2017 PARADE RULES AND REGULATIONS
Deadline for APPLICATION is June 13, 2017!
Participation in the Bel Air Independence Day Parade is by acceptance of application only; not all applicants may be accepted.
We, the members of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, have a vision of how our parade
should look and feel. Participants in our parade are required to present themselves in a manner
that is consistent with this vision.
First and foremost, we encourage all parade applicants to consider in advance how to "decorate"
or craft their entry to conform not only to the general theme of an Independence Day
Parade, but to the specific patriotic theme we choose each year for our parade.
We hope that parade applicants will
find ways to illustrate this in what they plan to do. The 2017 theme is ONE FROM MANY — CELEBRATING THE CREATION OF THE UNITED STATES! Any parade applicant and most especially all
parade participants (whose applications have been accepted), are cordially invited to ask any
member of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee for ideas or suggestions about this. We
love creativity and we applaud those who exercise it!
Meanwhile, it is also important to understand that our parade rules are intended to help participants
understand what is proper parade conduct. However, these rules are not all-inclusive.
Consequently, parade participants may be given instructions by parade officials in the staging
areas or during the parade, and participants must comply with such instructions immediately
and completely, or they may be ejected from the parade, and will certainly not be invited to participate
in future parades.
Deadline to Apply - JUNE 13, 2017 (see below)
I. OVERALL DETAILS
A. Date and Time of Parade: Tuesday, July 4, 2017, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Note: information on this page was accurate as of January 17, 2017, and is subject to change without notice. Applicants to the 2017 parade should be aware that 2017 rules, regulations, details of staging, parade route, dispersal, etc., are subject to change or revision.
B. Theme of 2017 Parade:"ONE FROM MANY — CELEBRATING THE CREATION OF THE UNITED STATES!" All applicants are encouraged to
plan to illustrate this theme.
C. Applicants Description: The Bel Air Independence Day Parade is pleased to invite many different sorts of units,
including but not limited to color guards, floats, marching units, wheeling or riding units
("scouts on bikes"), motorized units, emergency vehicles, military vehicles, comic acts, car clubs,
novelty units, commercial or business entries, equestrian units, etc., to apply to participate in our
parade. SEE BELOW FOR DEFINITIONS AND LIMITS APPLYING TO THESE UNITS.
We, the members of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, produce this parade out of
respect for our country and our community, to celebrate what is best in all of us, and to achieve
our vision of a great cohesive community event — one that is rewarding to watch and fun for
both participants and spectators alike.
Therefore, the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, Inc., accepts applications from invited participants
as it deems appropriate in this effort.
All participants must agree to follow our parade rules, which we list below.
In the interests of presenting the finest entertainment value to the spectators, all businesses,
associations, organizations and groups are encouraged to apply to enter as FLOATS, decorated
in accordance with the theme of the parade. However, all units should attempt to decorate or
illustrate their entries according to the theme, no matter what kind of entry they are — even an
antique fire engine can be decorated to reflect the parade theme. We encourage your creativity!
D. PARADE ROUTE: The "Starting Point" for the Parade is the intersection of Idlewild and S. Main, which used to be the ending point. The Ending Point is the intersection of Gordon Street and North Main Street, at the "Welcome to the Town of Bel Air" sign. After leaving
the Starting Point, the parade will proceed north-westward up Main Street (one way the right way!), splitting at the median in front of the Court House. The parade then continues down the hill to Lee and then up to its end, at E. Gordon Street. At the Parade End Finishing Point, marching units, floats and units requiring off-loading will be directed to designated dispersal areas by Parade Marshals; simple mobile units, car clubs, etc., will be directed straight toward Broadway or onto Gordon, where they may disperse and proceed as they wish. Specific instructions will be part of parade details, but also are subject to change and to circumstances at the parade itself.
The Reviewing Stand position is subject to change; it will be distinctly indicated and placed. No entry to the Reviewing Stand or its immediate environs, which are reserved for VIP Seating, is allowed, without permission from the Reviewing Stand Marshal. Specific passes are distributed for this purpose.
E. Parade Formation:
All units in the parade should report to the intersection of S. Main Street (Emmorton Road) and MacPhail Road, which is the entrance to the Homestead-Wakefield complex, where they will be directed by parade marshals; specific instructions will be e-mailed to participants, following their
acceptance by the Committee. These instructions also include dispersal information.
The Parade Committee will assign each participant to a staging area. The Parade
Committee may also confirm or change (if necessary) the category of the participant; this is to
help in the organization and management of the parade, and also reflects the width of the streets,
turning radius, and space requirements of each participant.
F. Formation Times: Staging is from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the afternoon of July 4. Specific locations for various units,
how the parade is organized, and other important information will be mailed under separate
cover following acceptance by the Committee of the participant.
G. Entry Fees Due with Application; Refund Rules:
- Applications from business or commercial entrants (including LARGE non-profit associations)
must be accompanied by an Entry Fee of $175.00; this applies whether the unit is a float,
mobile unit, marching unit, etc. If you have any question as to whether your group falls within
this category, please call Michael Blum at 410-879-4245. The application will not be considered
until the fee is received. If an application is NOT accepted, the Committee will refund the
Application Fee less a $10 service charge.
- Applications from units sponsored by small non-profit associations, civic organizations,
churches or clubs (including scout packs, car clubs, etc.), or personal entries, must be accompanied
by an Entry Fee of $10.00, payable with the application. If you have any question as to
whether your group falls within this category, please call 410-879-4245. The
application will not be considered until the fee is received. Since the fee is the same as the service
charge, if an application is NOT accepted, there will be no refund.
- Applications from municipal entrants such as Police and Fire Departments, Elected
Officials of Harford County municipalities, and official representatives of Harford Governmental
Agencies or Departments, require no entry fee.
- Applications from Elected Officials of non-Harford County municipalities MUST be
accompanied by an Entry Fee of $175.00. See below for more information on this category. Again,
if you have any question as to whether you fall within this category, please call 410-879-4245. The application will not be considered until the fee is received. If an application is
NOT accepted, the Committee will refund the Application Fee less a $10 service charge.
II. RULES FOR APPLICATION AND ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PARADE:
A. ENTRY APPLICATION FORMS MAY ONLY BE TRAFFICKED THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
- BY E-MAIL from the official Committee web site, using the Entry Application Form available by selecting this link. THIS IS THE PREFERRED WAY to apply.
- BY U.S. MAIL to the official address of the Committee:
P.O. Box 724
Bel Air, MD 21014
- BY FAX to 410-893-2598.
- DROPPED OFF AT Balsamo, Stewart, Lutters, and Ruth, P.A., 508 Rock Spring Road, Bel Air, MD, 21014
- Note: APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE DROPPED OFF AT THE TOWN OF BEL AIR TOWN HALL.
B. ALL ENTRY APPLICATION FORMS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY JUNE 13, 2017, in the case of those sent via US Mail; or RECEIVED by JUNE 13, 2017, in the case of those faxed or hand-delivered or sent via E-mail. The Committee reserves the right to CHANGE this deadline if, in the sole opinion of the Committee, such a CHANGE is warranted.
C. Incomplete or late Entry Application Forms are subject to rejection and/or non-inclusion in judging.
D. Only the Entry Forms as printed by the Committee and included on its web site may be used; however, theses form may be photocopied or otherwise reproduced at will.
E. Since the Entry Fee is a necessary part of the application, failure to include the Entry Fee will result in the Entry Form being rejected without notice.
F. THE ENTRY FEE MAY NOT BE SENT VIA FAX OR E-MAIL. It is the responsibility of the entrant to make sure the fee is received by the deadline, or the entry application form will be deemed INCOMPLETE. For questions, please call 410-879-4245. All checks should be made payable to THE BEL AIR INDEPENDENCE DAY COMMITTEE, INC.
G. Participation in the Bel Air Independence Day Parade is by acceptance of application only. The Bel Air
Independence Day Committee, Inc., reserves the right to invite, reject or accept any parade participant for any reason whatsoever, and to determine participation based on diversity, suitability for the occasion and the experience related to prior participation.
H. The Committee's and the Judges' decisions as to the classification of parade units are final.
I. Parade officials and parade marshals may deny any participant entry to the parade on the
day of the parade if, in the sole opinion of the parade officials or parade marshals, the entrant has misrepresented any information on its Application Form, or if the entrant is deemed obscene, dangerous, provocative or in any way unsuitable for the parade.
J. REPONSE TO YOUR APPLICATION: A response to your application will be made as soon as possible after your application is received. The preferred method of reponse will be by e-mail to the e-mail address included in your application. Phone calls may also be made, especially if there are questions about your application. If you do not receive a response within a few days of your application's presumed receipt, you should follow it up at once by calling 410-879-4245. The Committee is not responsible for incomplete, non-delivered or misfiled applications.
III. PARADE PARTICIPATION RULES AND REGULATIONS
A. PARADE MARSHALS MUST BE OBEYED. The parade marshals control the units,
enforce parade rules and will arrange participants to pace the parade in a manner deemed most
suitable; their instructions MUST be obeyed at all times. Failure to obey a parade marshal's order
will result in immediate ejection from the parade and may possibly subject the offender to arrest.
B. NO ENTRANT IS PERMITTED TO THROW OR HAND OUT ANY ITEM TO SPECTATORS. THIS RULE WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
C. THE PARADE IS A NON-SECTARIAN, NON-PARTISAN EVENT; therefore:
1. Elected officials of Harford County municipalities are invited to apply to participate in
the parade free of charge out of respect for their offices; this includes the Town of Bel Air
Commissioners; Elected Administrative and Court Officers of Harford County; Elected Officials
of the Harford County Government; Maryland State Senators and Delegates with Harford
County constituents; Maryland State Government elected officials with Harford County constituents;
and United States elected officials with Harford County constituents.
2. Elected officials of Harford County municipalities as described above, whose applications
are accepted into the parade, may if they wish display a sign stating their name and the
office they hold. No other signage is permitted. No elected official will be permitted to display material advertising any candidacy
for public office, nor shall there be any campaigning along the parade route. THIS RULE
WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
3. Elected officials of Harford County municipalities as described above, whose applications
are accepted into the parade, must ride in the parade in an automobile (not a truck, float or
SUV), preferably a convertible, in order that uniformity of presentation may be achieved. There may be only one such vehicle per elected official. These
elected officials may be accompanied only by immediate family members such as spouses, parents
and children, and by the driver of their vehicle, but all such must "fit" within the vehicle - no "walking" is permitted.
4. Political clubs or organizations are not invited and may NOT participate, since they are
by definition partisan.
5. Candidates for elected office are not invited and may not participate as such. No unit in the parade may display any signage of a political nature such as "vote for" or "elect."
6. Elected officials of municipalities outside Harford County are invited to apply to participate, but their application to participate must include a $175 non-refundable Application Fee. These officials may at the discretion of the Committee be placed in the parade according to their unit descriptive category (personal entry; mobile unit or marching unit; etc.). Such elected officials must obey the same appearance rules, including signage and vehicle restrictions, as applied to elected officials of Harford County municipalities.
D. SIGNAGE RULES; HEIGHT AND WIDTH RULES
1. Signs or banners are NOT required for entrants in the parade (except for elected officials as stated above), but are encouraged in that they help spectators identify the entrant.
2. Signs or banners may carry the name of the unit, sponsor, patriotic statement or title, preferably in keeping with the theme of the parade.
3. Units and marchers may not display signs or banners which in the judgment of the Committee or the parade officials and marshals are inappropriate for this community event or for the vision of the event conceived by the Bel Air Independence Day Committee. Marshals may direct participants not to display such signage or to cover them up; these directions must be obeyed as a condition of participation in the parade. No unit in the parade may display any signage of a political nature such as "vote for" or "elect."
4. Height Restriction: no unit and no part of any unit may be higher than 12 feet from the pavement.
5. Width Restriction: All units must be able to fit inside one standard traffic lane.
E. CATEGORIES of PARTICIPANTS; number of permitted vehicles
Note: the importance we place on vehicles is critical due to the constraints of the staging
area, the parade route and the dispersal area. Again, as stated above, the Committee strongly
encourages all applicants and entrants to DECORATE their unit in accordance with the parade
theme. Creativity is strongly endorsed!
1. Bands, Drum & Bugle Corps, Majorette Corps: These are understood to be organized,
named units (e.g., "The Burlington, Canada, National Teen Tour Parade Band") that deploy on
foot, playing music and sometimes performing to it. No motor vehicles will be permitted to
accompany these units down the parade route without specific approval in advance.
2. Color Guards: These are understood to be units that deploy on foot. No motor vehicles
will be permitted to accompany these units down the parade route without specific approval in
3. Beauty Queens or Honored Individuals: These are understood to be units that require
a motor vehicle, generally a convertible. Unless other arrangements are made, the Committee
requires each participant to supply his or her own vehicle, driver, and signage.
4. Musical Marching Units: this category refers to marching units that are not, themselves,
highly organized named units, but which (as part of their parade activities) play music.
No motor vehicles will be permitted to accompany these units down the parade route without
specific approval in advance.
5. Non-Musical Marching or Wheeling Units: this category refers to marching units or
bicycle-riders, that do not, as part of their parade activities, play music. No motor vehicles will
be permitted to accompany these units down the parade route without specific approval in
advance. Note: units featuring walking dogs or cats are considered Non-Musical Marching Units,
as are "Scouts on Bikes" and other such units.
6. Comic or Novelty Acts: this category is a broad one, and can include motor vehicles,
marchers, performers, themed units, etc. It is important on the application for acceptance to be
VERY specific as to number of motor vehicles, if any, and how large they are, due to staging area
constraints. Unless specific permission is granted in advance, no Comic or Novelty unit may
have more than two (2) motor vehicles as part of its presentation.
7. Floats: The term "float" refers to a display of some sort that is either towed by a separate
vehicle, or self-propelled, and which is decorated with crepe paper, flowers, bunting, structures
or pictures, etc., to effect a unified theme and design theme, and which generally also
includes people either performing or related to the subject of the float. Floats may be musical in
nature, or not, but it is important to SPECIFY on the application whether or not music is included
in the float. THE JUDGES' DECISION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES A FLOAT IS FINAL. For
the purpose of staging, a unit that features a trailer pulled by a separate vehicle will most likely
be considered a FLOAT. All floats are STRONGLY encouraged to decorate or structure themselves
in accordance with the specific parade theme.
8. Mobile Units: This category includes Commercial Mobile Units, Municipal Mobile
Units, Personal Mobile Units, Car Clubs, etc. Commercial, Municipal and Personal Mobile Units
are limited to THREE (3) car-sized motor vehicles, or TWO (2) large truck or vans, or ONE (1)
extra-large piece of equipment (such as a Camper or 18-wheeler), absent specific permission otherwise,
which must be granted in advance. Please consult the Committee if you have any questions,
and be very specific on your application. Car Clubs may display multiple units, but the
Committee urges each club to accurately estimate in advance the number of such units, since the
staging will be affected by that. The Committee also strongly suggests that each club or group
DECORATE its vehicles in accordance with the parade theme. Acceptance for parades current
and future in large depends on how a Mobile Unit performs.
9. Antique Vehicles (cars, trucks, fire engines, military vehicles): These are defined as
any vehicle, self-propelled, that is either more than 20 years old, or is no longer in active service
(in the case of fire or military vehicles). Each entrant is permitted up to three (3) separate units,
unless specific extra permission has been granted in advance. As stated above, decorating these
should be achieved.
10. Equestrian Units include any walking unit that includes a horse or livestock, or any
domestic animals other than dogs or cats. These units are generally staged together, in a separate
area, and enter the parade as a group. There is no limit to the number of horses or animals in
such a unit. The Committee provides clean-up for these units, although the use of "equine diapers"
is encouraged. The Committee also encourages handlers or riders to attempt to convey the
specific parade theme.
11. Emergency Services/Fire Companies: this refers to organized and active Volunteer
Fire Companies and Ambulance Corps.
12. Elected Public Officials: see above for a detailed discussion of the rules related to the
participation of Elected Public Officials in the parade.
F. Questions about Categories; Judging
1. As mentioned above, the Parade Committee may also confirm or change (if necessary)
the category of the participant; this is to help in the organization and management of the
parade, and also reflects the width of the streets, turning radius, and space requirements of each
2. Judging and the awarding of prizes will be by category of participant.
IV. PRIZES TO BE AWARDED
Note: The Official Parade Judges have sole authority to reward or not to reward all prizes. Prizes may change without notice.
A. Prizes may be awarded as follows:
1st through 10th Place, at the discretion of the Judges
2. Equestrian Units
1st through 5th Place at the discretion of the Judges
3. Bands and Drum Corps
4. Antique Cars (1st through 3rd place)
1st through 5th Place, at the discretion of the Judges
5. Color Guards (1st through 3rd place)
6. Mobile Units (1st through 5th place)
7. Marching Units (1st through 5th place) ("rolling" units count as marching)
8. Emergency Services (1st through 3rd place)
9. Comic/Novelty Acts (1st through 3rd place)
10. "Most Unique" Entry (plaque)
11. "Notable Persons" (plaques)
12. Other Awards:
Judges' Awards, honorable mentions, other awards of cash, trophies and/or plaques will be awarded if, in the opinion of the judges, they are merited.
B. The Judges' decisions as to prize or award winners are final. All prizes subject to change without notice.
C. VERY IMPORTANT:
The Judges are required to consider how well a unit is decorated or staged consistent with the theme of the parade as the most significant factor in awarding prizes!
We look forward to receiving your application
to participate in the Bel Air Independence Day Parade!