From near and far people, including many from neighboring Harford County, came to see high school bands, fire trucks, police cars, various businesses, organizations and the usual bevy of political candidates, many of them sporting red, white and blue outfits, as Kingsville held its annual Independence Day Parade Thursday morning.
For the 33rd year in a row, the parade participants started from the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company on Bellvue Avenue, marched or rode down Bradshaw Road and then onto Jerusalem Road to St. Paul's Church.
The grand marshals of this year's parade were Rev. Lawrence F. Kolson, pastor of nearby St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church, and the Rev. Paul Breczinski, the church's associate pastor. They were among the first in the parade, sharing a convertible and drawing applause as they passed by.
Jessica Chmielewski, of Parkville, heard about the parade from a friend and brought her son, Chase, 4, and her daughter, Aubrey, 2 to their first parade. The two waved U.S. flags as the participants in the parade went buy, scrambling whenever one of them threw candy to the spectators.
"He's just happy to get candy," Chmielewski laughed as Chase enjoyed a lollipop. His favorite part of the parade was the candy and seeing the police cars.
April Laubach, of Abingdon, came with her in-laws and young cousins, and said it was "fun getting the kids together."
"I like [the parade]," Laubach said. "It's very hometown."
What would a parade be without the marching bands? There were several from Harford County in Kingsville on Thursday.
Among the bands participating in the parade were the Havre de Grace High School Marching Band, Edgewood High School Marching Band, the Joppatowne High School Marching Band, C. Milton Wright High School Marching Band and Patterson Mill High School Marching Band. The Baltimore City Fife Band also participated, dressed in kilts as they played their bagpipes.
Spectators clapped enthusiastically when members of the armed forces passed by in uniform. They in turn reciprocated by shaking hands and giving high fives to the crowd.
Kingsville resident Jennifer Mister brought her daughters, Autumn, 4 and Kyria, 3. This was her third time coming to the parade.
"I live here, and I love being out here with everybody and watching the fire engines and the kids jumping for candy," Mister said. She said the best part of the parade was the group of ponies and horses in the parade from a local farm.
"I like how they stopped and let the kids come out [and pet the horses]," Mister said. "And I love the old cars."
Political group Club Conservative drew laughs and support, even following a string of politicians and political candidates.
"[Gov. Martin] O'Malley couldn't be here today because he couldn't look you in the eyes and give you a good reason for raising your taxes," a Club Conservative member said, referring to Maryland's governor and drawing applause.
Members of the Upper Falls Dance Academy blew bubbles as they passed by, exciting children who ran around trying to catch the bubbles.
The right size of the parade is what drew James Cook with his family, including his infant daughter.
"We just liked it because it was a small town parade," Cook said. "We like the small town atmosphere.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 788 of Upper Falls spent the day selling snow cones near the intersection of Jerusalem and Bradshaw roads for the fifth year in a row, and the scouts were busy the whole day making and selling cones before the parade even started.
"It's part of our annual fundraiser," Phil Fenser, the troop's treasurer, said. "Every year, the same spot."
"The people are nice," Stephanie Provenza, whose son is a member of the troop, said. The two enjoy seeing the smiles on people's faces, especially children, as they enjoy the snow cones.
Fenser recalled one happy customer who stood out.
"There was a little girl dressed in red, white and blue," Fenser said. "She was reaching for a blue snow cone and [her father] took a picture. It seems corny but that is what it is."