The Festival At Cypress Creek Offered Food And Fun In The Sun
By Meredith Thompson
Steam ascended from the pavement and sweat trickled down faces long before parade watchers and participants ended their two-mile Fourth of July pilgrimage at Cypress Creek Park, but the party was only getting started.
As floats, bicyclists, vintage cars, musical ensembles and scout troops ended their parade route at Cypress Creek, Severna Parks annual Independence Day festival offered food, activities and endless fun in the sun well into the afternoon.
A flurry of red, white and blue blanketed the field as children flocked to pony rides, an oversized dragon moon bounce, a face-painting station and a snowball stand. While some viewed the Green Hornets Football programs dunking booth as a chance to humiliate friends and family, others saw a welcome opportunity to garner cool relief from the scorching summer sun.
Eleven-year-old Kiara Croft was submerged on both accounts. My brother told me he wanted me to get dunked, and I was really hot, she smiled with water dripping from her hair and clothes. I didnt think it would be that cold!
Lothian resident and military vehicle collector Kevin Mclean sported his patriotism while displaying his 1965 Huey UH-1E helicopter during the festival. I got it three years ago when it was surplussed and restored it back to its original condition, he explained. I donate my time and vehicles to programs like Wounded Warriors, and to raising money for veterans particularly Vietnam veterans.
He added that his mammoth, army-green helicopter was one of just 205 produced, and that only 36 survived the Vietnam War. He stated his aircraft was more likely used for stateside training than combat.
The wide selection of all-American food available at the festival was sure to silence even the loudest grumbling stomach. Students and faculty from Severna Park High Schools vocal ensemble fired up their grills and sold burgers, fries and beverages to raise money for upcoming performance trips.
Nearby, the Kiwanis Club of Severna Park sold hot dogs and drinks, and Annettes Cakery employees Tim Marron and Lisa Brooks manned a gelato stand. Hungry festival goers were able to enjoy their lunch under the shade of a tented seating area provided by Park Plaza.
The countrys red, white and blue were represented in more than one way as members of both the Republican and Democratic parties met with festival attendees and vied for votes in Novembers upcoming election.
Pasadenas Faith Loudon, or the Energizer Bunny as one campaign volunteer dubbed her, spent the day walking the parade route while greeting constituents. I loved shaking peoples hands and giving out my cards its my favorite thing to do! the conservative Congress hopeful smiled. Lots of people shouted Yay Faith! and some said they had voted for me.
Loudon reveled in the spirit and charm of the Parks parade. Ive travelled the world, and I always love coming back to Severna Park and Pasadena its a whole different world, where the people are friendly and down-to-earth.
Several tents down, the Anne Arundel County Democrats were out supporting Donna Edwards and Ben Cardin. Local residents Becky and Russ Morris were on hand to distribute cold water and take candid photos of people with a cardboard cutout of President Obama.
Weve really enjoyed the dogs here, the couple agreed, explaining their tent offered a drinking station for parched pooches.
After finishing a long, hot walk along the parade route with his grandson, County Councilman Dick Ladd took refuge under his festival tent while exchanging introductions and hellos with his fellow Severna Park residents.
Being in this parade was the first thing I did when I decided to run for public office this is where it all started, Ladd recalled. Its become a family thing for me. The level of support in the community for this parade is huge, and that says a lot.
Live music set the tone for the festival as children played and adults visited informative tents hosted by Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, Kennard Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic, St. Martins-in-the-Field Day School, 1430 WNAV, Big Vanilla and many others.
Severna Park Middle School student Megan Killpatrick and her family educated festival visitors on their foundation Conquer Chiara and entreated people to join them in their fundraising walk in September.
Chiara is a brain condition I have where part of the brain comes out of the skull, 13-year-old Killpatrick explained. I was diagnosed when I was 7, have had two major surgeries, and wear a full-time back brace.
Last year the strikingly mature young girl raised $25,000 for her cause, and hopes to add to that figure this fall.
Across the field, Paul Spadaro and fellow members of the Magothy River Association provided education about river water quality and sold maps, decorated oyster shells and books to generate funding for improvement of the Magothy. Before arriving at the festival, the Magothy River Associations parade entry won second place for best club/nonprofit organization.
As the party winded down, people leaving had one thing in common: they each wore smiles on their faces. From savory snacks and cool treats to beat the heat to fun games and activities, the annual Fourth of July Festival once again delivered a great time for kids and adults of all ages.