Fireworks, flags and the last chance to buy anything that even vaguely resembles summer clothing. I guess we're looking at the 4th of July, when America shows the world that we invented the word "celebration."
But what's missing, Glen Burnie, is a parade. The only horns you'll hear on Crain Highway tomorrow will be sounded by irate motorists trying to turn left from Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.
So I offer my readers a literary parade to be enjoyed in the air-conditioned comfort of your home. No crowds, no parking problems and no one waving a loaded mini-cam around.
My parade starts with a single, red fire engine with a Dalmatian perched atop. Volunteer and career firefighters stand side by side as they wave to the crowd. The siren sounds only after it has passed your spot.
Next comes a late-model pick-up truck full of politicians. Since they are necessary fora parade (and I actually like some of them), I've invited them to participate. But this "every politician gets his/her own convertible" is ridiculous. The truck idea is more efficient and may be the only chance many of them get to spend quality time together.
Next comes the VFW Post 434 Color Guard from Marley. I justreally like these guys, and it's my parade. Everyone stands out of respect for the flag andrespect for the men and women this group represents.
Is that music? Yes, it's the Glen Burnie Senior High School marching band playing"Yankee Doodle Dandy." Since this is an imaginary parade, they continue to play along the entire parade route (unlike real life, where every band always quits right before they reach where you're sitting).
Next we have an El Camino with assorted beauty contest winners in the back. Pretty much the same idea as the politicians -- more efficient and allows for a more social setting.
The El Camino is followed by assorted scout troops riding bicycles that have been decorated for the parade with streamers and balloons. The Girl Scouts follow on a float that depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence. All the girls are dressed up like men because women didn't have any rights in 1776, so they weren't invited to make important decisions. They were in the kitchen.
Only one majorette group is in the paradebecause there is only one group left with girls wearing skirts with matching jackets and white boots with tassels, not bathing suits. Theolder majorettes willmarch smartly, while the youngest twirlers willbe dragging their batons, looking bored and only occasionally remembering to watch where they're going.
The Baltimore Colts Marching Band arrives to a standing ovation, as you explain to confused visitors from out of town how Indianapolis got the football team but WE got the band.
A few more floats arrive. They throw candy and balloons because kids like this. (Parade hint No. 1: Don't throw hard candy. Idid this at a parade once and almost knocked a man out.)
The crowds hush as a precision drill team starts its routine. Composed entirely of alumna mothers from Arundel Cooperative Nursery School, they propel umbrella strollers and wear hats made out of foam meat trays andglitter. Their cadence is somewhat reminiscent of the "The Hokey Pokey."
Another pickup truck full of clowns comes down the road --backward. They are not permitted to leave the confines of the truck, so spectators are safe.
Finally we hear . . . more music! Yes, on completing the parade route, the entire Glen Burnie marching band boarded a bus and returned to the starting point to reward the crowd with agrand finale of "Stars and Stripes Forever."
The crowd goes wild!Children are laughing and waving flags. Adults are clapping and eventeen-agers have stopped looking annoyed. What a day!
That's aboutall I have scheduled. No horses (too messy), no Boumi Temple guys onall-terrain vehicles terrifying children, and definitely no car clubs.
The meeting to plan next year's parade is Friday. See you there.
The real celebration in Glen Burnie starts tonight with a fireworks display and concludes with a flag dedication on Sunday.
In keeping with a Glen Burnie tradition, a brilliant display of pyrotechnics will begin at 9 p.m at the Third Avenue Park. The 30-40 minutedisplay is sponsored by the Glen Burnie Improvement Association. Recorded music will precede the displays from 8 to 9 p.m.
Bill Kuephe, chairman of the fireworks committee, suggests several locations foroptimum viewing.
"The Third Avenue Park isn't big enough for everyone, so manypeople go to Sawmill Park (on Dorsey Road) or the top ofthe parking garage on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard," he said. "We have all aerial displays so that the everyone can see them."
In theevent of inclement weather, the fireworks program will be rescheduled for Friday.
Six hundred square feet of U.S. flag will wave over Glen Burnie at the top of a 70-foot flagpole during a dedicationceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Ritchie Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.
The flag, flagpole and a monument are gifts to the community from businessman Sam Kemp, a resident of Gerard Plaza for over 30 years and owner of Cedar Hill Florists in Brooklyn Park. The flag will be continuously illuminated. A similar flag flies over his business.
"I've always said this country has been good to me, and so has the community. I wanted to give back a reminder of what this country has given me," explained Kemp. "This is something I've always wanted to do and I finally did it. This is so people won't forget what (the flag) stands for."
The ceremony is the culmination of more than two years of work by former Sen. Al Lippen and George Surgeon, director of the county Career Center. Surgeon will act as master of ceremonies.
"We had to go through sevencounty andtwo state agencies to get permission to use the county land," said Lippen. "The county was willing to let us use the land, but we had to guarantee the upkeep of the flag.
"We signed a final agreement between the county and the Glen Burnie Improvement Association last month, and the GBIA will be responsible for taking care of the flag."
That responsibility includes rotating the flag with a second one every three months so that any fraying can be repaired by the manufacturer.
The flag is so large that the hook and ladder truck from the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Co. will be needed to raise the 20-by-30 foot banner.
Members of the 229th Maryland National Guard Band from the 5th Regiment Armory will begin playing patriotic music at 1 p.m. and entertain throughout the dedication.
The J. D. Youngham Memorial Post 434 of the Veteran of Foreign Wars and the county Police Department are sending color guards to participate in Sunday's program.
County Executive Robert R. Neall will be a guest speaker.
Following the pledge to the flag, a monument will be dedicated to the memoryof Sgt. Ronald M. Randazzo, a Glen Burnie resident who was killed inOperation Desert Storm. His father, Paul Randazzo, is expected to speak.
The community is invited to attend.
Several students at Marley Middle School were honored for their academic achievements at a special awards ceremony the last week of school.
Vanessa Weese will leave Marley Middle for senior high with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. In addition to a plaque and a $50 savings bond from thePTA, her name will be added to a permanent plaque in the school's office.
Two students, Samantha Miller and Gary Wolnitzek, won the Most Outstanding Student Award from the PTA. They each received a $50 savings bond and a certificate from the school.
The Col. Smith Award, given tothe eighth-grader based on academic, social and emotional growth over the past three years was presented to Richard (R.J.) Van Blunk. In addition to receiving a plaque, R.J.'s name will be added to a permanent plaque in the school office.
Several students were singled out for receiving all A's on their report cards all year. For their efforts they received a pin and a certificate for the Presidential Academic Award: Dana Austin, Marshall Brown, Holly Chamberlin, Jennifer Corn, Malynda Grossman, Angela Happel, Carol Harper, Tammy Higgins, Heather Hutson, Lexy Leitch, Samantha Miller, Stanley Mocarsky,Michael Novitske, Naveed Raoof, Jeannie Smalley, Kimberly Sparks, Michael Tonks, Michael Wright and Vanessa Weese.
Once again, it's vacation Bible school time. Several churches in Glen Burnie are preparing for a week of fun and fellowship for children of all ages.
* Luanne Weslow is coordinating the vacation Bible school program atthe Marley Park Church of the Nazarene, 7741 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
Classes are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 8 to 12. Children ages 4 to the eighth grade are welcome. There is no charge to register, but donations of cookies are welcome.
For registration information, call the church office at 768-1852.
* Children who have completed kindergarten to eighth grade are invited to attend Bible school at Glen Burnie United Methodist Church, Crain Highway and D Avenue.
Classes will meet from 9 a.m. to noon July 15 to 19. There is a $2 registration charge, and transportation is available.
For registration, call 768-6740.
* Marley United Methodist, 30 Marley Neck Road, has scheduled Bible school from 9 a.m. to noon July 8 to 12.
For additional information, call the church office, 760-4720.
* Vacation Bible school is called Camp Can-Do at Messiah United Methodist, 7401 Furnace Branch Road.
Classes for children 2 through sixth grade will meet from 9 a.m. to noon July 8 to 12. Older youth will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. July 8 to 10.
Registration will be taken at 8:30 a.m. July 8 prior to the start of class. There is a $3 fee per child or $7 per family. For information, call 761-1944.
The new officers ofthe Rotary Club of Glen Burnie were installed Thursday at a special dinner. Officers for the 1991-1992 year are Ray Streib, president; EdDeGrange, vice president; Mike Reeder, secretary; Ron West, treasurer.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Paul Harris Fellow to John Warner. This was only the 12th time the award has been given in the 61-year history of the Glen Burnie chapter.
"This is the Rotary International's highest award," said DeGrange. "It is given for service above self to someone who has been involved in many projects and putting the club above himself."
Monsignor Charles Muth was honored with the Francis W. Roesler Sr. Humanitarian Awardfor his contributions while serving as pastor of St. Jane Frances Catholic Church for 20 years.
Fred Levinsky was presented the ThomasW. Shives award, given annually since 1978 to an individual as judged by the Four-Way Test measuring truth, fairness, good will and benefits to all concerned.
The Rotarians are involved in several community service projects. A recent golf tournament sponsored by the club raised more $8,800 for several charities, including North Arundel Hospital, the Arundel Hospice and the Glen Burnie Health Center.
A crab feast is in the works for Aug. 15 at La Fontaine Bleu.
A youth rally, featuring "Chosen Generation," a Christian rock band, is planned for 8 p.m. Friday at the Glen Burnie Assembly of God Church, 7305 E. Furnace Branch Road.
The rally is sponsored by the Living In Victory Everyday youth Ministries. Youth Pastor Will Chin is the coordinator of this event.
Area youths are welcome to attend. Thereis no charge for the show, but a free-will offering will take place.
For more information, call the church office, 761-9075.