2011 Was Loads of Fun!

Welcome to a complete overview of the events of Monday, July 4, 2011! Special thanks to Don Stewart, Debbie Stewart, Greg Cooper, Paul Balsamo and Lindsey Leedy for collecting results of the individual day events, and to our Parade Judges (who, by their own wish, remain anonymous) for diligently paying attention to over 150 different parade entrants in 13 different categories — and determining the winners!

There's a lot of information here about 2011, 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 2003-2014, please consult our archives.

Sponsoring Organizations

Patrons and Donors

Parade Overview

Parade Unit Sponsors

Parade Results

Day Time Event Results

Overall Summary of the Day

Flags for Kids Sponsorship

Fireworks Sponsorship

The July 4th, 2011, Independence Day events in Bel Air, Maryland offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of the entire region, all during a day of light breezes and happy smiles. 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 Monday, July 4th, 2011, culminating with the annual parade and a glorious fireworks display.

Events got underway at 6:45 am at the new 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 national anthem was sung by former Miss Maryland's Outstanding Teen Stephanie Meadowcroft.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed, in which over 2300 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.

Results were:

Hamster Races — 34 total participants
   1st: Sparkles, owned by Valerie & Ellie Myers of Bel Air
   2nd: Scooby, owned by Danielle Lynn of Darlington
   3rd: Caramel, owned by Madison Santiago of Abingdon

Turtle Derby
   Box Turtles — 92 total participants
      1st: Slowee, entered by Angelina Barrese of Fallston
      2nd: Speedie, entered by Dillan Unger of Darlington
      3rd: (tie) Bugs Turtle, entered by Erin Drumm of Bel Air and Spike, entered by Rachael Ewers of Forest Hill

   Other Turtles — 55 total participants
      1st: Terp, entered by Heather and Taylor Reider of Abingdon
      2nd: Claude, entered by Hunter and Hailey Neal of Abingdon
      3rd: (tie) Mr. Smith, entered by Erin Drumm, of Forest Hill, MD, and Rangler, entered by Emily Jackson, of Cambridge, MD

Frog Jumping — 151 total participants
   1st: Hammer, entered by Jenny Lynch of Bel Air — 171 inches — AN ALL-TIME RECORD!
   2nd: Jumper the Frog, entered by Sam Lynch of Bel Air — 149 inches
   3rd: Bob, entered by Seth Bishop of Whiteford — 140 inches

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Horseshoe Pitching
   Women's Singles:
      1st: Charlotte Onion of Stewartstown, PA
      2nd: Velma Sheicher of Bel Air
   Women's Doubles:
      1st: Charlotte Onion of Stewartstown, PA, and Vickie Smith of Darlington
      2nd: Bree Smith and Velma Sheicher of Bel Air.
   Men's Singles:
      1st: Cisco Reyes of Brooklyn Park, MD
      2nd: Tim Hilton of Street, MD
   Men's Doubles:
      1st: James Stewart and Zach Waters, Jr., of Baltimore, MD
      2nd: Lionel Bowser of Street, MD and Ed Hall of Forest Hill, MD

Bicycle Rodeo
   Best Decorated — Girls: Kaitlyn Calland
   Best Decorated — Boys: Jimmy Calland
   Ages 5 and under:
      1st: Anna Bennett
      2nd: Peter Knefel
      3rd: Matthew Crowe
   Ages 6-8:
      1st: Jimmy Calland
      2nd: Joseph Johnson
      3rd: Preston Merz
   Ages 9-10:
      1st: Aiden Bennett
      2nd: Abby Battaglia
      3rd: Brett Buckman
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Jake Burrows
      2nd: Devon Surita
      3rd: Chase Donelson

Uncle Sam Says
   Ages 5-7:
      1st: Macy Vail from Joppa
      2nd: Madison Santiago from Bel Air
      3rd: Daniel Gaughan from Bel Air
   Ages 8-10:
      1st: Morgan Reinhardt from Pylesville
      2nd: Jessica Douglass from Whiteford
      3rd: Jake Wheeler from Bel Air
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Finn Gottschalk from Abingdon
      2nd: Gabrielle Roeder from Whiteford
      3rd: Erin Drumm from Forest Hill
   Ages 14+:
      1st: Jake Kahoe from Forest Hill
      2nd: Maria Edwards from Forest Hill
      3rd: Talia Kahoe from Forest Hill

Watermelon Eating Contest
   Ages 6 and under:
      1st: Paige Martin
      2nd: Julia Babb from Charleston, SC
      3rd: Ben Iannantuono
   Ages 7-10:
      1st: Jake Ehrbaker from Bel Air
      2nd: Jamie Salvatiere from Bel Air
      3rd: Destiny Clark from Baltimore
   Ages 11-16:
      1st: Tristan Salmon from Bel Air
      2nd: Emma Friel from Charleston, SC
      3rd: Owen Sparr from Bel Air
   Ages 17+:
      1st: Dan Petz from Havre de Grace
      2nd: Aynsley Grove from Bel Air
      3rd: Rebecca Barkowski from Abingdon

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After a recess for the afternoon, the traditional parade began at 6:00 pm at the intersection of North Main Street and Gordon Street on the north side of Bel Air. It was hot but breezy, and totally dry (thank heavens!), and the parade was greeted with approval by an estimated crowd of 45,000 spectators.

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. Distribution of flags was handled by bank employees, bank friends and neighbors, and by members of the Bel Air Bobcats Varsity Football Team & Cheerleaders, and by Boy Scout Troop 564, all led by Don Stewart.

Reviewing stand narration was provided by Don Morrison, helped by Text Messaging Parade Marshals, led by Perry Thompson, Andy Chang and Julia Blum!

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, sponsor of the Tampa Bay Thunder
  • Buontempo Brothers/Tower Restaurant, sponsor of the Patterson Mill High School Band
  • Festival at Bel Air, sponsor of the Alliance Drum and Bugle Corp
  • HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union, sponsor of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
  • Jones Junction Auto Dealerships, sponsor of the C. Milton Wright High School Band
  • Klein's ShopRites of Maryland, sponsor of the Philippine Heritage Band
  • Oak Contracting, Inc., sponsor of the Edgewood High School Band
  • Plaza Ford, sponsor of the Loch Raven Pipes and Drums
  • PNC Bank, sponsor of the Bel Air High School Band
  • Point Breeze Credit Union, sponsor of the Bel Air Community Band
  • SAIC, sponsor of the Havre de Grace High School Band
  • Triad Mechanical Services, sponsor of the John Carroll School Band

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Parade Results

6 independent Parade Judges viewed the parade, whose theme was 3 CHEERS FOR THE RED, WHITE & BLUE!, and awarded the following prizes:

FLOATS
   1st Prize: $400: ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST SCHOOL
   2nd Prize: $300: GREAT HOPE BIBLE CHURCH
   3rd Prize: $200: MARYLAND SCHOOL FOR BALLET
   4th Prize: $100: JONES FAMILY FARM
   5th Prize: $75: CELEBRATING AMERICA'S VETERANS
   6th Prize: $50: THE ARENA CLUB
   7th Prize: plaque: SILVER EAGLE CLOGGERS
   8th Prize: plaque: PECORA'S PET CARE

EQUESTRIAN UNITS
   1st Prize: $100: AMERICA IN MINIATURE
   2nd Prize: $90: SHINING EYE PERCHERONS
   3rd Prize: $80: LEXIE PALMER

ANTIQUE VEHICLES (plaques)
   1st Prize: SMITH FAMILY ANTIQUE VEHICLES & TRACTORS
   2nd Prize: HARFORD REGION, ANTIQUE AUTO ASSOC. OF AMERICA
   3rd Prize: THOMAS MCKNIGHT 1948 FARMALL

COLOR GUARDS (plaques)
   1st Prize: AMERICAN LEGION POST #29
   2nd Prize: HARFORD COUNTY DETACHMENT, MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
   3rd Prize: HARFORD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONOR GUARD

MOBILE UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: PLAZA FORD
   2nd Prize: BLUE DOT SERVICES OF MARYLAND
   3rd Prize: HARFORD COUNTY LIBRARY FOUNDATION
   4th Prize: THOMPSON MOVING AND STORAGE

MARCHING UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: HOPPIN' HAWKS JUMP ROPE CLUB
   2nd Prize: RAGE BOX CONTEMPORARY DANCE
   3rd Prize: CUB SCOUT PACK 807
   4th Prize: CUB SCOUT PACK 999

EMERGENCY VEHICLES (plaques)
   1st Prize: LEVEL VFC
   2nd Prize: JOPPA-MAGNOLIA VFC
   3rd Prize: JARRETTSVILLE VFC

COMIC/NOVELTY ACTS (plaques)
   1st Prize: STILTS WALKERS AND JOKESTERS
   2nd Prize: TAZ CRUISER
   3rd Prize: BOUMI SHRINE MOTOR CORPS

THE HARFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL BEL AIR JULY 4 PARADE TROPHY is awarded for 2011 to:

C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING MUSTANG BAND

BANDS, DRUM & BUGLE CORPS, MAJORETTE CORPS (plaques)
   1st Prize: JOHN F. NICOLL PIPES & DRUMS
   2nd Prize: SUMMER PHOENIX DRUMLINE
   3rd Prize: BEL AIR COMMUNITY BAND

NOTABLE PEOPLE (plaques)
   Most Patriotic: MARYLAND'S DISTINGUISHED YOUNG WOMAN 2011 REBECCA MITCHELL
   Best Presentation: MSFA JUNIOR MISS FIRE PREVENTION 2011 SABRINA WAINRIGHT
   Most Popular with the Crowd: HCPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR CHRISTIAN SLATTERY  & NURSE OF THE YEAR SARA CUSHEN
   Seemed Happiest to Be in the Parade: HARFORD COUNTY LITTLE FIRE CHIEF 2011 TAYLOR BATTON
   Best Smile: MISS MARYLAND 2011 CARLIE COLELLA

ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE ENTRY (plaque): MARYLAND STATE POLICE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

JUDGES AWARDS FOR SPECIAL MERIT:
   PATTERSON MILL HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   EDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   HAVRE DE GRACE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   HALL'S HONEY POTS
   BEL AIR VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
   JOPPATOWNE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   READING BUCCANEERS DRUM & BUGLE CORPS
   THE PHILIPPINE HERITAGE BAND
   MISS BEL AIR INDEPENDENCE DAY 2011 KATIE MEADOWCROFT

Winners of awards in the parade are 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 by HARFORD MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY. The launch site was Rockfield park, on a height by East Churchville Road.

Sponsoring Organizations for 2011

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

Program Cover Contest Winner

The front cover illustration for the program was done by Melanie Hoang of Bel Air. The official program was designed and produced by Michael Blum; 2010 event photos used in the program were taken by Don Stewart.

2011 Program Sponsor: Point Breeze Credit Union

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