Families enjoy day of fun during the 11th annual Boonsboro Independence Day Celebration
Kaden Kidwiler, left, plays carnival games with CJ Mohler, a member of Cub Scout Pack 20, during the 11th annual Boonsboro Independence Day Celebration Friday. (By Chris Tilley/Staff Photographer)
The aroma of freshly fried potatoes mingled with lilting Sousa marches in the air to signal that it was again time to wish happy birthday to America.
Hundreds of people filled Shafer Memorial Park Friday for the 11th annual Boonsboro Independence Day Celebration.
It was as if a Norman Rockwell painting had come to life, said Carrie Turner of Hagerstown.
Children raced one another through the park, laughing as they ran.
Town Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman stopped to greet a constituent.
Families enjoyed picnics, and in the gazebo, the Rohresville Band played patriotic songs.
Those who didn't bring food, could find hamburgers, hotdogs, ice cream, french fries and more for sale from the town's not-for-profit organizations and churches.
Town Councilwoman Natalie Mose said the town invites the groups to set up booths, such as food stands, so they can raise money.
Before the sun set and the after-dusk fireworks show began, there was plenty of time for relaxing, eating and socializing with family and friends.
Many people, like Deb and Dave Witmer of Boonsboro, arrived early to secure a prime spot for the show.
Deb Witmer said they meet their family in the same place each year. This year they were expecting about 20 family members to join them.
Taking a break from playing, Andrew, 11, and Evan, 7, Turner of Hagerstown reflected on the holiday and what they learned from a recent trip to Philadelphia.
"It is the celebration of America's birthday," Andrew said.
"The American Revolution gave us our independence," Evan said.
Andrew said this weekend was a time to acknowledge the freedom and rights that make our country great.
"'We the people...,'" he said, quoting the first words of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. "It means we are one people, together, we're not just each individual."
Recalling why the Boonsboro celebration started 11 years ago, Kauffman said he and the then-town council wanted to host a nice community event to celebrate the Fourth of July and thank all the people responsible for our condinued independence.
"I think its our most important holiday," town Councilwoman Cindy Kauffman said.
Andrew Himes, 11, of Boonsboro said the holiday makes him think of the soldiers who fight for his freedom.
"Because they died in the war, we can celebrate the Fourth of July," he said.
Like most Independence Day events, a fireworks display would mark the end of the celebration.
Fireworks by Fireworks Productions Inc. were scheduled to start after 9:30 p.m.
Mayer Kauffman said the town pays for the fireworks each year from its general fund budget.