A Community 4th of July

I live near a small community on the edge of a big city (Catonsville – Baltimore). Catonsville has had a 4th of July celebration (parade and fireworks) for the last 61 years. I have begun to photograph the parade, to try and capture a bit of historic Americana for the future. I will continue to collect memories of this traditional celebration for as long as the Lord allows.

Click on the thumbnails to see the full picture, then use the Backspace key to return.

The parade begins with the Color Guard and fire trucks galore making an ear-splitting racket.

Parade Color Guard Fire Trucks Making a Racket  (Large)

It continues with bands. All parades have bands and without marching bands it just wouldn’t be the 4th of July. Here we see the bagpipes of the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Boumi Temple Bagpipe Band (Large) Baltimore County Firefighters Bagpipe Band

The Baltimore Ravens Marching Band, the only NFL team with its own marching band, a continuation of the original Baltimore Colts Marching Band. Flutes are reminiscent of colonial America.

Baltimore Ravens Marching Band Baltimore Ravens Marching Band Flute Players

Bands come from near and far, including the Reading, PA Buccaneers and Burlington, Canada Tour Band.

The Reading Pennsylvania Buccaneers Burlington Canada Tour Band

There are floats. Small-town parades don’t usually have a lot of floats, and they are usually not elaborate, but they are earnest and volunteer constructed and manned. The first float is from Oella, my community. Then we see a hard-nosed Raven from one of the Raven Roosts’ floats (local Raven fan clubs).

Parade Floats (Oella Large) A Randy Raven on a Ravens Roost Float

The fun vehicles are a chance for the owners to show off their handywork.

Parade Fun Vehicles (Large) Oella's Fun Vehicle

Being the 4th, there will always be veterans and sometimes veteran re-enactors.

Parade Veterans (Large) Parade Veterans WWII (Large)

Vietnam Veterans who help us not to forget and veterans who remind us of our flag. How could it be the 4th of July without Old Glory?

Patriotic Vietnam Veterans Flags and Veteran Patriotism (Large)

Parades also have little girls and some bring their doggies.

Parade Little Girls (Large) Parade Little Girls and Dogs

And finally, it wouldn’t be local parade without some water hijinks and Silly String. Firetrucks usually spray the crowd, but sometimes they get more than they give. Last but not least, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts engage some of the bystanders and a softball team gets Silly Stringed.

Girls Softball Team Getting Silly Stringed

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through small town Americana. May God bring his grace and peace into your day today.

2 thoughts on “A Community 4th of July

  1. Would you be willing to share your photos with the Catonsville Celebrations Committee so we can post them on our web site?

    If so please contact me via email and I’ll set you up with a place to upload them to.


  2. Thank you. The photos are great. I am on the committee that works to make this parade and fireworks a success each year. It is always nice to hear favorable comments as a result of our year-long work.

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