Arbutus prepped for Fourth of July parade, but running short on funds

As preparations for the area's Fourth of July celebration head into the final week, Arbutus resident George Kendrick is upbeat about his hometown's annual summer holiday event.

Kendrick said the parade through downtown Arbutus on East Drive costs between $20,000 and $22,000 to host each year.

Much of that funding comes from the annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K, which as of Monday, June 24, had more than 300 runners signed up. Entry fee for the race around Arbutus was $30 before June 20 and $40 up and including the day of the race.

"What money we raise in the 10K goes into the parade," said Kendrick, who has been in charge or organizing and putting on the annual parade in Arbutus for the past 16 years.

However, he said, that means event organizers had only raised between $6,000 and $7,000.

"We accept donations, and we do walk around asking for donations on the parade route and we make out pretty good there," he said. "Right now, I'd say we're a little down from last year, but not that much.

"People do what they want, it's a community affair," he said. "If they can afford it, I know they'll give it to us and if they can't, just sit on the parade route and enjoy yourself. That's the way I look at it.

"We'll make it. We've made it every year for the past 16 years," he said.

Kendrick and said this year's parade will be as great as ever.

Multiple marching bands from all over the country will be featured, including the Sun Devils from Tampa Bay, Fla., the Reading Buccaneers from Pennsylvania and the Fusions from New Jersey.

The parade will also feature the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's marching band as well as numerous floats from community groups and organizations.

The Arbutus Athletic Association, Relay United Methodist Church, the Arbutus Business and Professional Association and the Arbutus Sailorettes cheerleaders, among others, will all participate this year.

"Numerous bands, (we've) got a lot of automobiles, got some real classy looking classic cars too," Kendrick said. "It's going to be a good day."

"We've got the politicians and the fire departments and things like that to lead off the parade," Kendrick said.

He said he is looking forward to seeing the entire community come together and enjoy the parade as a collective unit.

"It's good for the community," Kendrick said of the parade. "A lot of community groups are involved, (and there are a lot of) people sitting on the sidelines watching the parade."

The day will kick off with the annual 10K race starting in the back of Arbutus Middle School on Sulphur Spring Road at 8 a.m.

That will be followed by a flag raising ceremony at the flagpole at the intersection of Oregon Avenue and Sulphur Spring Road at 10:15 a.m.

The parade starts at 12:30 p.m.

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