We Had a Marvelous 2006!

Welcome to a complete overview of the events of July 4, 2006! 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 2006, 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.

Sponsoring Organizations

Patrons and Donors

Parade Overview

Parade Unit Sponsors

Parade Results

Day Time Event Results:
  Animal Event Results
  People Event Results

Overall Summary of the Day

Flags for Kids Sponsorship

Fireworks Sponsorship

Bel Air Community Band Concert

The July 4th, 2006, Independence Day events in Bel Air, Maryland offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of the entire region, when, upwards of 75,000 citizens from the greater Bel Air area and across Harford County, Maryland, participated and enjoyed the traditional small-town events on Tuesday, July4, 2006, culminating with the annual parade and a special fireworks display.

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 tremendously worried about the weather because of an ominous forecast, but in fact the morning and early afternoon was sunny and placid, and the only rain we had was fortunately confined to between 4:00 and 4:45 pm, which was no problem."

Michael Blum, Vice President of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee and Parade Chairman, agrees, saying "The streets dried off quickly and we had a wonderful parade, and the evening weather was pleasant, clear and cool for the fireworks. We were immensely pleased with the friendly and good natured response of the community, and we with to thank everyone for their high spirits."

Events got underway at 6:45 am at Bel Air High School with the flag raising ceremony featuring Robert Hudson, bugler, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30 and American Legion Bel Air Post 39.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed, in which 2017 adults and children a record number partook of the pancakes, blueberry pancakes, juice and sausages cooked and prepared by over 50 volunteers from the Bel Air Lions, under the direction of Pete Arnold. "We'd like to thank the Bel Air community for their wonderful support," says Lions Club member Mike Freeze.

A full roster of daytime events followed, including the traditionally popular animal contests. contests. The officials running the events cautioned all animal owners and handlers to treat their charges well, to keep them thoroughly watered, and urged them to return the frogs and turtles to their natural environment.

Results were:

  • Hamster Races (27 contestants): 1st place: Peanuts, owned by Maranda Salters of Bel Air; 2nd place: Junior, owned by Emma Chmulewski of Bel Air; 3rd place: Kibbles, owned by Stephanie Daneker of Bel Air.
  • Box Turtle Races (153 box turtles): 1st place: Junior, owned by Grace and Luke Chubb of Bel Air; Flash, owned by Tiffany Smith of Havre de Grace; 3rd place: Sandy, owned by William and Alana Penzone of Bel Air.
  • Non-Box Turtle Races (60 various turtles): 1st place: Speedy, owned by Abby Anderson of Bel Air; 2nd place: George, owned by Brandon Cole, Taylor Cole and Brady Townsend of Forest Hill; 3rd place: Rachelle, owned by Colin Bowling of Street.
  • Frog Jumping (164 total frogs): 1st place, Red Bull, owned by Mason Wilkerson of Street, with a combined 3-jump total of 122 inches. 2nd was George, owned by Thomas, Mitchell and Becky Street, of Fallston; at 112 inches. Third was Killer, owned by Rose Lester of Prince Frederick, Maryland, at 110 inches.

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In events for people, the Horseshoe Pitch Men's Singles Division was won by Ron Gullion of Fawn Grove, PA; 2nd was Mike Anderson of Bel Air. Women's Singles was won by Kathy Smith of Aberdeen; 2nd was Terry Young of Street.Men's Doubles was won by James Stewart and Zach Walter, Jr., of Baltimore; 2nd was Marvin Hotts and Marvin Hotts, Jr., of Bel Air. Women's Doubles was won by Vicki Smith of Darlington and Lorrie Monahan of Bel Air; 2nd place was Charlotte Onion of Stewartstown, PA, and Kathy Smith of Aberdeen.

In the Uncle Sam Sayscompetition, the ages 5-7 division was won by Sam Queen of Bel Air; 2nd was Shawn Gmulek of Abingdon and 3rd was Alexis Tippett of Street. The ages 8-10 division was won by Katie Lazzari of Forest Hill; 2nd was Carly Lyon of Street and 3rd was Andrew Mastromanolis of Bel Air. The ages 11-13 division was won by Stephanie Vork of Edgewood; 2nd was Erica Amos of Bel Air and 3rd was Trace Fairbaugh of Bel Air. The Adult Division was won by Rob Stevenson of Bel Air; 2nd was Rob Evers of Forest Hill and 3rd was Keith Gmurek of Abingdon.

The Bicycle Rodeo saw Trophies for Best Decorated Bike won by Grant Astle of Rising Sun (boys) and Jennifer Little of Abingdon (girls). In the 5 and under class, 1st was Paige Malloy of Bel Air; 2nd was Nathan Holt of Bel Air; 3rd was Emily Tacka of Bel Air. In the 6-8 class, 1st was Grant Astle of Rising Sun; 2nd was Kevin Fromk of Bel Air; 3rd was Ryan Lepp of Bel Air; in the 9-10 division, 1st was Elijah Olsen of Bel Air; 2nd was Zach Olsen of Bel Air; 3rd was Anne Schimminger of Bel Air. In the Ages 11-13 division, 1st was Ryan Brooks of Bel Air; 2nd was Josie Schimminger of Bel Air; 3rd was Taylor Lynch of Bel Air.

The Watermelon Eating Contest in the ages 6 and under division was won by Jacob Lowery of Bel Air; 2nd was Mark Quesnel of Bel Air; 3rd was Sierra Smith of Bel Air. Ages 7-10 was won by Maddy Nilles of Jarrettsville; 2nd was Connor Sorg of Bel Air; 3rd was Drew Isennock of Darlington. Ages 11-16 was won by Lee Soto of Bel Air; 2nd was Raymond Moore of Jarrettsville; 3rd was Natalie Beale of Bel Air. The Adult Division was won by Aynsley Grove of Bel Air; 2nd was Dione White of Bel Air; 3rd was Rob Dickson of Bel Air.

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After a recess for the afternoon, and a downpour that ended promptly at 4:45 pm, 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 Cheerleaders and Boy Scout Troop 564, all led by Don Stewart.

Reviewing stand narration was provided by Don Morrison of the Harford County Board of Education.

Many of the parade units were sponsored by area businesses. Banners in the parade celebrating these sponsors were carried by members of the Fountain Green Swim Club, under the direction of David Williams. Parade sponsors included:

  • 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
  • Science Applications International Corporation

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Parade Results

8 independent Parade Judges viewed the parade, whose theme was Celebrating America's Landmarks, and awarded the following prizes:

1. Floats
A. Organizational or Personal Float Entries
1st Place: $300: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2nd Place: $200: New Covenant Church of God
3rd Place: $100: Cub Scout Pack 865
4th Place: $75: Town of Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission
5th Place: plaque: Cub Scout Pack 807
B. Commercial Float Entries
1st Place: $300: Diamond Dance
2nd Place: $200: The Aegis
2. Equestrian Units
1st Place: $100: Shining Eye Percherons
2nd Place: $90: Ashton Rudell and Corinne Rudell-Deans
3rd Place: $80: Sandy Kline
4th Place: $70: America in Miniature/Verna White
5th Place: $60: Jessica Spellman & Kristin Gilbert
3. Antique Vehicles
1st Place: 1960 Chevrolet Viking Firetruck (Jerry Scarborough)
2nd Place: 1931 Ford Roadster (Kathleen Smith)
3rd Place: David Kluck: Kaiser-Frazer Owners / Willys Aero Ace
4. Color Guards
1st Place: Sheriff's Department, Harford County
2nd Place: American Legion Post No. 39 Harford County
3rd Place: Vietnam Veterans of America
5. Mobile Units
1st Place: Liberty Tax Service
2nd Place: Bel Air Corvette Club
3rd Place: State Farm Insurance
4th Place: Har-Co MD Federal Credit Union
5th Place: Nice Dreams Car Club
6. Marching Units
1st Place: Intercoastal Trucking / US Marine Corps
2nd Place: Titans Drum Corps
3rd Place: Totally Twirlin'
4th Place: Applause of Bel Air
5th Place: Chesapeake Figure Skaters
7. Emergency Vehicles
1st Place: Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company
2nd Place: Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company
3rd Place: Level Volunteer Fire Company
8. Comic/Novelty Acts
1st Place: Hoppin' Hawks
2nd Place: City of Aberdeen / Aberdeen Recycling
3rd Place: Ed Davis / Uncle Sam
9. Bands, Drum & Bugle Corps, Majorette Corps
1st Place: Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
2nd Place: Phillippine Heritage Band
3rd Place: Havre de Grace High School Band
10. Notable People / Featured Individuals of Merit and Honor
Most Patriotic: Harford County Miss Fire Prevention: Brittany Mann
Best Presentation: Miss Harford County Farm Bureau: Sarah Dixon
Most Popular with the Crowd: Harford Public School Teacher of the Year Susan Healy
Seemed Happiest to be in the Parade: Miss Black Eyed Susan: Melissa Anderson
11. Absolutely Unique Entry
Friends of Ashleigh Marie
12. Judges Awards for Special Excellence in the 2006 Parade
M&T Bank Flag Giveaway
Ravens Nest Fan Club/ Fan Bus
Buontempo Brothers
Clerk of Court James Reilly
Baltimore All-Stars
Darlington Volunteer Fire Company
Bel Air Corvette Club
Strictly Scionized

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The parade was followed by 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.

At the conclusion of the concert came the 2006 fireworks display, sponsored for the 12th consecutive year by Har-Co Maryland Federal Credit Union, and produced by Fireworks Productions, Inc. According to Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola, "I estimate attendance at or around Bel Air High School for the fireworks at easily over 70,000. We had almost no problems with the crowds, who were on the whole well behaved and supportive of the event," Matrangola adds. A significant new feature was the synchronizing of the beginning of the fireworks to the live playing of Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" by the Bel Air Community Band, and the grand finale, to the accompaniment of Paul McCartney's "Freedom" on CD, both arranged and coordinated by Don Stewart. "It was a great favorite of the crowd," says Michael Blum, "It took them by surprise and they loved it."

Sponsoring Organizations for 2006

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

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Patrons and Supporters of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee for 2006 included:

Founders

A Better Answer
Bel Air Rotary Foundation
Box Hill Pizzeria
Clifton Gunderson, LLP
Dresher Foundation, Inc.
Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center
HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union
Jones Junction
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
Plaza Ford
Science Applications International Corporation
Town of Bel Air

Patriots

BJ's Wholesale Club
Harford Mutual Insurance Company

Minutemen

Dean Insurance Agency, Inc.
Frederick Ward Associates, Inc.
Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche, P.A.
Harford County Association of Realtors
Kefauver's Lumber & Hardware
Morris & Ritchie Associates, Inc.
Smith & Kane, P.A.
Suburban Propane
Wagner and Sons

Skyrockets

Brown, Brown & Young, P.A.
Courtland Hearth & Hardware, Inc.
The Courtland Square Building at 101 S. Main Street
Edgewood Corporation
Grove Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
Law Office of Kevin T. Olszewski, P.A.
Leo R. Handerhan, D.D.S.
LIN-MAR Development Corporation
McComas Funeral Home, P.A.
O'Neill Enterprises Realty & Auction Svcs.

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Roman Candles

Charles L. Lutz, Inc.
Conway Management Co., Inc.
Dr. John O. Duguid, D.D.S., P.A.
Harford Bank
Higinbothom Family

Firecrackers

Bel Air Orthodontics
Clarence and Eunice Fry
Handy Stamps for Collectors
Jane Armstrong
Margaret Lesch
Schlaich, Thompson & Caruso, Chartered
Stark & Keenan, P.A.
Steven C. Levin, D.D.S.
Stockson Printing
R.C. Vanden Bosche, D.D.S.
W.K. Smith & J.A. Smith, P.A.
William H. Cox, Jr., Real Estate

Contributors

American Legion Aux. - Harford Unit #39
Jarrettsville Family Care
Hirsch's Mens Store, Inc.
Law Offices of Getz, Getz & Getz

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