Patriotic young pedalers to enliven July 4 parade


June 29, 2000|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NOTHING STIRS the feelings of pride and patriotism like watching your youngster - or the children of neighbors - celebrate the nation's birthday, pumping along on bicycles decked out in red, white and blue in the annual Greater Severna Park July 4th Parade and Festival.

Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the 26th annual parade will assemble at St. Martin's-in-the-Field Episcopal and Our Shepherd Lutheran churches on Benfield Road. The route will follow Evergreen Road to Riggs Avenue, Riggs to Old B&A Boulevard, and turns into Park Plaza - site of the festival that runs until 1:30 p.m.

The bicycling youngsters will be competing in the annual children's decorated bike contest and can register in the Winkelmeyer Building parking lot (540 Old B&A Blvd.) between 9:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. Parents and children will walk down the B&A Trail to enter the parade on Riggs Avenue.

The contest is intended for elementary-age children and their bikes, trikes and wagons. For details, call the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, the event organizer, at 410-647-3900.

Parade chairman Rick Sutton, branch manager of the local First Mariner Bank branch - while noting that Severna Park Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Zahn is "the true brains" behind the planning - says he has helped add "new elements," including a plan to post pictures of the parade on the chamber's Web site at www.

But they won't be posting winners of the chamber's Summer in Severna Park photo contest, which were to have been announced at the festival. A shortage of entries is to blame. The contest deadline has been extended to Labor Day.

The theme of the parade is "Great Presidents - Past and Present," and the grand marshal is Rear Adm. Maurice "Mike" Rindskopf. Since retiring from the Navy in 1972, he has served as president of the Chartwell Community Association, Chartwell Country Club and the Anne Arundel County Public Library Trustees. He is president of the Naval Academy Class of 1938, an office he's held for seven years.

"I was honored to be asked to be grand marshal," Rindskopf said, "although my wife, Sylvia, says I never say no. I think it's important that the town make something of this holiday, making sure that those people who have been in the wars, defending this country, are recognized. This helps to do that."

During his military career, Rindskopf was a leader in submarine warfare and naval intelligence.

At 83, he still fits into his uniforms. (Two months ago, he wore his uniform tails, which he says he hadn't had on in more than 30 years, to the wedding of his granddaughter.) And he proudly displays a chest-full of military decorations, among them the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, World War II Victory Medal and Navy Cross.

The citation for the Navy Cross reads, "For extraordinary heroism as commanding officer of the USS Drum during the Eleventh War Patrol of that vessel in enemy, Japanese-controlled waters of the Pacific War area, from September 9 to November 8, 1944." It was noted that he launched "five brilliantly executed torpedo attacks to sink four hostile ships," damaged two others and "brought his ship to port."

A festival tradition is the singing of the national anthem, with the honor this year going to Severna Park High School 2000 graduate Kathleen Keck.

The festival will include an 11:30 a.m. performance by singer/songwriter/musician Mary Byrd Brown. A Moon Bounce, giant slide and games will be featured, and food and beverages will be sold. Also, photos of past parades will be displayed at the chamber table.

Radio station WNAV-AM will be broadcasting from the festival.

Members of the Severn River Lions Club, among the most popular people at the festival, will be handing out free Popsicles. After the event, the Community Center at Woods will open its indoor pool for a free dip until 4 p.m.

Parade prizes, donated by Pedal Pushers Bike Shop, will be presented to children with the most original, most beautiful and most patriotic bikes. The Chamber of Commerce will give awards to adult winners in individual, community and business categories.

Other sponsors are Old Navy, which is distributing holiday bike-decorating kits at its Annapolis Harbor store; the Back Room at Woodfire; Harms and Associates; Helix Construction Services; Remax Experts; Servpro of Severna Park; United Propane Inc.; and the Park Plaza management.

"Last year's parade and festival marked the chamber's 25th anniversary and the end of the 20th century," says festival chairman Jay Middleton, a local businessman for 22 years. "The Severna Park Chamber plans to conduct the celebration in the 21st century with community spirit and imagination."

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