There were plenty of awards to win during Bel Air's daylong celebration on the Fourth of July.
Contests were held during the late morning and afternoon, with a parade afterward.
First place in the hamster races went to Stripe, owned by John French of Abingdon; second to Screech, owned by Allen Reed of Bel Air, and third to Frederick, owned by Daniel Hawkins of Bel Air.
The turtle races were broken into two classes, box and nonbox. The fastest box turtle was Kimberly, owned by Kimberly Beauchamp of Fallston. Second place was a tie between Henry, owned by Emma Allison and Neal Jacowitz of Bel Air, and Shelley, owned by Megan Tritsch of Bel Air. Third went to Little Dude, owned by Chrissy Winter of Bel Air.
In the nonbox category, first was Rocky, owned by Claire Wilson of Bel Air. Speedy, owned by David Ramsey of Jarrettsville, took the second spot, and Raphael, owned by Joey Domiano of Abingdon, came in third.
In frog contests, Bruce Green Frog, owned by Morgan Struve of Abingdon, had a three-jump total of 125 inches to land first place. Buster, owned by Ronnie Thomas Jr. of Havre de Grace, jumped 100 inches for second, and Hoppy, owned by Danielle Odell of Bel Air, with three jumps totaling 93 inches, won third.
In the men's division of the horseshoe pitch, Richard Farmer of Port Deposit beat James Stewart of Baltimore. Mr. Stewart fared better in the doubles competition, teaming up with Duke Caldwell of Fallston to beat George Cullum and Norman Meadow, both of Bel Air.
Charlotte Onion of Stewartstown, Pa., won the women's division, and Mary Bradshaw of Street took second place. Vicki Smith and Nancy Edinger won the women's doubles event.
The Uncle Sam Says competition was broken up into three age groups. Sarah Bogusko, of Bel Air, won the 11 to 13 age group; Crystal Heagerty of Bel Air came in second; and Matthew Muir of Bel Air third.
In the 8 to 10 age group, Jessica Pasko was first, Ian Elder of Forest Hill second and Thomas Bosley of Lutherville third.
Joshua Croteau of Bel Air claimed first in the 7-and-under division. Matt Greenwood of Okaton, Va., took second place, and third went to Julie Schaller of Bel Air.
Trophies were given for the best decorated bicycle, and there also was a bicycle competition. In the best decorated class, the winners were Adam Waldarzik in the 5 to 7 age group, Jessica Stravsky in the 8 to 10 age group and Patty French in the 11-and-up group. In the competition portion, Emily Moore won the 6-and-under division, Joshua Gray the 7 to 8 group and
Jessica Stravsky the 9-year-old group. Tim Andon took first in the 10 to 11 division, and Chad Restrick won the 12- to 13 year-old group.
Jessica Gray won the watermelon eating contest in the 5-and-under age group, followed by David Ramsey of Jarrettsville and Emily Moore of Essex. In the 6 to 10 age group, Bijan Mohandessi of Bel Air took first place, Lia Sanders second and Aynsley Grove of Bel Air third. Joe Dugan of Jarrettsville won the 11 to 16 group; Erin Neubauer of Bel Air was second; and Chris Heidel of Bel Air third. The adult category was led by Ruth Cassily of Churchville, with James Rineholt Jr. of Conowingo second and Valerie Price of Abingdon third.
The radio-controlled car races were divided into three categories: stock cars, stock trucks and modified trucks. Rusty Westerman won the stock car category, followed by Tom Havel in second and Jim Westerman in third.
Stock trucks was won by Michael Nihila, with John Bowalda second and Bob Comes third. The modified truck category saw Dave Groseclose take first place, Brian Schossler second and Bob Singleton third.
The parade was separated into 11 categories for judging.
Rockfield Creative Playground won the $500 first prize for best organizational float, and WXCY-FM 103.7 won the first prize of $350 for best commercial float.
Equestrian units were broken into organizational and individual groups. Shining Eye Percherons won the organizational section, and Little Miss Fourth of July won the individual award.
The Freestate Clown Alley 30 won best comic-novelty entry, and Dave Oberender's 1929 Cadillac won the title for best antique car. The Vietnam Veterans of America won the color guard division, Level Volunteer Fire Company the emergency vehicles division, Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club the best marching unit title and the Maryland Army National Guard Historical Division the organizational mobile units division.
First place in the judges' awards was given to the Maryland National Guard for its flyover at the parade.
The day culminated with a concert by the Bel Air Community Band and a display of fireworks at nightfall.