On Monday, July 4, 2016, the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, Inc., held a full day of family-friendly traditional and new events, culminating in the annual patriotic parade.

Many of these events involved competitions, the results of which are as follows:

Horseshoe Pitching, held in Rockfield Park

Women's Singles Champion: Connie Nichols, Peach Bottom, PA
      2nd place: Breanna Smith, Darlington, MD

Women's Doubles Champions: Vicki Smith, Darlington, MD; and Breanna Smith, Darlington, MD
      2nd place: Bonnie Schleicher, Bel Air, MD; and Velma Schleicher, Bel Air, MD

Men's Singes Champion: Glenn Sargable, Aberdeen, MD
      2nd place: Doug Anderson, Bel Air, MD

Men's Double Champion: Norm Meadows, Bel Air, MD; and Jeff Dandy, Bel Air, MD
      2nd place: Doug Anderson, Bel Air, MD; and Mark Farrington, Bel Air, MD

Water Balloon Toss, held in Shamrock Park

Ages 6 and under: James from Kingsville and Chloe from Forest Hill
Ages 7-10: Donovan from Forest Hill and Collin from Bel Air
Ages 13 - adult: Mike Gurgen and partner from Bel Air and Fallston
      2nd place: Liz and Margaret from Bel Air and Abingdon

Costume Contest, held in the Shamrock Park Bandshell

Patriotic Costumes
      1st place: Lacy Harry and Jace Brown, of Bel Air, MD, as "Beribboned Cousins"
      2nd place: Jeff Hopkins of Bel Air, MD, as a "Legal Alien [Predator]"
      3rd place: Wyatt Orman and Jacob Virden of North Harford, as "flag people"

Generic or Traditional Costumes
      1st place: Nate Harry, of Bel Air, MD, as a "Whoopie Cushion"
      2nd place: Sydney Hergan, of Bel Air, MD, as "Dog Lover"
      3rd place: Christina Andrews, of Bel Air, MD, as "Baby!"

Uncle Sam Says, held in Shamrock Park

Ages 5-7
      1st place: Lillian Ramsey-Meyers, Bel Air, MD
      2nd place: Lilliana Kish, Abingdon, MD
      3rd place: Braydon Cantos, Abingdon, MD

Ages 8-10
      Amella Daniels, North East, MD
      William Zayas, Bel Air, MD
      Donovan Gannon, Forest Hill, MD

Ages 11-13
      Riely Binder, Bel Air, MD
      Brenna Franklin, Bel Air, MD
      Lily Green, Forest Hill, MD

Ages 14+
      Madison Battaglia, Bel Air, MD
      Matt Battaglia, Bel Air, MD
      Margaret Palmer, Bel Air, MD

Watermelon Eating Contest, held in Shamrock Park

Ages 6 and under
      1st place: Rowen Liles, Bel Air, MD
      2nd place: Jane Flynn, Abingdon, MD
      3rd place: Kyle Petz

Ages 7-10
      1st place: Nate Harry, Bel Air, MD
      2nd place: Jake Hartman, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place: Ava Pippitt, Bel Air, MD

Ages 11-16
      1st place: Anthony Romano, Bel Air, MD
      2nd place: Connor Mace, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place: Charles Romano, Bel Air, MD

Ages 17+
      1st place: Brian Daniels, North East, MD
      2nd place: Jeff Tolson, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place: Bobby Weaver, Bel Air, MD

Bicycle Rodeo, held at the old Bel Air Elementary School

Best Decorated, Boys: Sam Bradshaw, Bel Air, MD

Best Decorated Tricycle: Lily Coleman, Delta, PA
      2nd place: Grant Parrish, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place: Emory Parrish, Bel Air, MD

1st place, Ages 5 and under: Sarah Nimmo, Chesapeake, VA
      2nd place, Ages 5 and under: Bret Burrows, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place, Ages 5 and under: Emily Butler, Bel Air, MD

1st place, Ages 6-8: Savannah Edwards, Fallston, MD
      2nd place, Ages 6-8: Ryan Ramsey, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place, Ages 6-8: Elena Bennett, Bel Air, MD

1st place, Ages 9-10: Jacob Michalesko, Tegacay, SC
      2nd place, Ages 9-10: Anna Bennett, Bel Air, MD
      3rd place, Ages 9-10: Elizabeth Herron, Forest Hill, MD

1st place, Ages 11-13: Norman Jones, Delta, PA
      2nd place, Ages 11-13: Drew Evans, Bel Air, MD

After an afternoon break, the 2016 Parade took place, under challenging weather conditions but with high spirits and before an astonishingly large crowd. At the reviewing stand, six volunteer judges made the following determinations, based on each units style, enthusiasm, and adherence to the 2016 parade theme: HONORING OUR HOME-TOWN HEROES.


Best in Parade - Floats

1st place: Oak Grove Baptist Church
2nd place: Girl Scouts Troop 2825
3rd place: Baha'i's of Bel Air
4th place: Harford Stockyards 4H Club
5th place: Harford Christian School

Best in Parade - Equestrian Units

1st Place: America in Miniature
2nd Place: Hall's Honey Pots

Best in Parade - Bands and Drum Corps

1st Place: Carolina Gold Drum & Bugle Corps
2nd Place: Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps
3rd Place: John F. Nicoll Pipes & Drums
4th Place: Core Visual Performing Arts

Best in Parade - Antique Vehicles

1st Place: Elmer & Kathleen Smith Antique Car and Tractor
2nd Place: Sing It America! Dr. Shelli Manuel
3rd Place: Maryland State Police Alumni Association

Best in Parade - Color Guards

1st Place: Harford County Sheriff's Department
2nd Place: 20th CBRNE Command
3rd Place: Bel Air American Legion Post #39

Best Parade Units (not including floats):

1st Place: Avondell / Brightview Assisted Living
2nd Place: Harford County Creative Problem Solvers - Destination Imagination
3rd Place: Alpha-Omega Offroad & Christian Ministry
4th Place: Ronald Tew - 1914 Indian Motorcycle Replica
5th Place: Dance With Me School of Dance

Best in Parade - Emergency Services

1st Place: Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company
2nd Place: Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company

Best in Parade - Comic/Novelty Acts

1st Place: Michael Rosman's Circus Camp Stars
2nd Place: The Magic Continues Character Company
3rd Place: The Zombie Terpadactyl

"Absolutely Unique" Entry: The Harford County Fire Prevention Ambassadors & Safety House

Units Deserving Particular Mention:

Most Patriotic: Miss Appalachia 2016 Allison Redman
Most Popular with the Crowd: Miss Bel Air 2016 Carrianne Cicero

Judges' Awards for Entries of Special Merit:

Edgewood High School Marching Band
Fallston High School Marching Band
C. Milton Wright High School Marching Band
John Carroll School Marching Band
Level Volunteer Fire Company
Edible Arrangements
Harford County Detachment 1198 Marine Corps League

Daytime event winners received ribbons or trophies; parade winners will be contacted by the Bel Air Independence Day Committee to receive their recognition (including cash awards and plaques).

The event concluded with a display of fireworks over Rockfield Park in Bel Air.

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.

4th of July sponsors included:

  • BGE — Overall Parade Sponsor
  • Harford Mutual Insurance Company — Overall Fireworks Sponsor

  • Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters & Ruth, CPAs
  • Buontempo Brothers/Tower Restaurant
  • Festival at Bel Air
  • HAR-CO Credit Union
  • First National Bank
  • Jarrettsville Federal Savings and Loan Association
  • Jones Junction Auto Dealerships
  • Klein's ShopRites of Maryland
  • Plaza Ford
  • PNC Bank
  • TD Bank
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