Welcome to a complete overview of the events of Wednesday, July 4, 2014! 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 120 different parade entrants in 12 different categories — and determining the winners!

There's a lot of information here about 2014, 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 2003-2013, 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, 2014, Independence Day events in Bel Air, Maryland, offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of the entire region, all during a day that began cool and drizzly, but soon gave way to beautiful summer weather, cool and sunny with light breezes and with a remarkable clarity of sky.

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, 2014, culminating with the annual parade and one of the classiest fireworks displays held since the fireworks moved to their present shoot-off location. The theme for the day was "200 Star-Spangled Years," commemorating the upcoming 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and Defense of Fort McHenry, which led to the composition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," our national Anthem.

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, assisted by bugler Robert Hudson. The National Anthem was sung by Pamela Rinehart. Ms. Rinehart also sang the National Anthem at 3 other venues during the day: at Rockfield Park to start the Horseshoe Pitching contest; at Shamrock Park to start the family and children's events; and at Bel Air Elementary School to start the Bicycle Rodeo. This was the first time the National Anthem has been sung at the various event venues.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast was held at Bel Air High School, in which just under 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 and Wayne Dudeck.

During the morning, the Hays House was open to visitors, and offered lawn games and guided tours of the historic facility to 130 guests this year. All guests enjoyed the historical music played by Catherine Street Consort, and many families enjoyed the lawn games. The Catherine Street Consort also played the original "Anacreontic Song," the melody of which was chosen by Francis Scott Key as the tune of his original poem, "The Defense of Fort M'Henry," better known as "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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 submitted by Maya Feick of Bel Air, a student at Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School. The official program was designed and produced by Michael Blum. The 2014 Program was sponsored by Jones Junction.

Here is a low-resolution PDF of the 2014 Program.

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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:

Horseshoe Pitching (Rockfield Park): 78 participants
   Women's Singles:
      1st Place: Velma Schleicher of Bel Air
      2nd Place: Diane Bish of Belcamp

   Women's Doubles:
      1st Place: Vicki Smith and Breanna Smith of Darlington
      2nd Place: Lynn Crain of Forest Hill and Krystal Rush of Edgewood

   Men's Singles:
      1st Place: Jeff Cooper of Delta, PA
      2nd Place Dano Molino of Perry Hall, MD

   Men's Doubles:
      1st Place: Cisco J. Reyer, Sr., and Johnny Sequoyall of Baltimore
      2nd Place: Larry Vaughan of Aberdeen and Merle Turner of Joppa, Maryland

Turtle Derby (Shamrock Park):
   Box Turtles —70 total participants
      1st Place: Squirt, entered by Jessica Douglas
      2nd Place: Bob, entered by Jenna Van Pelt
      3rd Place: Lightning, entered by Ella and Branden Beauchamp

   Other Turtles —35 total participants
      1st Place: Speed Lightning, entered by Eve Krout
      2nd Place: Speedy, entered by Ella and Mason Parks
      3rd Place: Speedy, entered by Maci Krout

Frog Jumping (Shamrock Park) —144 total participants; 3-jump total distance
   1st Place: Honey-Boo-Boo-Child, entered by Maggie Schepleng of Bel Air: 102 inches
   2nd Place: Hoppy, entered by Alli McDonald of Bel Air: 100 inches
   3rd Place: Jeremiah, entered by Ashlee, Alex and Meghan Stevenson and Greg Champ of Edgewood: 99 inches

Bicycle Rodeo (Bel Air Elementary School)
   Best Decorated —Girls: Megan Schindhelm
   Best Decorated —Boys: Justin Spencer

   Ages 5 and under:
      1st Place: Harry Plastid and Christie Clenon (tie)
      2nd Place: Berkely Bacso
      3rd Place: Carson Clinton

   Ages 6-8:
      1st Place: Matthew Crowe
      2nd Place: Trenton Wrozen
      3rd Place: Olivia Krause

   Ages 9-10:
      1st Place: Hannah Fender
      2nd Place: Jimmy Calland
      3rd Place: Taylor Schindhelm

   Ages 11-13:
      1st Place: Mailya Wrozeh
      2nd Place: Jason Haney
      3rd Place: Adam Bennett

Uncle Sam Says (Shamrock Park):
   Ages 5-7:
      1st Place: Elon Nolan from Bel Air
      2nd Place: Samantha Katen from Forest Hill
      3rd Place: Alice Glikin from Towson, Maryland

   Ages 8-10:
      1st Place: Robert Kahoe from Bel Air
      2nd Place: Connor Plume from Edgewood
      3rd Place: Ashton Tolson from Bel Air

   Ages 11-13:
      1st Place: Elizabeth Sanders from Abingdon
      2nd Place: Abbey Battaglia from Bel Air
      3rd Place: Angela Kahoe from Bel Air

   Ages 14+:
      1st Place: Jessica Douglass from Whiteford
      2nd Place: Grace Chubb from Bel Air
      3rd Place: Robert Comeaux from Bel Air

Watermelon Eating Contest (Shamrock Park):
   Ages 6 and under:
      1st Place: Grayson Stump from Bel Air
      2nd Place: Gavin Fender from Bel Air
      3rd Place: Haylie Brown from Bel Air

   Ages 7-10:
      1st Place: Robbie Kleist from Bel Air
      2nd Place: Conor Mace from Bel Air
      3rd Place: Morgan Hennigan from Bel Air

   Ages 11-16:
      1st Place: Carolyn Klein from Bel Air
      2nd Place: Luke Dipple from Forest Hill
      3rd Place: Bryce Meadows from Bel Air

   Ages 17+:
      1st Place: John Katen from Forest Hill
      2nd Place: Mike Hall from Bel Air
      3rd Place: Bobby Weaver from Bel Air

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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, who lined the parade route all the way to South Main Street and Idlewild.

Parade Marshals for 2014 were: Mike Fields, Aaron Cahall, Donna DeBord, Charlie DeBord, Brian DeBord, Dave Andrews, Alex Krowzow, Perry Thompson, John Cubbage, Vincent Nohe, Katie Nohe, Steven Quinn, Margaret Beain, Greg Cooper, Ron Eastridge, Tom Franza, Emma Franza, Tommy Franza, Ander Beain, Bill Smith, Annette Blum, Chris Wilcox, Nathan Wilcox, Amelia Wilcox, John McCutcheon, Steve Pugh, J.P. Garvin, Chris Garvin, Anne Siebold, Matt Siebold, Elizabeth Siebold, Sean Thompson, Jack Deal, David Williams, Hayden Anthony, Amelia Wilcox, Maddy McCutchen, Kelly McCutchen and Dee Strickland.

David and Mary Anne Williams, and Kim and Andy Politz, did a wonderful job decorating the reviewing stand, notwithstanding the breezes that blew everything they put on it, off of it, at first.

Communications were ably handled by Don Stewart.

Don Morrison did his usual wonderful job narrating the parade, assisted by Perry Thompson, Reviewing Stand Marshal, and Alex Krowzow, who had the difficult job of texting the Reviewing Stand with the inevitable changes that occurred to the pre-planned parade order!

Thanks also to Boy Scout Troops 777 and 313, many of whose members were our marshals, and to the Fountain Green Swim Club, our parade sponsor banner carriers.

The "unsung hero" award this year goes to Alex Krowzow III, who came up with a new way to handle the Reviewing Stand narration, and who made it work, despite many, many unanticipated but necessary changes in parade order, especially in the later stages of the parade.

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 Thunderbolts
  • Buontempo Brothers/Tower Restaurant, sponsor of Fusion Core
  • Festival at Bel Air, sponsor of the Harford Highlanders
  • HAR-CO Credit Union, sponsor of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
  • First National Bank, sponsor of the John Carroll School Band
  • 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 Alliance Drum & Bugle Corps
  • 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 200 Star-Spangled Years!, and awarded the following prizes (see bottom of list for information about receiving your PRIZE):

   1st Place: Central Christian
   2nd Place: Battle of North Point
   3rd Place: IntheGlow
   4th Place: Bel Air Lions Club

Equestrian Units:
   1st Place: Uncle Milty's Halflingers
   2nd Place: Verna White / America in Miniature
   3rd Place: Benchfield Farms
   4th Place: Timmy Hurley/Lexie Palmer

THE HARFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 2014 BEL AIR JULY 4TH PARADE TROPHY, awarded to the Harford County high school marching band that, in the eyes and ears of our judges, performs the best, goes to C. Milton Wright High School Marching Mustangs Band.

   1st Place: Fusion Core
   2nd Place: Reading Buccaneers
   3rd Place: Skyliners

Antique Vehicles:
   1st Place: Home Paramount 1939 Ford
   2nd Place: Corbin Fuel
   3rd Place: Maryland State Troopers Alumni Association

Color Guards:
   1st Place: The APG Contingent: Brigadier General Bruce T. Crawford, CG APG & Dianne Crawford; Sgt. Major Kennis J. Dent, CSM APG & Gloria Dent; Colonel Gregory R. McClinton, Garrison Commander, APG & Vicky McClinton + Garrison Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey O. Adam; Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic Honor Guard
   2nd Place: Harford County Marine Corps League
   3rd Place: Harford County Sheriff's Department

Mobile Units:
   1st Place: Center for the Arts
   2nd Place: Harford Christian
   3rd Place: Stonewall Day Care Center
   4th Place: Gina Kazimir
   5th Place: Alpha Omega 4x4 Off-road Club and Christian Ministry

Marching Units:
   1st Place: Bel Air Terps Youth Football
   2nd Place: Jarrettsville Young Marines
   3rd Place: Applause of Bel Air

Emergency Services Units:
   1st Place: Joppa/Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company
   2nd Place: Level Volunteer Fire Company

Comic/Novelty Acts:
   1st Place: Raven "Fan Man," the "Bus Boys" and the RavHons
   2nd Place: Michael Rosman's Harford Globe Trotters
   3rd Place: Buontempo Brothers Pizza Slice Man and Friends

"Notable Persons":
   Most Patriotic: Miss Bel Air 2014 Cynthia Ford
   Best Presentation: 2014 Little Fire Chief Ayden Eyre
   Most Popular with the Crowd: 2014 Miss Fire Prevention Kaelyn Suit
   Most Admired Entry: 2014 Program Cover Contest Winner Maya Feick

Judges' Awards for Entries of Special Merit:
   Edgewood High School Marching Band
   Nancy Jacobs Family Float
   Boxwood Farms
   Sun Devils Drum & Bugle Corps
   Miss Black-Eyed Susan Katerina Rice
   Hall's Septic Services Suck-Up Squad
   Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.

Winners of awards in the parade are contacted by official letter from the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, Inc., sent to the mailing address given by the entrant on its application, regarding delivery of prizes. Please do not call the Committee answering service.

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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 2014

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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