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Bel Air Independence Day committee announces cancellation of July 4 activities

The Bel Air Independence Day Committee announced Wednesday it was canceling all planned festivities in Bel Air on July 4, including the Independence Day parade and fireworks display, in an effort to protect public health and abide by state and federal restrictions on large gatherings.

“For decades, our committee has prided itself on carrying on Bel Air’s Independence Day traditions without fail,” Committee President Donald Stewart said in a statement. “We have held events in inclement weather of all types — in fact, this is only the second time in more than 30 years that we have cancelled the parade and fireworks. However, after consulting with local officials, and evaluating tentative state and federal timeframes for the restoration of large gatherings and public events, we have determined that this year’s celebrations cannot occur as planned.”

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The all-volunteer Bel Air Independence Day Committee begins organizing and planning the day-long festivities months ahead of the Fourth of July, including the securing of contracts, coverage and agreements with deadlines well before the day of the event.

"Given the still-uncertain process of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessary planning and organization process cannot move forward,” Parade Chairman and Committee Vice President Michael Blum said in the statement.

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The committee previously canceled the 1989 parade and fireworks due to a tropical storm event; the fireworks display took place several days later.

The current Miss Bel Air Independence Day title-holder, Chiamaka Ezeonyebuchi, will retain that title through 2021, and will compete in the Miss Maryland pageant, which has been rescheduled for June 20-27, 2021. Her successor to the title will be chosen in early 2022.

For more information, go to belairjuly4.org.

Last week, the Darlington Lions Independence Day Committee announced the cancellation of the planned celebrations in the northeastern Harford County community that had been scheduled for Saturday, June 27.

The community of Kingsville, which borders Harford and Baltimore counties, also decided to cancel its traditional July 4 parade.

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