2012 Was HOT!

Welcome to a complete overview of the events of Wednesday, July 4, 2012! Special thanks to Don Stewart and Debbie Stewart 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 165 different parade entrants in 13 different categories — and determining the winners!

There's a lot of information here about 2012, 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 2003-2011, 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

The July 4th, 2012, 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 very high temperatures, fortunately ameliorated by light breezes and totally devoid of 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 Wednesday, July 4th, 2012, culminating with the annual parade and one of the best fireworks displays since the fireworks moved to their present shoot-off location.

Events got underway at 6:45 am at the new Bel Air High School with the flag raising ceremony featuring Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30 and American Legion Bel Air Post 39. The national anthem was sung by Miss Bel Air Independence Day Stephanie Meadowcroft.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed, in which over 2500 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, and with the assistance of members of the Bel Air High School Bobcats Varsity Football Team. Go Bobcats!

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 — 22 total participants
   1st: Lou Lou, owned by Anna Williams of Whiteford
   2nd: Sam, owned by Izzy Wheeler of Perry Hall
   3rd: Mr. Nibbles, owned by Brandon Ghio of Bel Air

Turtle Derby
   Box Turtles — 76 total participants
      1st: Turtley, entered by Tyler Lavinski of Bel Air
      Crawlie, entered by Madison and Chase Thompson of Aberdeen
      3rd: Crawlie, entered by Madison and Chase Thompson of Aberdeen

   Other Turtles — 57 total participants
      1st: Octavius, entered by Curtis Himmler of Fallston
      2nd: Wolverine, entered by Stephan and Elizabeth Cullinan of Bel Air
      3rd: Junior, entered by Shawn Flemming of Bel Air

Frog Jumping — 210 total participants
   Louie Mama, entered by Hayden and Ella Celio of Bel Air - 144 inches — short of the all-time record of 171 inches
   2nd: Leapster, entered by Sage Thorpe of Darlington - 123 inches
   3rd: Jumpy, entered by Kyle Shanton and Sam Lynch of Jarrettsville - 115 inches

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Horseshoe Pitching
   Women's Singles:
      1st: Vickie Smith of Darlington
      2nd: Bre Smith of Darlington
   Women's Doubles:
      1st: Velma Schleicher of Bel Air and Desiree Hare of Belcamp
      2nd: Vicki Smith and Bre Smith of Darlington
   Men's Singles:
      1st: Jeff Cooper of Delta, PA
      2nd: Mark Farrington of Bel Air
   Men's Doubles:
      1st: Dennis White and Dan Molino of Perry Hall
      2nd: Tim Siford of Fallston and Mike Lewis of Kingsville

Bicycle Rodeo
   Best Decorated — Girls: Jayda Gullion of Bel Air
   Best Decorated — Boys: Norman Jones of Delta, PA
   Ages 5 and under with training wheels:
      1st: Berky Barso of Bel Air
      2nd: Jacob Risling of Bel Air
      3rd: Garrett Kimmel of Baltimore
   Ages 5 and under:
      1st: Zach Tamanini of Forest Hill
      2nd: Trent Wrzosek of Bel Air
      3rd: Kaitlyn Calland of Street
   Ages 6-8:
      1st: Danny Rodier of Bel Air
      2nd: Jimmy Calland of Street
      3rd: Norman Jones of Delta, PA
   Ages 9-10:
      1st: Brett Buckman of Bel Air
      2nd: Aiden Bennett of Bel Air
      3rd: Michael Garland of Bel Air
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Chase Donelson of Bel Air
      2nd: Jake Borrows of Bel Air
      3rd: Aubrey Hoover of Bel Air

Uncle Sam Says
   Ages 5-7:
      1st: Morgan Hennigan from Bel Air
      2nd: Maggie Donahue from Bel Air
      3rd: Seth Panowitz from Bel Air
   Ages 8-10:
      1st: Chase Vogue from Bel Air
      2nd: Jessica Sparr from Bel Air
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Jessica Douglas from Whiteford
      2nd: Connor Lorenz from Bel Air
      3rd: Morgan Reinhardt from Whiteford
   Ages 14+:
      1st: Kayla Williams from Whiteford
      2nd: Sharon Pindell from Bel Air
      3rd: Stacey Sheetz from Bel Air

Watermelon Eating Contest
   Ages 6 and under:
      1st: Morgan Hannigan from Bel Air
      2nd: Grace Buckleman
      3rd: Will Barto from Fallston
   Ages 7-10:
      1st: Katie Airey from Forest Hill
      2nd: Emma Sheridan from Bel Air
      3rd: Kyle Roeder from Whiteford
   Ages 11-16:
      1st: Luke Dippel from Fallston
      2nd: Sabrina Mills from Forest Hill
      3rd: Megan Burton from Bel Air
   Ages 17+:
      1st: Aynsley Grove from Bel Air
      2nd: Matt Fodel from Bel Air
      3rd: Mike Borns from Forest Hill

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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 totally dry (thank heavens!), and the parade was greeted with approval by an estimated crowd of 45,000 spectators.

Reviewing stand narration was provided by Don Morrison, helped by Text Messaging Parade Marshals, led by Perry Thompson, David Blum and Rachel Eibling!

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 Carolina gold
  • Buontempo Brothers/Tower Restaurant, sponsor of the Patterson Mill High School Band
  • Festival at Bel Air, sponsor of the Harford Highlanders
  • 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 Fallston High School Band
  • 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
  • TD Bank, sponsor of the John F. Nicoll Pipes and Drums
  • 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 LAND OF THE FREE, and awarded the following prizes:

FLOATS
   1st Prize: $400: BAHA'I'S OF BEL AIR
   2nd Prize: $300: OAK GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
   3rd Prize: $200: HARFORD COUNTY FARM FAIR
   4th Prize: $100: HEART OF DAVID WORSHIPPERS
   5th Prize: $75: BEL AIR TERPS FOOTBALL
   6th Prize: $50: RIPKEN BASEBALL
   7th Prize: plaque: WAMD RADIO

EQUESTRIAN UNITS
   1st Prize: $100: SHINING EYE PERCHERONS
   2nd Prize: $90: AMERICA IN MINIATURE
   3rd Prize: $80: UNCLE MILTIE'S MINIS
   4th Prize: plaque: KLINE FAMILY CARRIAGE

ANTIQUE VEHICLES (plaques)
   1st Prize: SMITH FAMILY ANTIQUE VEHICLES & TRACTORS
   2nd Prize: TOM HARRINGTON'S 1962 CHEVY
   3rd Prize: CORBIN FUEL ANTIQUE DELIVERY TRUCK

COLOR GUARDS (plaques)
   1st Prize: HARFORD COUNTY DETACHMENT, MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
   2nd Prize: CHARLIE COMPANY 22ND BATTALION
   3rd Prize: AMERICAN LEGION POST #29

MOBILE UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: MT. ARARAT MASONIC FAMILY
   2nd Prize: STRICTLY BUSINESS CAR & TRUCK CLUB
   3rd Prize: INSANITY 4X4 TEAM
   4th Prize: MD STATE POLICE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

MARCHING UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: GIRL SCOUTS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND
   2nd Prize: CUB SCOUT PACK 936
   3rd Prize: CUB SCOUT PACK 999

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

COMIC/NOVELTY ACTS (plaques)
   1st Prize: UNCLE SAM ON PENNYFARTHING CYCLE
   2nd Prize: ABERDEEN RECYCLERS
   3rd Prize: ROSMAN'S 4TH REGIMENT OF SAMS

THE HARFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL BEL AIR JULY 4 PARADE TROPHY is awarded for 2012 to:

C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING MUSTANG BAND

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

NOTABLE PEOPLE (plaques)
   Most Patriotic: MISS MARYLAND'S OUTSTANDING TEEN
   Best Presentation: DELEGATE SUSAN MCCOMAS
   Most Popular with the Crowd: HARFORD COUNTY LITTLE FIRE CHIEF
   Seemed Happiest to Be in the Parade: HCPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR & NURSE OF THE YEAR

JUDGES AWARDS FOR SPECIAL MERIT:
   HAVRE DE GRACE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   PATTERSON MILL HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   EDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   THE PHILIPPINE HERITAGE BAND
   HALL'S HONEY POTS
   MISS BEL AIR INDEPENDENCE DAY 2012 STEPHANIE 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 2012

The Bel Air Auxiliary Police Unit
The Bel Air Lions
The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
The Town of Bel Air

Program Cover Contest Winner

The front cover illustration for the program was done by Caitlyn Graney of Bel Air. The official program was designed and produced by Michael Blum; 2011 event photos used in the program were taken by Laura Stafford.

2012 Program Sponsor: Jones Junction

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