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Catonsville 4th July 2012

The July 4th celebration in Catonsville was originally started in 1947. Marie O’Dea, then editor of the community newspaper, organized the event as a way to provide a “safe and sane” holiday for Catonsville residents. It was founded on the belief that deaths and injuries on the highways could be reduced if the community could stay home and take part in a full day of activities.

We went through a few of the program books and came up with a few highlights of past parades and fireworks.

1955 — It was the ninth year for the celebration and the committee had grown to 13 members. That year the committee raised $1,000 to cover expenses. It was a sweltering hot day and record crowds attended. The fireworks were held at the Junior High School (now the Bloomsbury Community Center) and the headline in the Herald Argus read “Catonsville Jammed By The July 4th Fireworks.” There were so many cars bringing people to the fireworks display, the vehicles had to be turned away because there was no parking. A new attraction, a carnival with Ferris wheel and roller coasters, was well received by the children. Committee members believed 20,000 attended the parade and 50,000 attended the fireworks.

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