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Preparations Underway For Baltimore's July 4th Celebrations

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- With more than 150,000 expected in Baltimore for Fourth of July, city police aren't taking any chances. You will see extra security at the fireworks.

Rick Ritter with what police are doing to keep things calm.

This will be the biggest public gathering downtown since the Freddie Gray riots. Police are promising a heavy presence all weekend long.

From the Inner Harbor to Mount Vernon, Baltimore is nothing less than a prime spot for the Fourth of July.

"I think it's going to be spectacular," said Elwardo Morsely.

Saturday kicks off with a bicentennial celebration for the Washington Monument. A new inside will be on display to the public, showing off topnotch views of the city.

"We thought it would be historic and special here," said Dina Casale, from New York City.

But most eyes are on the fireworks. Weeks of work go into Baltimore's show, with hundreds ready to fire from two different barges.

"It goes like, 'Boom!' And it's a lot of them going like rain," said Ryan Casale.

It's the city's first major event downtown since the Freddie Gray riots.

"We figured the riots are in the past and it's back to old Baltimore," said Anthony Casale.

With more than 150,000 people expected, police aren't taking any chances, increasing patrols for the weekend.

"We've certainly done the run-throughs with the security checks. We have the ingress and egress plans," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

In addition to more officers, police say there will be plenty of plain clothed detectives in the crowd as well.

"Safety is a big concern, and I know it will be safe," said Morsely.

And for the first time, you can expect bag checks.

"We're asking if anyone does bring a bag, that they use a clear bag. And if not, expect to have your bag checked," said Sgt. Jarron Jackson, Baltimore City Police Department.

After a shaky few months across Baltimore, many are ready to bring out the best in Charm City.

Police are asking for the public's help to be on the lookout. If you see anything strange or suspicious at all, call police immediately.

The fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Inner Harbor.

If there's severe weather, the show moves to Sunday night at the same time.

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