Parade picks


For the past two years, my family has headed to Havre de Grace for its Fourth of July parade because we found it an easy parade to navigate with small children and grandparents. (This year Havre de Grace’s parade is scheduled for Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m.) We arrived just about a half hour before the parade started marching down Union Avenue and easily found parking in a lot just off the parade route near the railroad tracks. A year earlier, we snatched a spot on a side street just about a block from the parade route. Even arriving so close to the start time, we were able to place our lawn chairs close to the curb in time to see the thunderous military choppers kick off the parade flying just barely above the treetops, their pilots leaning out the sides to wave. After about an hour, the marching bands began to all look the same to my kids and we’ve always been able to make an easy get-away without getting stuck in traffic. This year, with the kids a bit older and able to walk farther on their own two feet, we’re going to hit the Bel Air parade (6 p.m. July 4) – primarily because it will actually be held on July 4 and also because my 3-year-old is a huge fan of Kimmie Meissner, who is scheduled to appear in the parade. My daughter recognizes the World Champion figure skater on sight whenever her photo appears in the newspaper, even when Meissner’s not wearing her skating outfit. And every time we turn down the downtown Bel Air street named in Meissner’s honor, my daughter hollers “Kimmie Way!” We figure it will be tougher to score a good seat at Bel Air’s parade (which starts at the corner of North Main and Lee streets) so my husband plans to go early to set up some chairs. We also want to hit the blueberry pancake and sausage breakfast (7 to 10:30 a.m.) and the turtle derby at 9:30 a.m. Information on these events as well as the hamster races, a patriotic costume contest, Uncle Sam Says, a bicycle rodeo, a frog jumping contest and a watermelon eating contest can be found on the event’s website All the events are to be held on the grounds of the Bel Air High School, middle school and Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School grounds. In the evening, the Bel Air Community Band concert at 8:15 p.m. is a prelude to the 9:45 p.m. fireworks display. According to the map in today’s Aegis, it appears the fireworks will be launched from an area behind the Bel Air high school and middle school.

Last day to use energy unwisely

Baltimore Sun columnist Jay Hancock reminds readers of his blog today that it’s the last day for BGE customers to burn kilowatts at a mere 8.2 cents an hour. Tomorrow on July 1 the kilowatt price spikes 72 percent to market levels — although we’ll pay just 15 percent of that increase with the rest deferred, yada yada yada …

Smash and grab trend

A story in The Aegis newspaper today suggests that Saturday’s Harford Mall jewelry store heist might possibly be connected to a string of 56 East Coast jewelry store robberies since 2003, although the story cites no evidence of any direct connection. According to the FBI, smash and grab jewelry store crimes have been rising nationwide since the early 1990s, where thieves connected to South American or other foreign rings hit retail stores or individual jewelry dealers and sell the goods in other states or countries. The FBI website has some good information on the tactics of these theft rings and their foreign connections. A couple of years ago, a number of expensive watches were stolen by this method from a Milwaukee jewelry store where my mother worked. The thieves were arrested a few weeks after the crime and charged with a string of smash and grab robberies in the Milwaukee area. The Aegis story requests that anyone with information on Saturday’s theft from the Harford Mall store should call Detective Peggy Pfarr at the Bel Air Police Department at 410-638-4522.