Scenes from Bel Air's annual Fourth of July parade, which featured marching bands, miniature horses, fast cars and an appearance by Miss Maryland. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media Group video)

The July 4th, 2013, Independence Day events in Bel Air offered fun, patriotic splendor, and educational interest to citizens of the entire region, all during a day of beautiful summer weather, sunny with light breezes and totally devoid of rain.

Tens of thousands of citizens from the greater Bel Air area and across Harford County and beyond participated and enjoyed the traditional small-town events on Thursday, July 4, culminating with the annual parade and one of the best fireworks displays since the fireworks moved to their present shoot-off location.

Events got under way at 6:45 a.m. at Bel Air High School with the flag raising ceremony, featuring Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30 and American Legion Bel Air Post 39. The national anthem was sung by Miss Bel Air Independence Day 2013 Laura Patnaude.

The traditional pancake and sausage breakfast followed, in which over 2,000 adults and children partook of the pancakes, blueberry pancakes, juice and sausages cooked and prepared by over 50 volunteers from the Bel Air Lions, under the direction of Harold Boccia. According to existing records, the number of paid customers in 2013 was the highest ever.

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During the morning, the Hays House was open to visitors, and offered lawn games and guided tours of the historic facility. More than 175 visitors stopped by.

Program Cover Contest Winner

In the week leading up to July 4th, the Bel Air Independence Day Committee distributed 20,000 free programs listing all events and containing useful information about the 4th of July in Bel Air. The program's front cover illustration was chosen by a contest open to all Harford County students.

The winning design was done by Faith Moen of Bel Air, a student at Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School.

The official program was designed and produced by Michael Blum; 2012 event photos used in the program were taken by Laura Stafford of the Town of Bel Air staff. The 2013 Program was sponsored by Jones Junction.

A full roster of daytime competitive events were held at various locations in the Town of Bel Air. The results of these were as follows:

Horseshoe Pitching (Rockfield Park)

Women's Singles:

1st: Vicki Smith of Darlington

2nd: Velma Schleicher of Bel Air

Women's Doubles:

1st: Vicki Smith and Breanna Smith of Darlington

Men's Singles:

1st: Lionel Bowser of Aberdeen

2nd: Johnny Sequoyall of Baltimore

Men's Doubles: