The Towson Fourth of July Parade will kick off next Wednesday, July 4, at 10:30 a.m., on Bosley Avenue at Towsontown Boulevard, with more than 100 units, military units, the Ravens Marching Band, residents from Rodgers Forge and a wave of soap bubbles.
It promises to be Towson's most colorful day of the year — even if the predominant hues are red, white and blue.
The all-volunteer committee that puts on the event each year has worked to create another festive, two-hour-plus event, from its start with the children's bike rush and a Guinness Book of World Records attempt at bubble-blowing to its ending note from one of the many marching bands.
Committee members suggest that spectators arrive early. They'll be able to enjoy live music and ceremonies at parade reviewing stands on Bosley Avenue and Washington Avenue, starting at 9:45 a.m. The National Anthem and other songs will be sung, and Holocaust survivor Deli Strummer will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
At 10 a.m. is the bubble event, and at 10:30 a.m. the bike rush of youngsters and their decorated bikes will lead the way for the procession.
Maryann Albaugh, chairwoman of the Towson Fourth of July Parade Committee, said members work much of the year knowing that they are not just building a parade — they are helping their neighbors build memories.
"We have people who tell us they come every year, and wouldn't miss it," she said. "I had one lady recently who gave a donation, and said, 'My father brought me to the parade every year when I was a kid.' She wanted to give back, and make sure it's always there for the community.
"That makes us feel good, knowing that people remember the parade as part of their community life," she said. "It makes it all worth it."
The parade is funded by donations from businesses, organizations and residents.
But also important is the "bucket brigade" on the day of the parade, when representatives will go though the crowds asking for donations.
Folks willing to chip in can also make checks out to the Towson Fourth of July Parade, and mail to P.O. Box 5418, Towson, MD 21285. Call 410-832-2190 to volunteer, or go to towsonparade.org for more general information.
The Fourth of July fun will continue at night with fireworks from the grounds of Loch Raven Academy.
If you're going …
The July 4 parade in Towson starts at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Bosley Avenue and Towsontown Boulevard, marches north on Bosley, east on Allegheny Avenue, south on Washington Avenue and disbands after Chesapeake Avenue.
Come early — pre-parade entertainment on Bosley and on Washington begins at 9:45 a.m., and parade-route streets will be closed to traffic by 8:30 a.m.
Gathering for the youngsters' bike rush that leads off the parade at 10:30 begins at 9 a.m. in the Towson University parking lot directly across from the Burkshire Marriott Conference Hotel.
TOWSON PARADE BAND SPONSORS
John S. Holman, State Farm Insurance, sponsoring:
The Fire Museum of Maryland
American Legion Towson Post 22, sponsoring:
John F. Nicoll Drum and Pipes Corp
Towson Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring:
Baltimore Marching Ravens
Jerry's Chevrolet, sponsoring:
Kilte Band of York
CFG Community Bank, sponsoring:
Calvert Hall Band
Mid-Atlantic Properties, sponsoring:
TOWSON 4th OF JULY PARADE COMMITTEE OFFICERS
Chair - Maryann Albaugh
Vice Chair - Bill Frank
Treasurer - Bill Albaugh
Secretary - Cynthia Pyle
Antique Cars - Jerry Gordon
Bike Rush - Bill Frank and David Marks
Bands and Formations - Judy Gregory and Carol Hunter
Bucket Brigade - John Albaugh and Daniel Garrett
Cars - Jackie Sims
Costume Characters - Jeanne Kline, Ed Kline and Stacey Rittershofer
Fundraising - Maryann Albaugh, Bill Albaugh and Bill Frank
Hospitality Chair - Nancy Bourke
Special Guests - Jackie Sims and Vicki Chambers
Volunteers - Maryann Albaugh, Bart Stocksdale, Bev Landis, David Marks and Maureen Zingo
Military Units - Jackie Sims
Communications and Operations - Jackie Sims, Todd Huff
Stage Production - Bill Albaugh
Program Book - Jackie Sims
Program Coordinators - Maryann Albaugh and Jackie Sims
Public Relations - David Clark
Photographer - Brian Glock
Mail - Betty Ann Szeliga
Fundraising Events - Maryann Albaugh, Pat Middlecamp and Betty Ann Szeliga
Committee Members - Jennifer Albaugh, Michele Bradby-Johnson, Robert Brown, Pat Middlecamp and Andy and Christine Nuedling
Parade Support - John Hayden of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston; Towson Times; American Legion Towson Post 22; Towson Chamber of Commerce