The Sun Shone on Us in 2005 - Hope You Were There!
Welcome to a complete overview of the events of July 4, 2005! Special thanks to Larry Leedy for collecting results of the individual day events, and to our Parade Judges (who, by their own wish, remain anonymous) for diligently sorting through over 160 different parade entrants and determining the winners!
There's a lot of information here about 2005, so here is a brief Table of Contents to help you navigate through it. Simply select the category of information you wish to see! For previous years' results and information, please consult our archives.
Divers Photographs of the Entire Day (more than just these!)
Patrons and Donors
Parade Unit Sponsors
Day Time Event Results:
Animal Event Results
People Event Results
Overall Summary of the Day
Flags for Kids Sponsorship
Bel Air Community Band Concert
The July 4th, 2005, Independence Day events in Bel
offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of
region, when, upwards of 85,000 citizens from the greater Bel Air area
Harford County, Maryland, participated and enjoyed the traditional
small-town events on
Monday, July 4, 2005, culminating with the annual parade and a special
According to Don Stewart, President of the Bel Air Independence Day
Committee, Inc., the
independent non-profit corporation that stages the annual event, "We
were truly blessed
with fabulous weather from start to finish. Not a cloud in the sky; a
light breeze; and
a wonderful clear, cool evening made for a wonderful setting for our
Michael Blum, Vice President of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee
Chairman, agrees, saying "We were immensely pleased with the friendly
and good natured
response of the community, and we with to thank everyone for their high
spirits and the
warm welcome given to the many colorful parade units this year."
Events got underway at 6:45 am at Bel Air High School with the flag
featuring John Parslow, bugler, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30
Legion Bel Air Post 39. Aimee O'Neill led the crowd in the singing of
The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed; according to
Harold Boccia of
the Bel Air Lions, over 1,950 adults and children partook of the
pancakes, juice and sausages cooked and prepared by over 50 volunteers
from the Bel Air
Lions. "I've never seen such a group of happy, hungry people," Boccia
says, "At one
point we thought we were going to run out of orange juice, but we
squeezed it out!"
A full roster of daytime events followed, including the traditionally popular animal contests. The frog jumping contest, which established a new distance
record for this
event, saw a large increase in participants, possibly due to recent
heavy rains, and the
number of turtles also increased. The officials running the events
cautioned all animal
owners and handlers to treat their charges well, to keep them thoroughly
urged them to return the frogs and turtles to their natural environment.
In events for people, the Horseshoe Pitch Men's Singles Division by Zach Watters
of Baltimore; 2nd was James Stewart of Baltimore. Women's Singles was won by Vicki Smith of Darlington; 2nd was Terry Young of Street. Men's Doubles was won by James Stewart and Zach Walter, Jr., of Baltimore; 2nd was Ed Boyce and Ron McFillin of
Abingdon.. Women's Doubles was won by Terry Young of Street and Hazel Ellis of Bel Air; 2nd
place was Vicki
Smith of Darlington and Lorrie Monahan of Bel Air.
- Hamster Races (23 contestants): 1st place: Gwenivere, owned by Ann
Brooks of Bel Air;
2nd place: Smoky, owned by Spencer Bobal of Forest Hill; 3rd place:
Dusty, owned by
Rachel Hresko of Bel Air.
- Box Turtle Races (150 box turtles): 1st place: Rocket, owned by Tiffany
Aberdeen; 2nd place: Spawn, owned by Lauren Hufman of Abingdon; 3rd
place: Jake, owned
by Amaya McNelly of Bel Air.
- Non-Box Turtle Races (59 various turtles): 1st place: Claude, owned by
of Bel Air; 2nd place: Tiny, owned by Greg Schmitz of Bel Air; 3rd
place: Sammy, owned
by Taylor Cole of Forest Hill.
- Frog Jumping (204 total frogs): 1st place, Sonie, owned by Sammy and
Jennifer Lynch of
Bel Air, with a combined 3-jump total of 152 inches: a new record for
this event! 2nd
was a tie between Chocolate Lightning, owned by Kyle McCollum of Bel
Air, and M-6, owned
by Lauren, Paul and Beth Johnson of Forest Hill, at 122 inches. Third
Hinny-Briney-Hooey-Ha (a name out of C. S. Lewis), owned by Julia Street
of Bel Air, at
In the Uncle Sam Sayscompetition, the ages 5-7 division was won by Sam
Queen of Bel
Air; 2nd was Nolan Neville of Bel Air and 3rd was Carly Lyon of Street.
The ages 8-10
division was won by Zachary Shelby of Bel Air; 2nd was Kelly Stifler of
Forest Hill and
3rd was Andrew Mastromanolis of Bel Air. The ages 11-13 division was won
by Sara Stifler
of Forest Hill; 2nd was Juliana Grote of Bel Air and 3rd was Trace
Fairbaugh of Bel Air.
The Adult Division was won by Lynne Murphy of Bel Air; 2nd was Kris
Evers of Forest Hill
and 3rd was Rose Fairbaugh of Bel Air.
The Bicycle Rodeo saw Trophies for Best Decorated Bike won by Grant
Astle (boys) and
Laulen Fisker (girls). In the 5 and under class, 1st was Grant Astle;
2nd was Isabella
Pyle-Tuele; 3rd was Joshua Strobel; in the 6-8 class, 1st was Hugh
Harvin; 2nd was
Elijah Polsen; 3rd was Ryan Lepp; in the 9-10 division, 1st was Zac
Olsen. 2nd was Nick
Rhodes; 3rd was Ryan Brooks. In the Ages 11-13 division, 1st was Josie
was PJ McCaffery; 3rd was Blake Calligart.
The Watermelon Eating Contest in the ages 6 and under division was won
by Brent Abrams;
2nd was Meredith Medvetz and 3rd was Devon Strozyk. Ages 7-10 was won by
Spanellis and Jacquelyn Cruz in a tie; 2nd was Adam Isennock and 3rd was
Ages 11-16 was won by Natalie Bale. 2nd was Griffin Kearney and 3rd was
The Adult Division was on by Amy Chmielewski; 2nd was Brendan Beale and
3rd was a tie
between Rose Fairbaugh, Brad Borkowski and Ben Carlson.
During a recess for the afternoon, the traditional parade began at 6:00
pm at the corner
of Lee Street and North Main Street in downtown Bel Air. Before the actual parade began, American Flags were handed out to all children along the parade route. The flags were generously donated by the Bel Air Branch of M & T Bank, led by Deborah Williams. Distribution of flags was handled by bank employees, bank friends and neighbors, and by members of the Bel Air Bobcats Varsity Football Team, all led by Don Stewart.
As two UH-1 "Hughie" helicopters from the United States Army National
Guard, crewed by
veterans of the war in Iraq, roared overhead, the parade got off right
Reviewing stand narration was provided by Don Morrison of the Harford
County Board of
Many of the parade units were sponsored by area businesses. These sponsors included:
- Brass & Oak Galleries
- Clifton Gunderson LLP
- The Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center
- Forest Hill State Bank
- Jones Junction Auto Dealerships
- Klein's Family Markets of Harford County
- Parris - Castoro Eye Care Center
- Plaza Ford and
- Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates
9 independent Parade Judges viewed the parade, whose theme was A Celebration of America's Diversity, and awarded the following prizes:
A. Organizational or Personal Float Entries
1st Place: $300: Harford County Supporters of Housing
2nd Place: $200: Mount Zion United Methodist Church
3rd Place: $100: Silver Eagle Cloggers
4th Place: plaque: Oak Grove Baptist Church
5th Place: plaque: Harford County Library
6th Place: plaque: Bahai's of Bel Air
B. Commercial Float Entries
2. Equestrian Units
1st Place: $300: Harford Hospice
2nd Place: $200: The Aegis
1st Place: $100: Christ Episcopal Church of Rock Spring
2nd Place: $75: Ashton Rudell and Jeremy Rudell
3rd Place: $50: America in Miniature
3. Antique Vehicles
1st Place: $100: Shining Eye Percherons
2nd Place: $75: Shadowbrook Farm
3rd Place: $50: Sandy Kline
1st Place: Military Vehicle Preservation Association
4. Color Guards
2nd Place: 1940 Chevy - Sam Johnston
3rd Place: David Kluck: Kaiser-Frazer Owners / 1955 Willys Bermuda
1st Place: Maryland Chapter, Korean War Veterans
5. Mobile Units
2nd Place: American Legion Post no. 39 Harford County
3rd Place: Vietnam Veterans of America
1st Place: Bel Air Corvette Club
6. Marching Units
2nd Place: Nice Dreams Car Club
3rd Place: Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission / Joy of Dance Center
4th Place: Ashley's Limousine Service
5th Place: Liberty Tax Service
1st Place: Hoppin' Hawks
7. Emergency Vehicles
2nd Place: City of Aberdeen / Aberdeen Recyclers
3rd Place: Totally Twirlin'
4th Place: Applause of Bel Air
5th Place: North Bend Elementary School Fife & Drum Corps
1st Place: plaque: Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company
8. Comic/Novelty Acts
2nd Place: plaque: Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company
3rd Place: plaque: Fallston Volunteer Fire Company
1st Place: plaque: Precious the Skateboard Dog
9. Bands, Drum & Bugle Corps, Majorette Corps
2nd Place: plaque: Ravens Fan Bus / Ravens Next #1
1st Place: Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
10. Notable People / Featured Individuals of Merit and Honor
2nd Place: Philippine Heritage Band
3rd Place: Havre de Grace High School Band
Most Patriotic: Miss Cecil County 2005 Melissa Anderson
11. Absolutely Unique Entry
Best Presentation: Harford County Little Miss Fire Prevention
Most Popular with the Crowd: Harford Public School Teacher of the
Seemed Happiest to be in the Parade: Harford-Cecil Miss Fire
Girl Scouts Brownie Scout Troop 4845
12. Judges Awards for Special Merit in the 2005 Parade
Noteworthy Home School Choir
New York Skyliners
Titan Drum Corps of Bel Air
Senator Paul Sarbanes
United Parcel Service
Red Hat Society Moving On Chapter
United States Marine Corps / Inter-Coastal Trucking
Hegeman String Band
Don Morrison, Parade Narrator
The parade was followed by a patriotic medley performed by the Bay
Country Gentlemen, and an All American Band Concert by the Bel Air Community Band with soprano soloist Pam Rinehart, under the direction of C. Scott Sharnetzka. The narrator for the concert was Robert Wooters.
After the National Anthem, all those around the entire Bel Air High School complex stood and observed a minute of silence in memory of those Americans who gave their lives in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the conclusion of the concert came the 2005 fireworks display, sponsored for the 10th consecutive year by Har-Co Maryland Federal Credit Union, and produced by Fireworks Productions, Inc. According to Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola,
attendance at or around Bel Air High School for the fireworks at easily
over 80,000. We
had almost no problems with the crowds, who were on the whole well
supportive of the event," Matrangola adds. Overall, the fireworks display was judged "very cool to watch, and a fun way to end the evening!" according to 13-year-old Laura Blum of Bel Air.
Sponsoring Organizations for 2005
The Bel Air Auxiliary Police Unit
The Bel Air Lions
The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation
Harford County Public Schools
The Town of Bel Air
Patrons and Supporters of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee for 2005 included:
A Better Answer
Bel Air Rotary Foundation
Box Hill Pizzeria
Brass & Oak Galleries
Clifton Gunderson, LLP
Dresher Foundation, Inc.
E-Z Storage of Bel Air
Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center
HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union
Klein's Family Markets
Lions Club of Bel Air
Mercantile County Bank
Michael Blum & Associates, Inc., d.b.a. MartinoBlum
Parris-Castoro Eye Care Center
Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates
Town of Bel Air
BJ's Wholesale Club
Harford Mutual Insurance Company
Mrs. Flowers, Florist
Bel Air Road Supply
Frederick Ward Associates, Inc.
Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche, P.A.
Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan Association
Kefauver's Lumber & Hardware
Wagner and Sons
Ashbrook Insurance Services
Brown, Brown & Young, P.A.
Conway Management Co., Inc.
The Courtland Square Building
at 101 S. Main Street
Dean Insurance Agency, Inc.
Grove Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
John Philip Insurance Company, Inc.
Law Office of Kevin T. Olszewski, P.A.
Leo R. Handerhan, D.D.S.
LIN-MAR Development Corporation
McComas Funeral Home, P.A.
Paidon Products Company, Inc.
Smith & Kane, P.A.
Towne Barbers, Inc.
Charles L. Lutz, Inc.
Dr. John O. Duguid, D.D.S., P.A.
O'Neill Auctioneers & Appraisers
Smith, Smith & Vafakos
Bel Air Orthodontics
Clarence and Eunice Fry
Handy Stamps for Collectors
Schlaich, Thompson & Caruso, Chartered
Steven C. Levin, D.D.S.
R.C. Vanden Bosche, D.D.S.
American Legion - Harford Unit no. 39
Hirsch's Mens Store, Inc.
Law Offices of Getz, Getz & Getz
Margaret S. Daniel
Noble Consulting Engineering