With scores of American flags, fanfare and plenty of floats, Bel Air's annual Independence Day Parade on Thursday evening was the highlight of another well-attended, daylong celebration of the country's birthday in grand style.
Thousands again lined the sidewalks of Main Street on a warm and humid summer afternoon to see the parade, which ran to about 1 1/2 hours.
The popular song of the day appeared to be "You're a Grand Old Flag," which a number of bands picked to play.
Besides the fire trucks, service vehicles, pageant winners and miniature ponies, Bel Air's parade included musical groups from as far away as Florida and a variety of baton twirlers, Irish dancers and bagpipe players to entertain the enthusiastic onlookers.
A pink limousine rolled by, the Ravens bus played "We Are the Champions" and the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company piped in "This Land Is Your Land."
Bel Air businesses were as always on display. Buontempo Brothers Pizza had a walking pizza slice, while Jake's Wayback Burgers sported a googly-eyed burger on top of its car.
Politicians in the parade included state Dels. Donna Stifler, Wayne Norman and Glenn Glass and Sens. J.B. Jennings and Barry Glassman. Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane also made an appearance.
For many who attended, watching the Bel Air parade is a family tradition.
Carollee Baker, of Aberdeen, said she has been coming to the event with her family since 1985, when she moved to the area from Kansas.
"To me, it's just like a picture of Americana, what Americana should be," Baker said, adding her family has always attended together, as she pointed out a new baby who marks the start of a new generation coming to the parade.
On random stretches of the highway, people had also put out chairs to watch the show. Convenience stores and open tailgates were still filled with revelers. And the spirit of patriotism was still in the air as the first colors from the pyrotechnics filled the clear night sky.