If you enjoy the Fourth of July festivities in Dundalk, you should thank a volunteer
I would like to start by offering thanks and admiration to the Dundalk Heritage Association volunteers, without whom none of the Dundalk July Fourth events would have been possible .
A truly massive undertaking, Dundalk’s Fourth festivities are NOT planned or funded by Baltimore County. The events are entirely planned and executed by volunteers who donate their time, completely unpaid, so that Dundalk can throw one of the best Independence Day parties in the nation.
Each year, the same complaints arise. Chief among them is the price of admission to the fair. Before you complain, realize that the fair proceeds fund not only the fair itself, but the parade and fireworks as well. And that ain’t cheap.
The festivities cost in excess of $350,000 each year and costs for EVERYTHING continue to rise. Think about it — renting port-a-pottys, paying the entertainment, it all adds up.
And then there is the parade. The out-of-state bands are paid to appear, including accommodations, since Dundalk is first parade of the day in central Maryland.
Don’t forget the fireworks! Purchasing the fireworks and mounting the display costs thousands upon thousands of dollars — funding which is not provided by the county.
So before you complain, think. Did you volunteer?
If not, consider lending a hand next year.
From putting up fencing to working security and a thousand jobs in between, volunteers keep the festivities running from start to finish.
These volunteers have families and day jobs as well. So if you enjoy the Fourth of July in Dundalk, please, thank a volunteer.
*** Speaking of thanks, a special thank you to Mr. Jim Rutter, who donates his own time to coordinate a fantastic July 4 fireworks display every year.
As a result of a manufacturers defect, the fuse on the fireworks broke. Yet, rather than cancel the show, Jim and his crew manually lit the fireworks, standing in the midst of burning embers, sparks and ash to provide a show for Dundalk to enjoy.
The malfunction meant that the grand finale did not go off as scheduled, but this was due to a manufacturers defect and was not the fault of Jim or his crew.
So, again, rather than complain and criticize, thank Jim and all of volunteers who spend ALL YEAR planning these events for our enjoyment.
Dundalk is not entitled to these festivities, and it is only through the tireless efforts of these volunteers that they occur each year. Speaking of volunteers, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to the judges for this year’s parade.
This year’s judges include Cynthia Mingo, director of the Fleming Senior Center, and recently-retired longtime Dundalk High School teacher Tom Pless.
Other judges include Marc Tsakiris, manager of the Boulevard Diner; Dave Patro, president of the North Point Village Civic Association; and Angel Ball, president of the Gray Manor-Northshire Civic Association (among many other credits).
I would also like to recognize announcers Jackie Crandell and Michael Andy as well as parade sponsors, including B&B Welding, the Port of Baltimore, M&T Bank, Weis Markets, Ports America Chesapeake, Chesapeake Beverage Company, Chesaco Recreational Vehicles, Tradepoint Atlantic, Sparrows Point Terminal LLC, The Pepsi Cola Company and Kaczorowski Funeral Home P.A.
Opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not represent the opinion of The Dundalk Eagle or Adams Publishing Group.
My (almost) four-year-old daughter, Ella, met Phineas T. Waggs (Jerry Brown) and his monkey pal, Django, during this year’s fair.
A thrilling sight for any red-blooded Dundalkian.