Keith Lippert sat in a recliner spray-painted red, white and blue and greeted curious onlookers with a smile and a raised mug during the June 24 Frederick Road Fridays free concert in Catonsville.

Lippert was all smiles until asked about his chances of winning the inaugural Show Us Your Chair Contest, sponsored by the Catonsville Fourth of July Committee.

The contest to raise funds and awareness for the annual Fourth of July parade attracted 11 entries that paid a $25 fee, said Maureen Sweeney Smith, a member of the committee.

Votes were $1 each.


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The parade down Frederick Road Monday afternoon and the fireworks that evening cost $100,000.

The events expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the area as the festivities kick off at 2 p.m. Monday.

As of June 27, the group was about $25,000 short in its fundraising, according to Sweeney Smith.

The Show Us Your Chair Contest started accepting submissions in March and voting started the second week of June.

The contest is based on the growing Catonsville tradition of leaving chairs along the Frederick Road parade route to stake out spots to view the event. Chairs were spotted along the route last weekend.

"I'm about fourth place right now," Lippert said with a tinge of disappointment in his voice.

"I think I can make a comeback," the Catonsville resident quickly added, his enthusiasm restored.

His confidence that he would receive more votes in the final week of voting could be traced to recent modifications made to his "All American Lazy Boy," which included a beer-dispensing tap.

The contest has a lot on the line, as the chair with the most votes gets VIP treatment at the parade and during the fireworks.

Current leader Valerie Androutsopoulos said she has heard a buzz about her Vangel Paper company's chair, made of cardboard and paper products.

But the Catonsville resident remained cautiously optimistic about winning.

"People can't believe it's made out of cardboard. It looks like it's carved out of wood," Androutsopoulos said of the chair, made by 19-year-old Catonsville resident Adam LaFon.

"I hear that there are people who are holding back and are going to, I think the term is, sandbag," added Androutsopoulos, who noted she sent out an email to friends and clients to increase her tally. "They're going to pile on all the money (at the end)."

The contest is any chair's game, as dozens of people admired the entrants June 24 during the evening concert by Stone Mason on Egges Lane.

Two of the younger observers favored the chair made by Leikin and Baylin Dental Care, which featured lips, teeth and a toothbrush.

"It looks like a mouth and when you sit in it, because of the toothbrush it makes it look like you're brushing your teeth," said Cody Warren, a 9-year-old Ohio resident who plans to stay for the July 4 celebration.