From the Bel Air Independence Day Committee:
It’s time to make your plans to be a part of the Fourth of July festivities as Bel Air marks “200 Star-Spangled Years” of our national anthem!
The full day of patriotic celebration includes all the traditional events in the morning, followed by the area’s best parade, with a stunning fireworks display to cap off the night.
“We have a great parade this year, with about 25 wonderful bands from near and far, and some exciting new units mixed with some old favorites,” said parade chairman Michael Blum. “If you want color-guards, roller-derby skaters, pom-pom girls, cub scouts, Young Marines, baton twirlers, Boumi Motorcyclists, contingents of soldiers from APG, Monster Trucks, floats from local churches and civic groups, local businesses, beauty queens, car dealers and more, all decked out celebrating the 4th of July, this is the parade for you!”
The Fourth of July kicks off with a flag ceremony at Bel Air High School at 6:45 a.m. and the national anthem performed by soprano soloist Pamela Rinehart, followed by the community-favorite Pancake Breakfast immediately after at 7 a.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children under 10.
To mark the bicentennial of the writing of our national anthem, the Bel Air Independence Day is introducing flag ceremonies at each of its event locations. A flag ceremony and anthem performed by Rinehart will open the horseshoe pitching fields at Rockfield Park at 7:45 a.m., with registration for the regionally-known competition to follow at 8 a.m. The Hays House’s flag ceremony will feature a performance by The Catherine Street Consort of the original “Star-Spangled Banner” melody, the Anacreontic Song, at 8:45 a.m.
Meanwhile, Rinehart will open the series of events at Shamrock Park also at 8:45 a.m. The traditional events include face painting, a turtle derby and frog jumping contest, Uncle Sam Says, and the watermelon eating contest. Following a final performance by Rinehart, the annual Bicycle Rodeo will take place at Bel Air Elementary School at 11 a.m.
The Bel Air Independence Day Parade kicks off at 6 p.m., traveling along Main Street through downtown Bel Air, from Gordon Street to Idlewild Street.
The day will draw to a close at approximately 9:30 p.m. with a bombastic fireworks show high above Rockfield Park, visible from many great vantage points throughout the area.
With something for everyone, there’s no better place to be than Bel Air on the Fourth!