The 4th of July festivities start early in Bel Air on Saturday. The flag raising ceremony takes place at 6:45 a.m. at Bel Air Middle School, 99 Idlewild St. — a new location this year due to the construction at the traditional Bel Air High School site. It’s followed by the Bel Air Lions Club’s blueberry pancake breakfast at the middle school from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 10. (Remember to have the kids ask for the Mickey Mouse pancakes with “ears.”) Then the competitive games begin:
8 a.m. is registration for the horseshoe pitching that starts at 8:30 a.m. at Rockfield ball park.
8:45 a.m. is registration for the hamster races that start at 9 a.m. at Shamrock Park.
9 a.m. is registration for the turtle derby that starts at 9:30 a.m. at Shamrock Park. (Three turtle limit per entrant.)
10 a.m. is registration for The Great Frog Jumping Contest that starts at 10:30 a.m. at Shamrock Park. (Two from limit per entrant)
(P.S. I recently asked an animal specialist at the Anita Leight Estuary Center about how to handle the turtles and frogs that are borrowed for the contest and she says when they’re finished competing, the most humane thing to do is to return them to the place where you found them. She says box turtles will travel for miles to find their homes. Best thing to do is to take them back to the place where they’re familiar.)
If amphibian competition isn’t your thing, you might want to visit the historic Hays House Museum, 324 Kenmore Avenue for tours from 9 a.m. to noon. The Catherine Street Consort Patriotic Concert is scheduled to take place 10 a.m. to noon at the Hays House.
11 a.m. The Uncle Sam Says game begins at Shamrock Park while the Bike Rodeo gets underway in the Municipal Parking lot on Pennsylvania Ave. across from the Bel Air library.
11:30 a.m. the watermelon eating contest starts at Shamrock Park.
6 p.m. is the start of the Bel Air Independence Day parade, which will be returning to its traditional Main Street route for the first time since the street’s reconstruction project has been completed. (The parade usually lasts two hours.) Click here for a map of the route.
9:30 p.m. is the approximate start time for the fireworks display at Rockfield Park.
Click here to read The Aegis story on July 4th events.