Fireworks, flags and the last chance to buy anything that even vaguely resembles summer clothing. I guess we're looking at the 4th of July, when America shows the world that we invented the word "celebration."
But what's missing, Glen Burnie, is a parade. The only horns you'll hear on Crain Highway tomorrow will be sounded by irate motorists trying to turn left from Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.
So I offer my readers a literary parade to be enjoyed in the air-conditioned comfort of your home. No crowds, no parking problems and no one waving a loaded mini-cam around.
My parade starts with a single, red fire engine with a Dalmatian perched atop. Volunteer and career firefighters stand side by side as they wave to the crowd. The siren sounds only after it has passed your spot.
Next comes a late-model pick-up truck full of politicians. Since they are necessary fora parade (and I actually like some of them), I've invited them to participate. But this "every politician gets his/her own convertible" is ridiculous. The truck idea is more efficient and may be the only chance many of them get to spend quality time together.
Next comes the VFW Post 434 Color Guard from Marley. I justreally like these guys, and it's my parade. Everyone stands out of respect for the flag andrespect for the men and women this group represents.
Is that music? Yes, it's the Glen Burnie Senior High School marching band playing"Yankee Doodle Dandy." Since this is an imaginary parade, they continue to play along the entire parade route (unlike real life, where every band always quits right before they reach where you're sitting).
Next we have an El Camino with assorted beauty contest winners in the back. Pretty much the same idea as the politicians -- more efficient and allows for a more social setting.
The El Camino is followed by assorted scout troops riding bicycles that have been decorated for the parade with streamers and balloons. The Girl Scouts follow on a float that depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All the girls are dressed up like men because women didn't have any rights in 1776, so they weren't invited to make important decisions. They were in the kitchen.
Only one majorette group is in the paradebecause there is only one group left with girls wearing skirts with matching jackets and white boots with tassels, not bathing suits. Theolder majorettes willmarch smartly, while the youngest twirlers willbe dragging their batons, looking bored and only occasionally remembering to watch where they're going.
The Baltimore Colts Marching Band arrives to a standing ovation, as you explain to confused visitors from out of town how Indianapolis got the football team but WE got the band.
A few more floats arrive. They throw candy and balloons because kids like this. (Parade hint No. 1: Don't throw hard candy. Idid this at a parade once and almost knocked a man out.)
The crowds hush as a precision drill team starts its routine. Composed entirely of alumna mothers from Arundel Cooperative Nursery School, they propel umbrella strollers and wear hats made out of foam meat trays andglitter. Their cadence is somewhat reminiscent of the "The Hokey Pokey."
Another pickup truck full of clowns comes down the road --backward. They are not permitted to leave the confines of the truck, so spectators are safe.
Finally we hear . . . more music! Yes, on completing the parade route, the entire Glen Burnie marching band boarded a bus and returned to the starting point to reward the crowd with agrand finale of "Stars and Stripes Forever."
The crowd goes wild!Children are laughing and waving flags. Adults are clapping and eventeen-agers have stopped looking annoyed. What a day!
That's aboutall I have scheduled. No horses (too messy), no Boumi Temple guys onall-terrain vehicles terrifying children, and definitely no car clubs.
The meeting to plan next year's parade is Friday. See you there.
The real celebration in Glen Burnie starts tonight with a fireworks display and concludes with a flag dedication on Sunday.
In keeping with a Glen Burnie tradition, a brilliant display of pyrotechnics will begin at 9 p.m at the Third Avenue Park. The 30-40 minutedisplay is sponsored by the Glen Burnie Improvement Association. Recorded music will precede the displays from 8 to 9 p.m.
Bill Kuephe, chairman of the fireworks committee, suggests several locations foroptimum viewing.
"The Third Avenue Park isn't big enough for everyone, so manypeople go to Sawmill Park (on Dorsey Road) or the top ofthe parking garage on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard," he said. "We have all aerial displays so that the everyone can see them."
In theevent of inclement weather, the fireworks program will be rescheduled for Friday.
Six hundred square feet of U.S. flag will wave over Glen Burnie at the top of a 70-foot flagpole during a dedicationceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Ritchie Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.