Bel Air Independence Day turtle races, parades and fireworks

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If you’re heading out to the Bel Air Fourth of July festivities today, consider taking an umbrella to provide some shade. The heat isn’t unbearable, but my children are red-faced and worn out. If you forget to bring along some water, Boy Scouts are selling drinks for $1 from coolers they’re pulling in wagons. Hundreds of people have already participated in the turtle races, frog jumping contest and the Lions Club’s pancake breakfast. It looked like turtle races drew the biggest crowd, with plenty of folks wearing University of Maryland Terrapins “Fear the Turtle” t-shirts. Parking in the Bel Air Middle School lot was relatively easy and when we left just before noon, there were quite a few spaces available. Attention is turning now to this afternoon’s parade. It’s scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Lee and Main Streets. If you haven’t staked out a spot with blankets and chairs already, forget it. Blankets are lined edge-to-edge on both sides of the parade route. Watch the parade for my friend Christine Zoll’s baton-twirling troupe Totally Twirlin’. They’ll be wearing hot pink. I haven’t seen her since we both twirled for the Daley Debutantes while growing up in Milwaukee and I bumped into her outside the pancake breakfast. Small world. I hear that tonight’s fireworks are best approached by snagging side street parking off Route 1 and walking to one of the Bel Air High School complex playing fields for a good view.

Fireworks alternative

If the rockets’ red glare is too much for your little ones tonight, you might consider taking them to see David and Nancy Rose’s 8-foot by 16-foot neon American flag installed on a radio tower on their 173-acre Shawsville farm. There was a story in the Baltimore Sun today about the flag, which the Rose’s say they’ll leave up at least until their July BGE bill arrives. Unfortunately, the story didn’t provide any directions for getting there. A peek at Mapquest shows me Shawsville lies on Norrisville Road (Route 23) just east of the Baltimore/Harford County line between Whitehall Road and Old York Road. Good luck. Look for the big lights.

More violence last night in Harford County

WBAL radio reports an Aberdeen Proving Ground solider is in jail today after atttempting to drive off in a car containing a 5-year-old boy. The car was left momentarily unattended at an Edgewood gas station on Hanson Road last night. The boy’s father seriously injured his leg while trying to stop the carjacking. Police told WBAL the suspect ran the car into a pole, injuring the boy’s father. Surgeons at Shock Trauma were trying to save the man’s leg.