2008 Saw Lots of Patriotic Fun!

Welcome to a complete overview of the events of July 4, 2008! 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 140 different parade entrants and determining the winners!

There's a lot of information here about 2008, 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 results and information from 2003-2007, please consult our archives.

This page is updated as often as possible considering the volunteer nature of the Committee and its actitives; however, information is added and corrections are made along the way. Please check back often!

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

The July 4th, 2008, Independence Day events in Bel Air, Maryland offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of the entire region, when, despite an early morning shower and then evening bouts of drizzle and rain, tens of thousands of citizens from the greater Bel Air area and across Harford County, Maryland, participated and enjoyed the traditional small-town events on Friday, July 4th, 2008, culminating with the annual parade and a glorious fireworks display.

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 over 1800 adults and children 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 Harold Boccia.

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. Note: All outdoor events after the pancake breakfast were held in the new locations debuted in 2007.

Results were:

  • Hamster Races (27 contestants): 1st place: Little Taffy, owned by James Miller; 2nd place: Honey, owned by Erin & Lauren Huffer; 3rd place: Alvin, owned by Ashton, Branson and Cameron Tolson.
  • Box Turtle Races (93 box turtles entered): 1st place: Bubba, owned by Brice and Brady Logan of Fallston; 2nd place: Tom, owned by Breanna Nowakowski of Bel Air; 3rd place: Cameron, owned by Cameron Taylor of Joppa.
  • Non-Box Turtle Races (52 various other breeds of turtles entered): 1st place: Booger, owned by Ian Wilde of Abingdon; 2nd place, Claude, owned by Abby Anderson of Bel Air; 3rd place, Junior, owned by Shawn Fleming of Bel Air.
  • Frog Jumping (142 total frogs entered): 1st place was won by Murry, owned by Jake Davenport of Bel Air, with a combined three-jump total of 148 inches — a great record, although short of the all-time record of 164 inches. 2nd place was won by Froggy, owned by Christopher Boyd of Darlington, with a total of 140 inches; 3rd place was won by Delmar, owned by Clair Palmer of Bel Air, with a total of 119 inches.

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In events for people, the Horseshoe Pitch Men's Singles Division was won by Zac Watters, Jr., of Baltimore; 2nd place was Doug Sarver of Bel Air. Women's Singles was won by Kathy Smith of Perryman; 2nd place was Terry Young of Street. Men's Doubles was won by James Stewart and Zac Watters, Jr., of Baltimore; 2nd place was Warren Rummer from Fallston and Jerry Schafer from Abingdon. Women's Doubles was won by Kathy Smith from Perryman and Charlotte Onion from Stewartstown, PA ; 2nd place was Hazel Ellis of Bel Air and Terry Young of Street.

In the Uncle Sam Says competition, the ages 5-7 division was won by Emily Sterling of Bel Air. 2nd place was Jack Stannard of Bel Air; 3rd place was Corinne Smith of Bel Air. The ages 8-10 division was won by Sam Queen of Bel Air; 2nd place was Tyler Sherman of Bel Air; 3rd place was Matt Resnik of Bel Air. The ages 11-13 division was won by Brooke Watson of Bel Air; 2nd place was Manny Mastromanolis of Bel Air; 3rd place was Brianna-Lee Hicks of Parkville. The Adult Division was won by Monique Prevost of Olympia, Washington; 2nd place was Geri Bishop of Bel Air; 3rd place was Maddie Zimmer of Churchville.

The Bicycle Rodeo: In the 5 and under class, 1st place was won by Jimmy Calland of Street; 2nd place was Liam Osborne of Bel Air; 3rd place was Bryce Lloyd of Abingdon. In the ages 6-8 class, 1st place was won by Hannah Loop of Abingdon; 2nd place was Saxon Brown of Bel Air; 3rd place was Jacob Godfrey of Bel Air. In the ages 9-10 division, 1st place was won by Ben Tacka of Bel Air; 2nd plaace was Addison Smith of Bel Air; 3rd was Caroline Copes of Bel Air. In the ages 11-13 division, 1st place was won by Morgan Harrell of Baltimore; 2nd place was Alia Satterfield of Bel Air; 3rd place was Alex Copes of Bel Air.

The Watermelon Eating Contest in the ages 6 and under division was won by Lily Dippel of Fallson; 2nd place was James Durante of Hickory; 3rd place was Caeli Willard of Bel Air. Ages 7-10 was won by Michael Imbierowizg of Bel Air; 2nd place was Aaron Parker of Edgewood; 3rd place was Olivia Manger of Bel Air. Ages 11-16 was won by Madeline Crowell of Bel Air; 2nd place was Jake Isenock of Darlington; 3rd place was Miranda Debale of Bel Air. The Adult Division was won by Rick Bishop of Bel Air; 2nd place was Jeff Bukowski of Bel Air; 3rd place was Craig Hemmerich of Fallston.

The Hays House 2008 Patriotic Costume Contest: Winners were Sean Wirt from Bel Air, age 8, costumed as Abe Lincoln, and Paige Wirt from Bel Air, age 4, costumed as Susan B. Anthony.

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After a recess for the afternoon, the traditional parade began at 6:00 pm at the intersection of Bond Street and Gordon Street on the north side of Bel Air. Although rain occurred intermittently between 6 pm and 8:30 pm, the enthusiasm of the crowd and the parade participants was undampened, and everyone had a great time.

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, and by Teri Kranefeld.

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:

  • Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters & Ruth, CPAs
  • Box Hill Pizzeria
  • The Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center
  • Jones Junction Auto Dealerships
  • Oak Contracting, Inc.
  • PNC Bank
  • Klein's Family Markets of Harford County
  • Parris - Castoro Eye Care Center
  • Plaza Ford     and
  • SAIC

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Parade Results

8 independent Parade Judges viewed the parade, whose theme was "A Salute to Those Who Serve Our Nation!", and awarded the following prizes:

1. Floats
1st Place ($400): Fallston Animal Rescue
2nd Place ($300): New Covenant Church of God
3rd Place ($200): Silver Eagle Cloggers
4th Place ($100): Harford County Public Library
5th Place ($75): Cub Scout Troop 807
6th Place ($50): Cub Scout Troop 808
7th Place (plaque): Rick Burnham's 1992 Chevy Lumina Stock Car
8th Place (plaque): Harford Glen Environmental Center
2. Equestrian Units
1st Place($100): Shining Eye Percherons
2nd Place($90): Ashton Rudell & Lexie Palmer
3rd Place($80): Verna White — America in Miniature
4th Place($70): Shadow Brook Farm
5th Place($60): Exit Generations Realty
3. Antique Vehicles
1st Place: 1951 Mack Fire Engine — Russell Piper
2nd Place: Elmer V. and Kathleen Smith's Antique Vehicles
3rd Place: VFW Post 11377 — David Kluck's 1954 Willys Ace Deluxe
4. Color Guards
1st Place: American Legion Post #39 Harford County
2nd Place: Sheriff's Department, Harford County
3rd Place: Combined Unit: US Army Color Guard from the 5th Regiment Armory, Baltimore, and US Marine Corps 4th Combat Engineers Color Guard, Parkville, Maryland
5. Mobile Units
1st Place: North Harford High School Future Farmers of America
2nd Place: 12 & Under Bel Air Braves Baseball
3rd Place: (tie) Passion for Pavement & DragginÕ Bottomz Car Clubs
4th Place: Jones Well Drilling
6. Marching Units
1st Place: Marine Corps Detachment APG
2nd Place: Hoppin' Hawks Jump Rope Club
3rd Place: Cub Scout Pack 999
4th Place: Mason-Dixon Rescue Dogs
5th Place: Cub Scout Pack 234
7. Emergency Vehicles
1st Place: Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company
2nd Place: Susquehanna Hose Company
3rd Place: Level Volunteer Fire Company
8. Comic/Novelty Acts
1st Place: The TAZ Cruiser / Dream Cruiser PT Club
2nd Place: Uncle Sam on Stilts and His Stilts Walking Family
3rd Place: Boumi Temple Motorcycle Corps
9. Bands, Drum & Bugle Corps, Majorette Corps
1st Place: Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
2nd Place: Music City Legends Drum & Bugle Corps
3rd Place: Alliance Drum & Bugle Corps

Most Patriotic: Kayla Giro, Miss Teen Harford County International 2008
Best Presentation (tie): Cassidy Hoover, Harford County Fire Prevention Committee Little Miss Fire Prevention; Jordan White, Harford County Fire Prevention Committee Little Fire Chief
Most Popular with the Crowd: Harford County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Ron Wooden, of George D. Lisby at Hillsdale Elementary School
11. UNIQUE ENTRY ("which no words can describe")

City of Aberdeen Recycling
12. Judges Awards for Special Excellence in the 2008 Parade (in alphabetical order)
Bel Air Community Band

Buontempo Brothers Pizza

Charlie Company 2-224th Aviation, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, Maryland Army National Guard

Dream Nation Marching Unit

Harford County Detachment Marine Corps League

Jarrettsville Young Marines

Jerry ScarboroughÕs 1971 Ford MSP Vehicle and 1968 Maryland State Police Vehicle

North Harford High School Marching Hawks Band

Winners of awards in the parade will be contacted by the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, Inc., to deliver their prizes. Parade awards winners may also call Michael Blum at 410-879-4245.

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The evening ended with a grand fireworks display, sponsored for the 14th consecutive year by Har-Co Maryland Federal Credit Union, and produced by Fireworks Productions, Inc. The launch site was Rockfield park, on a height by East Churchville Road. Although occasional drizzle continued, and the fireworks went off flawlessly.

Sponsoring Organizations for 2008

The Bel Air Auxiliary Police Unit
The Bel Air Lions
The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation
The Town of Bel Air

The 2008 Independence Day Program Sponsor: The Bel Air Lions

The front cover illustration for the program was done by Savannah Schrieffer of Bel Air. 2007 event photos used in the program were taken by Don Stewart.

The 2008 Pancake Breakfast Placemat Sponsor: Har-Co Federal Credit Union

The 2008 placement was designed and produced by Michael Blum. 2007 event photos used on the placemat were taken by Don Stewart.

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Patrons and Supporters of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee for the 2008 festivities included:


  • A Better Answer
  • Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters & Ruth, CPAs
  • Box Hill Pizzeria
  • Clifton Gunderson, LLP
  • Dresher Foundation, Inc.
  • E Z Store Self Storage
  • Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center
  • HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union
  • Harford Mutual Insurance
  • Jones Junction
  • Klein's Family Markets
  • Lions Club of Bel Air
  • Michael Blum Associates, Inc., d.b.a. MartinoBlum
  • Oak Contracting, Inc.
  • Parris-Castoro Eye Care Center
  • Plaza Ford
  • PNC Bank
  • SAIC
  • Town of Bel Air


  • BJ's Wholesale Club


  • Conway Management Co., Inc.
  • Courtland Hearth & Hardware, Inc.
  • Dean Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche, P.A.
  • Smith & Kane, P.A.
  • Suburban Propane
  • Wagner and Sons


  • Brown, Brown & Young, PA
  • CAPSA Inc. & Grinon Lane, Inc. Joint Venture
  • Edgewood Corporation
  • Grove Plumbing & Heating, Inc.
  • McComas Funeral Home, P.A.
  • Maryland-American Water Company
  • Law Office of Kevin T. Olszewski, P.A.
  • O'Neill Enterprises Realty & Auction Services

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Roman Candles

  • Leo R. Handerhan, D.D.S.
  • Hall's Septic Service
  • Harford Bank
  • Higinbothom Family
  • Kunkel Service Company
  • Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered


  • Jane Armstrong
  • Bel Air Orthodontics
  • Clarence and Eunice Fry
  • Arch & Rita Handy
  • Steven C. Levin, D.D.S.
  • Stark & Keenan, P.A.
  • R. C. Vanden Bosche, D.D.S.
  • Stockson Printing
  • William H. Cox, Jr. Real Estate, Inc.


  • American Legion Bel Air Post #55
  • Michael DeMeo
  • Law Offices of Getz, Getz & Getz
  • Margaret Lesch
  • Diane & Leo Matrangola
  • Len Parrish

Note: we "count" sponsors as having donated or pledged money or in-kind during a specific cycle, leading up to each July 4. Therefore the above list supported the activities of July 4, 2008. Corrections have been made to listings in the program, which went to print on June 19, 2008.

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