What would a parade be without Barney the dinosaur?
"Better," said a chuckling Howard Alderman at Kingsville's annual Fourth of July parade yesterday.
Mr. Alderman's 18-month-old daughter didn't quite agree with her father, giggling at the patriotic purple presence bouncing along the parade route. Barney had gone all out for the holiday, wearing a vest covered with stars and stripes and an Uncle Sam top hat.
The fuzzy creature was one of 94 entries marching or rolling along a one-mile stretch on Bradshaw and Jerusalem roads in Baltimore County. Bands played, Boy Scouts marched, beauty queens waved, and fire engines turned on their sirens.
"It's our first parade," said Mark Carmen of Kingsville, who came with his wife, Grace, and their children, ages 6, 4, 3 and 8 months, to watch war veterans, politicians on horseback and lots of convertibles.
The Carmens were among about 10,000 parade watchers who jammed into the area. "It's almost double what we normally get," said Edward D. Sears, parade chairman.
The Kingsville parade, which started in 1968, had a brief hiatus in the early 1980s but has been going strong since 1984, Mr. Sears said. Similar festivities attracted crowds in Catonsville, Towson, Dundalk, Bel Air and Annapolis.
One of the biggest attractions in Kingsville yesterday was free candy being thrown to the crowd by parade participants. Four-year-old Lauren Dillon, perched on a little hill, had her father, Bob Dillon, scurrying to the street to get the sweet treats.
"Dad, candy!" she squealed.
Mary Silling of Joppa also was on the parade sidelines. She said she has been coming to the parade "ever since they had it."
This year, Ms. Silling said, she had a special interest in attending, the Jerusalem Mill. A small replica of the Jerusalem Road mill was in the parade, accompanied by Latham Martin, 70, and Agatha Wallace, 80, in Revolutionary War-era costumes.
The three are members of the Friends of Jerusalem Mill, which is raising money for the restoration of the state's largest grist mill, built in 1772, and a Revolutionary War gun factory and blacksmith shop there.
A dedication ceremony after the parade honored the group, which was formed by Harry Sanders of Kingsville almost nine years ago after his son rode his bike past the deteriorating structures. "He begged me to do something about them," Mr. Sanders said.
Also on hand during the ceremony was Terry L. Linton of Fredericksburg, Va., a fourth-generation descendant of the builder of the mill, Isaiah Linton. Mr. Linton became interested in his family history about 12 years ago and has avidly followed the renovation of the mill, he said.
"The real purpose of the mill is to have a headquarters for rangers for Gunpowder State Park," said Chris Scovill, another member of the Friends of Jerusalem Mill. The rangers will be housed on the second floor of the state-owned mill, he said, and the lower level will become a museum and visitors center.
The grand opening is expected next spring, Mr. Sanders said -- or maybe next Fourth of July.