The start of summer means the patriotic spirit is in the air, as community leaders and people from all over Harford County gear up to celebrate Independence Day.
Five official events are coming up around the corner, in almost all corners of the county.
The first will be Darlington, which opens the local season of Independence Day Parade and Fireworks Celebrations on Saturday, June 29.
The parade in Darlington will start at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street and feature the usual entertainment, karaoke and floats, although perhaps with some newcomers.
Darlington Pharmacy is expecting to have a float and the Darlington Post Office is back in the celebration as well, organizer Kira Dare said.
Boumi clowns are expected to participate, and the Havre de Grace Marching Warriors will be part of the event as usual, she said.
This will be Dare's last year as president the celebration, after about a decade of leading the organization, she said. She will step down along with treasurer Margaret Reeves, Dare said.
Next year, the Darlington Lions Club will be taking the reins of the parade organization effort.
Larry Burton, who will be Lions Club president as of Thursday, will run the event.
Parade directors will remain the same, and Joni Nugent, "a longtime resident and supporter of the Darlington community," will be honored as grand marshal this year.
"I would expect that under the direction of the Darlington Lions Club, some minor adjustments may be made, but the tradition of the Darlington Independence Day celebration will continue as it always has," Dare said. "I have enjoyed being president for the past 10 or 11 years. It has been my pleasure serving the Village of Darlington and the surrounding community, and I am grateful for all of the generous support I have received during my tenure in this role."
Bel Air and Kingsville are alone in celebrating on July 4, which falls on a Thursday this year.
The day's events in Bel Air start with a flag-raising ceremony at 6:45 a.m. followed by the blueberry pancake and sausage breakfast at 7 a.m. Games and contests continue throughout the day throughout town. Horseshoe pitching is at Rockfield Park, with the Turtle Derby, the Great Bel Air Frog Jumping Contest, Uncle Sam Says and watermelon eating contest at Shamrock Park.
The parade at 6 p.m. at Gordon Street.
Organizer Mike Blum said the parade will be a bit shorter this year to allow people to make their way over to fireworks, which will be set off from Rockfield Park around 9:30 p.m.
More information on that event is available at http://www.belairjuly4.org.
Kingsville's 33rd annual celebration, sponsored by the Greater Kingsville Civic Association and Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, will start at 10 a.m. on July 4 with music, the Orioles Bird and a barbershop chorus, among other things. The parade starts at 10:45 a.m. at the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company on Bellvue Avenue and proceeds down Bradshaw Road to Jerusalem Road, finishing at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
The John Carroll School band will help Christina Massimei perform the national anthem.
Parade entertainment features Buttons the Clown, Baltimore City Pipe Band, Bird, Upper Falls Dance Academy, Bay Country Gentlemen Barbershop Chorus with Director Bill Eberius and soloist Susie Rising.
The Rev. Lawrence F. Kolson, pastor of St. Stephen Church, and Rev. Paul J. Breczinski, associate pastor, are the 2013 Grand Marshals.
As usual, no fireworks are planned in Kingsville.
Havre de Grace
Havre de Grace and Joppatowne-Edgewood will both have parades on July 6.
Havre de Grace will also have its usual carnival, open from July 2 to 6. The carnival will stay open from 6 to 10:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, and from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
A wristband for the carnival costs $25 on Saturday and $24 Tuesday through Friday. More information is available at http://www.havredegracejuly4.org.
The city's parade begins at 2 p.m. on Warren Street and will culminate in a concert at the Yacht Basin at 7 p.m. Fireworks will follow at dusk, about 9:15 p.m.
The Joppatowne-Edgewood parade will be held in Edgewood this year, with participants lining up at 5 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club building. The parade will kick off at 6 p.m., organizer Dianna Guthrie said.
Its theme is "Ageless Excellence Marching Forward" and will feature 96-year-old Ken Hammer as the grand marshal.
A World War II veteran will also be singing the national anthem. The event will conclude with a free concert by a 36-piece brass band at Flying Point Park.
Sen. Nancy Jacobs, who recently announced her retirement from politics, will be honored in the Edgewood-Joppa parade.
"We are hoping she will be able to make it," Guthrie said.