Before the bands, convertibles and classic cars ramble past the spectators who line downtown Towson for the annual Fourth of July parade next Wednesday, July 4, organizers are hoping the excited parade-goers will take part in a potentially record-breaking event.
At 10 a.m., volunteers will sound air horns along the parade route to signal that it's time for the gathered crowd to begin blowing bubbles, an activity organizers hope could land the parade in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest single goup of people blowing soap bubbles at the same time.
"Each year, we try to have something different for the parade," said Parade Chairwoman Maryann Albaugh. "Last year, we had the Turkey Hill Cow, the Grand Prix race car.
"(This) idea sounded like a lot of fun," she said.
It was two years ago that David Anderson initially contacted officials at the Guinness Book of World Records and asked if there were any world records he could set on behalf of cancer research.
Anderson, who manages a Bel Air pizza shop, has written a comic book meant to inspire children with cancer, and shows a passion for empowering children, both those who are battling illness and those who are underprivileged.
He said wanted to use a world record to draw attention to it, and the Guinness organization offered him the idea for a world record for the largest three-legged race.
That didn't exactly fit the bill.
"Everywhere I went, the obstacles were the liability," said Anderson, a Harford County resident. "What if somebody falls?
"I wanted to do it at a parade where people already are there, they don't have to get 5,000 people in one place. They're already there." But parades weren't ready to associate themselves with something as potentially dangerous as three-legged races, he said.
Then the idea came: bubbles.
Who could have a problem with that?
"There's no liability involved," Anderson joked. "You don't need insurance, and nobody's going to get hurt.
"My biggest obstacle is I need to promote it," he said. "I know there's going to be people around, but they have to have bubbles."
Anderson spent a day in Towson last week hanging up fliers, and will heavily promote the record-breaking bubble effort at a fundraiser at Season's Pizza, located at 40 York Road, Towson, on Thursday, June 28.
The all-day fundraiser will not only raise awareness for the bubble event, but will also raise money for world champion figure skater Kimmie Meissner's charity, the Cool Kids Campaign.
According to the Cool Kids Campaign website, the organization provides kids with cancer and their families a higher quality of life during treatment.
The fundraiser on June 28 will feature Anderson in costume as "The Dominator," his cancer-inspired superhero, and a large bubble-maker outside.
Seasons will donate 15-percent of its food sales for the day to the cause.
According to Anderson, the money will go toward purchasing bubbles for the parade. Currently, Anderson said there's enough money for 7,000 bottles of bubbles — but the record is 23,000 people, so he needs help, and needs people to bring their own bubbles as well.
The more money they raise during the fundraiser, the more bubbles can be given away.
On the morning of the parade, volunteers will be on hand to distribute the bubbles along the parade route. At the same time, they will also accepting donations for the Cool Kids Campaign.
At exactly 10 a.m., everyone will be asked to join in.
But even if they don't break the record, Anderson said the idea — and the act of bringing people together to try — will create a "winning situation anyway."
"Even if I had one person out there blowing bubbles, it's worth it," he said.