgomery Streets
                    Antique and Classic Cars Line up on Montgomery Street starting at Stanley Place
10:00am.. Parade Begins, Judging Stand on 4th Street behind Shopping Center
11:00am..  Horseshoe Contest @ Gude Park (Laurel Lakes)
  2:00pm…. First Annual Hotdog Eating Contest
  3:15pm…. Grand Opening, Flag Raising, Pledge and National Anthem sung by Christina Landis
                    Invocation by Reverend Warren Litchfield
  4:00pm…  Reading of Parade Awards and Acknowledgements
  4:30pm…  Classic Car Show Awards Announced from the hill
  5:15pm…  Music by Oracle
  7:00pm…  Welcome & Introduction of Mayor and City Council
  7:15pm…  Acknowledgements & Committee Awards
  7:30pm…  Music by Oracle
  9:15pm…  Fireworks from the Lake
All times are approximate
NO PETS!  Working Dogs Permitted!

Hot Dog Eating Contest

July 6, 2013 @ 1:30 on the Gude field stage

your $10 entry fee gives you the chance to win $$$ in local coupons and a Year’s worth of bragging rights

Contest Rules


  1. The object is to eat the most hot dogs (buns included) in 5 minutes
  2. Entries will be limited to the first 10 contestants and must be at least 18 years of age
  3. All contestants must be registered and checked in at the Pavilion by 1:30 p.m. on Saturday July 6th. $10 entry fee will be collected prior to the contest.
  4. Each contestant will be given 12 hot dogs at the beginning of the contest. There will also be 2 cups of water available for each eater to use for dinking or dunking.
  5. A whistle will mark the beginning and end of the time allowed. Contestants may not touch any hot dogs before the start whistle or after the end whistle
  6. Dunking, separating, and/or smashing the hot dog and bun is allowed but the entire dog and bun must be eaten to count as one.
  7. After the allotted 5 minutes and the end whistle, contestants will have 30 seconds to finish eating and swallow what is in their mouths
  8. Judges will then check the contestants for compliance and determine the winner.
  9. Winner will be determined by whomever finishes all of their dogs first or has eaten the most by the end of the contest.
  10. Portions of hot dogs eaten will be counted if necessary
  11. In the event of a tie an “Eat-off” will be held using 4 dogs. First done wins!
  12. The following will be considered grounds for disqualification:
  • Hiding hot dogs
  • Interfering with other eaters
  • Visible signs of sickness (aka reversal, barfing, cookie tossing, up-chucking, etc)
  • Reversal may not happen within 5 minutes of  the end of the contest
Parade Entrants

Click here to read the invitation to participate!

Parade entries must complete this form and return to the Committee by June 21, 2013.



Vendors may request information by email or phone (301) 725-5306 ext. 2444.  An application to participate as a vendor is available on request.



We plan several fundraisers to raise money for the celebration! For all of the events, participation is open to the public, so come by for fun and excitement and help contribute to our efforts!

Upcoming Events

4th of JULY T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST - Get Your Original Design on the Official Laurel 4th of July T-Shirt! The Laurel Fourth of July Committee invites you to take out your markers, paintbrush or computer and design the Inaugural Laurel 4th of July T-shirt. The winning design will be printed in color on t-shirts, complete with your signature, and sold at various City of Laurel events and fundraisers. The winning artist will also receive a $50 gift card to a popular local or national retail business (to be announced), a prime reserved spot to watch the fireworks and a complimentary t-shirt. For more information, requirements and an application,  click here for the flyer.

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT! -  The Laurel Fourth of July Committee invites the public to help raise funds for the Laurel Fourth of July Celebration by sponsoring a firework. This is a unique opportunity to show support for the 2013 Laurel Fourth of July Fireworks display. Not only can you sponsor a firework, but you can also dedicate a firework to someone or give a donation In Memory of a loved one. All sponsors, dedications and memorials will be listed on our website and announced throughout the 4th celebration. Cost to sponsor or dedicate a firework is $20 and is tax deductible. Click here for the flyer with the form.

CHICK-FIL-A - The Laurel Fourth of July Committee invites you and your family and friends to the Chick-Fil-A restaurant located at The Centre at Route 1 and Contee Road from 4:00 – 9:00pm on Thursday, March 28 to help raise funds for the Laurel Fourth of July Celebration. Chick-Fil-A will generously donate 20% of their evening’s proceeds to Laurel Fourth of July Committee. All you need to do is show up and let them know you are there for the Laurel Fourth of July Committee! How easy is that! All proceeds will go to help fund your Independence Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013. Click here for the flyer.

INDOOR YARD SALE - The Laurel Fourth of July Committee will hold an Indoor Yard Sale on April 13, 2013 from 8:00am to 1:00pm at the Laurel Armory located at 422 Montgomery Street in Laurel, MD. Cost for a table is $15 or get 2 for $25. Shoppers will get free admission and the Committee will have refreshments for sale including homemade baked goods. All proceeds will go to help fund your Independence Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013. Click here for the flyer.

BULLROAST - The Laurel Fourth of July Committee will host a Bull Roast on April 13, 2013 from 6:00pm to 12Midnight at the American Legion Post 60 at 2 Main Street in Laurel, MD. Cost is $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Price of the ticket includes food, draft beer and entertainment by “HighTest,” and the Committee will offer a 50/50 raffle and other prizes throughout the evening. All proceeds will go to help fund your Independence Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013. For more information, click here for the flyer.

MAYOR'S CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT - The Laurel Fourth of July Committee is pleased to announce on May 6, 2013, they will host their annual Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament. The event will be held at the Bowie Golf Course in Bowie, Maryland. The event costs $85 per player and includes a Starter Breakfast at 8:00am, greens/cart/range fees, contests with prizes and a lunch and happy hour after the event at the Course’s Pavilion. Check in begins at 8:00am and Tee Time is 9:00am. No jeans or metal spikes are allowed, a shirt with a collar is a must and grouping will be posted on Golf Day. Hole Sponsorships are available for $150 per hole and there will be three cars and one Harley motorcycle for the four possible hole in one prizes. The registration deadline is April 29, 2013. All proceeds will go to help fund your Independence Day Celebration which will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2013. For more information, click here for the flyer.



Laurel Fourth of July Committee Shooters


The Laurel 4th of July Committee has four Maryland State Police, Office of the State Fire Marshal certified fireworks shooters. "Shooters," as they are known, also attend annual training provided by Fireworks Productions, Inc. (FPI). FPI provides technical support in addition to the fireworks you enjoy every year. A word of caution, no visitors are permitted in the fireworks set up area which is located on the hard stand across the lake from Gude Park.


Laurel Fourth of July Committee Fireworks - Behind the Scenes

    The Laurel Fourth of July Committee (LFJC), an all volunteer group, organizes and promotes many activities for our Nation's Independence Day celebration. Most are apparent as you enjoy the day's activities anticipating the evening's fireworks event. Some are less obvious. We spend nine months of the year preparing for the event but we cannot go it alone. We coordinate among city and volunteer services for support ... the Laurel Police Department, the Department of Public Work, the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department and the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad all provide invaluable assistance and support to bring you the finest and safest show in the area.

    Mid-week, before the celebration date, the LFJC post no parking signs along part of the parade route. We like to think of this as a warm up for the rest of the week. On Friday, we collect and assemble four purpose built barges from which we launch part of the fireworks display. This rather daunting task takes most of the day. On Saturday (event day) the fireworks are delivered by the production company - Fireworks Extravaganza, Inc. - located at Maryland Line, Maryland. Now the real work begins. We inventory, sort and arrange the fireworks according to a choreographed script on the barges while set pieces (stationary displays) are placed and mortar tubes are assembled and strategically located. Needless to say, the work area is strictly off limits to bystanders and curiosity seekers.

    It is time for a few definitions. Firework cakes contain multiple colorful fireworks - up to 600 or as few as 16. They are as the name implies packed in boxes using small diameter cardboard launch tubes. These are placed on the barges and for our event, display no more than 300 feet above ground. Firework shells are sized in inches up to three inches for our event. A shell contains at least two parts. The lift charge which propels the projectile aloft and a colorful firework break which is sometimes accompanied by a salute or report (loud bang). These are launched from mortar tubes arranged in racks, typically of eight. Set pieces are stationary and convey a message or theme while they ignite.

    What's next is the wiring of the firework to the command detonator. This is the most time consuming and tedious part of the process. Get it wrong and the firework will not "fire" so this work is done very carefully and quality controlled under the supervision by our lead pyrotechnician. We have four Maryland State Police, Office of the State Fire Marshal certified "shooters" active on the committee.

    Once the work described above is completed and the commercial crane used to lift each barge with its precious cargo into the lake has arrived. An hour later, the crane has departed and the barges are being towed to anchorage and their final resting place on Gude Lake. Meanwhile, last minute checks are being preformed, the area is being policed up and volunteers can be seen taking a much needed break.

    It is 9:15 PM and show time is announced by a single shell being fired. Well, the real reason we do this is to determine if wind conditions are acceptable to avoid "fall out" debris reaching the spectators or nearby structures. If it is precipitating, the "go" or "no go" call is made on the spot. If we postpone, we shoot on Sunday at 9:15 PM. During the fireworks shoot "Observers" are strategically located around the fireworks area to determine fallout conditions, based on wind direction and speed to ensure that the public is safe during the show. If fallout conditions are determined to be unsafe the show is stopped until more favorable conditions are met.

    The show lasts over thirty minutes but the work isn't finished yet. We have to allow an additional thirty minutes to ensure all unexpended ordinance is unlikely to misfire. When the all clear is signaled, the fire department douses all cakes boxes while we inspect for duds. When the area is declared clear, we dismantle the hardware, neutralize any duds found and pack the material for shipment. But we aren't finished yet.

    Sunday morning we assemble once more to police the area of debris (what a mess!), crane lift the barges from the lake, disassemble them and return same to storage for next year.  


     They are held the second Wednesday of each month with the exception of July, August and December. We also meet the second and fourth Wednesdays in May and June. All meetings are held at the Laurel Municipal Center located at 8103 Sandy Spring Rd. at 7:00pm sharp in Meeting Room #2.  

Parade Route


Click here for a printable version of the above map.


Road Closures

Prior to the parade, 6th street will close at 9am for parade contestants to begin line up. Starting at 10am, all other roads along the route will close, as the contestants begin their procession through the parade route.

Prior to the fireworks, Eastbound Cherry Lane at Ashford Blvd. will close at 1pm. Then, at 5pm, Westbound Cherry Lane will close in preparation for the fireworks.