The Bel Air Independence Day Committee is looking for floats, marching units, performers, antique cars, hot rods, commercial units, animal acts and more for the traditional Bel Air 4th of July parade, scheduled for Wed., July 4 at 6 p.m. in downtown Bel Air.
"We've already gotten several terrific applications," Parade Chairman Michael Blum, who is running his 20th consecutive parade this year, said in a press release.
"They include two floats and a musical marching unit, but of course it's only the beginning," Blum added. "By the time we're done, we hope to have close to 150 separate units in the parade."
Applications to participate in the parade, plus all the required information, are available online at the committee's website, http://www.belairjuly4.org.
"It's important to get your application in early," Blum said. "We are able to accommodate almost every kind of patriotic unit, but we need to know the details, because our staging area is very tight," he adds.
The 2012 theme is also very important—all units are requested to decorate themselves in a manner consistent with appearing in a patriotic July 4th parade. The parade's judges choose winners based on a unit's decorations and on how well the unit conforms to the specific theme.
"We love antique cars and we love dogs on parade, for instance," Blum said. "But in keeping with the vision we have for our parade, we want those dogs to have red-white-and-blue bandannas or star-spangled leashes, and we want the antique cars to be flying the flag or draped in some patriotic way. The rules are quite clear about this, although of course we do allow a great deal of leeway and creativity!"
The Bel Air July 4th parade is produced by the Bel Air Independence Day Committee, a 501(C)(3) independent not-for-profit organization.
"We are also hard at work raising the money to make the entire day come alive," Don Stewart, president of the committee, said in the release. "Donation letters will be going out soon, and we are particularly hoping the companies will step up to sponsor bands and some of the daytime events. It takes a lot of money to put on this celebration, and we appreciate very much that Harford Mutual Insurance Company has once again agreed to be our premier sponsor and sponsor of the fireworks display," Stewart adds.
Information and details about supporting the celebration, entering the program cover contest, entering the parade, participating in the daytime activities and volunteering are provided in full detail on the committee's web site.