2013 Was GLORIOUS!

Welcome to a complete overview of the events of Wednesday, July 4, 2013! Special thanks to Don 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 100 different parade entrants in 12 different categories — and determining the winners!

There's a lot of information here about 2013, 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 2003-2012, 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, 2013, 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 beautiful summer weather, sunny with 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 Thursday, July 4th, 2013, 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 2013 Laura Patnaude.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed, in which over 2000 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. According to existing records, the number of paid customers in 2013 was the highest ever.

During the morning, the Hays House was open to visitors, and offered lawn games and guided tours of the historic facility. More than 175 visitors stopped by.

Program Cover Contest Winner

In the week leading up to July 4th, the Bel Air Independence Day Committee distributed 20,000 free programs listing all events and containing useful information about the 4th of July in Bel Air. The program's front cover illustration was chosen by a contest open to all Harford County students. The winning design was done by Faith Moen of Bel Air, a student at Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School. The official program was designed and produced by Michael Blum; 2012 event photos used in the program were taken by Laura Stafford. The 2013 Program was sponsored by Jones Junction.

A full roster of daytime competitive events were held at various locations in the Town of Bel Air. The results of these were as follows:

Results were:

Turtle Derby (Shamrock Park; held according to DNR guidelines, with a 1 turtle limit per entrant)
   Box Turtles — 86 total participants
      1st: Turtle entered by Jacob and Mason Smith
      Bugs, entered by Erin Drumm
      3rd: Michelangelo, entered by Jacob Gibson

   Other Turtles — 42 total participants
      1st: Turtle entered by Billie Bob Joe
      2nd: Turtle entered by Eric and Owen
      3rd: Turtle entered by Jenna, Bethany and Kelly

Frog Jumping (Shamrock Park; held according to DNR guidelines, with a 1 frog limit per entrant) — 178 total participants
   Frog entered by Claire Palmer and Gus MacKres, with a 3-jump total of 156 inches — short of the all-time record of 171 inches
   2nd: Frog entered by Erin and Megan Drumm, with a 3-jump total of 135 inches
   3rd: Frog entered by Sam Lynch, with a 3-jump total of 118 inches

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Horseshoe Pitching
   Women's Singles:
      1st: Vickie Smith of Darlington
      2nd: Velma Schleicher of Bel Air
   Women's Doubles:
      1st: Vicki Smith and Breanna Smith of Darlington
   Men's Singles:
      1st: Lionel Bowser of Aberdeen
      2nd: Johnny Sequoyall of Baltimore
   Men's Doubles:
      1st: Jim Reabe of Middle River and Bunk Shipley of Arbutus
      2nd: Jeff Cooper and Jeff Cooper, Jr., of Delta, PA

Bicycle Rodeo
   Best Decorated — Girls: Ava Gottschalk of Abingdon
   Best Decorated — Boys: Norman Jones of Delta, PA
   Ages 5 and under:
      1st: Zach Tamanini of Forest Hill
      2nd: Sarah Herron of Forest Hill
      3rd: Luke Dallaire of Bel Airt
   Ages 6-8:
      1st: Elizabeth McPherson of Abingdon
      2nd: Kyle Bacso of Bel Air
      3rd: Elizabeth Dallaire of Bel Air
   Ages 9-10:
      1st: Norman Jones of Delta, PA
      2nd: Emma Burrows of Bel Air
      3rd: Daniel Rodier of Bel Air
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Jake Borrows of Bel Air
      2nd: ubrey Hoover of Bel Air
      3rd: Chase Donelson of Bel AirA

Uncle Sam Says
   Ages 5-7:
      1st: Connor Scurti from Bel Air
      2nd: Morgan Hennigan from Bel Air
      3rd: Maggie Donohue from Bel Air
   Ages 8-10:
      1st: Ashton Tolson from Bel Air
      2nd: Allison Brown from Bel Air
      3rd: Robert Kahoe from Bel Air
   Ages 11-13:
      1st: Gabrielle Roeder from Whiteford
      2nd: Morgan Rhinehart from Whiteford
      3rd: Jessica Douglas from Whiteford
   Ages 14+:
      1st: Sharon Pindell from Bel Air
      2nd: Erin Swam from Bel Air
      3rd: Madison Battaglia from Bel Air

Watermelon Eating Contest
   Ages 6 and under:
      1st: Brady Barbas
      2nd: Graceanne Manager from Bel Air
      3rd: Allison Moce from Bel Air
   Ages 7-10:
      1st: Zach Kerfoot from Bel Air
      2nd: Faith Hess from Whiteford
      3rd: Lexi Schmitt from Bel Air
   Ages 11-16:
      1st: Rob Elliott from Bel Air
      2nd: Jason Kolbe from Bel Air
      3rd: Amaris Nolan from Bel Air
   Ages 17+:
      1st: Brian Daniels from North East
      2nd: Jeff Tolson from Bel Air
      3rd: Bobby Weaver 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. 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 and Alex Krowzow.

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 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 Bel Air Community Band
  • Plaza Ford, sponsor of the Havre de Grace High School Band
  • PNC Bank, sponsor of the Bel Air High School Band
  • TD Bank, sponsor of the John F. Nicoll Pipes and Drums

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Parade Results

6 independent Parade Judges viewed the parade, whose theme was CELEBRATING AMERICA'S VOLUNTEERS!, and awarded the following prizes:

FLOATS
   1st Prize: $400: SUSQUEHANNA BEEKEEPERS
   2nd Prize: $300: CUB SCOUT PACK 865
   3rd Prize: $200: HICKORY HORNETS
   4th Prize: $100: RIPKEN BASEBALL
   5th Prize: $75: BAHA'I'S OF BEL AIR
   6th Prize: $50: BEL AIR LIONS CLUB

EQUESTRIAN UNITS
   1st Prize: $100: LINDSAY LEEDY-UNCLE MILTIE'S MINIS
   2nd Prize: $90: VERNA WHITE-AMERICA IN MINIATURE
   3rd Prize: $80:SHINING EYE PERCHERONS

ANTIQUE VEHICLES (plaques)
   1st Prize: MD STATE POLICE HISTORIC CARS
   2nd Prize: SMITH FAMILY ANTIQUE VEHICLE & TRACTORS
   3rd Prize: J. SUE HENRY - 1930 MODEL A FORD

COLOR GUARDS (plaques)
   1st Prize: HARFORD COUNTY DETACHMENT, MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
   2nd Prize: HARFORD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

MOBILE UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: BEL AIR CORVETTE CLUB
   2nd Prize: PROGRAM COVER ARTIST FAITH MOEN
   3rd Prize: DOMINO'S PIZZA
   4th Prize: BOUMI SHRINE MOTORCYCLE CORPS

MARCHING UNITS (plaques)
   1st Prize: ALPHA-OMEGA 4X4 OFFROAD & CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
   2nd Prize: BEL AIR TERPS FOOTBALL AND CHEERLEADERS
   3rd Prize: CUB SCOUT PACK 999

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

COMIC/NOVELTY ACTS (plaques)
   1st Prize: MICHAEL ROSMAN'S CIRCUS CAMP STARS
   2nd Prize: HALL'S SEPTIC SERVICE
   3rd Prize: BUONTEMPO BROTHERS

THE HARFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL BEL AIR JULY 4 PARADE TROPHY is awarded for 2013 to:

C. MILTON WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING MUSTANG BAND

BANDS, DRUM & BUGLE CORPS, MAJORETTE CORPS (plaques)
   1st Prize: FUSION CORE
   2nd Prize: SHENANDOAH SOUND
   3rd Prize: CAROLINA GOLD

NOTABLE PEOPLE (plaques)
   Most Patriotic: HARFORD COUNTY LITTLE MISS FIRE PREVENTION AMBASSADOR SABRINA WAINWRIGHT
   Best Presentation: HARFORD COUNTY LITTLE FIRE CHIEF DREW COSENZA
   Most Popular with the Crowd: HCPS TEACHER OF THE YEAR & NURSE OF THE YEAR
   Seemed Happiest to Be in the Parade: MISS HISTORIC MARYLAND 2013 STEPHANIE MEADOWCROFT    Most Admired Entry:  MISS BEL AIR MARYLAND AMERICA 2013 "QUEEN FOR THE CURE" KATIE KINSLOW

ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE ENTRY (plaque): THE KINETIC YOUTH ACADEMY

JUDGES AWARDS FOR SPECIAL MERIT:
   GEORGE HUBBARD 1959 MERCEDES-BENZ
   HAVRE DE GRACE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   PATTERSON MILL HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
   BALTIMORE GO-GETTERS
   JOHN F. NICHOLL PIPE BAND
   BEL AIR VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
   BEL AIR COMMUNITY BAND

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 2013

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

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