History

Catonsville July 4th Parade and Fireworks
“A Look Back”

Catonsville Sign 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.

1979 — The Committee fell on hard financial times and it was thought that the event for the following year would have to be scratched.

1980 — It was the 34th year for the celebration and the committee had approximately 30 members. The celebration had a price tag of $5,000. The committee held a number of fundraisers and through generous donations made $8,000 that year. A spectator estimated the crowd at the parade to be 20,000.

2002 — It was the 56th year of celebration but the country was still reeling from the events of 9/11/01. The 2002 theme was “Catonsville Salutes Hometown Heroes.” That year, representatives from each branch of the U.S. military and members of the Baltimore County Police and Fire Departments served as Grand Marshals. Residents were reminded that true heroes are not elusive sports or entertainment figures, but are the men and women in our midst enabling us to live our lives safely. The budget that year was $60,000 and the committee was comprised of approximately 40 members.

Researched and Written by:
Tom Connor
Anne Kramer
Maureen Sweeney Smith


General Chairman from 1947 to present:
Year Name
1947 John H. Moss
1948 Eugene Carozza
1949 Victor T. Schotta
1950 Albert R. Simpson
1951 Franklin M. Padgett
1952 Paul H. Kreh
1953 Franklin M. Padgett
1954 William T. Coleman
1955 Louis W. Doyle
1956 Louis W. Doyle
1957 Paul H. Kreh
1958 Paul H. Kreh
1959 Paul H. Kreh
1960 G. Howard Medicus Jr.
1961 G. Howard Medicus Jr.
1962 Thomas G. Connor
1963 Thomas G. Connor
1964 Edward M. Hammond
1965 Edward M. Hammond
1966 Richard D. Payne
1967 Richard D. Payne
1968 Leon J. Derrickson
1969 Leon J. Derrickson
1970 Edward H. Middleton
1971 Edward H. Middleton
1972 Mrs. L. May Carbaugh
1973 Kenneth A. Kiesel
1974 Kenneth A. Kissel
1975 Thomas D. Troy
1976 Thomas D. Troy
1977 Thomas D. Troy
1978 William H. Giroux
1979 William H. Giroux
1980 Harry C. Moses
1981 Harry C. Moses
1982 Joseph L. Minnich, III
1983 Joseph L. Minnich, III
1984 Glyndon L. Bailey
1985 Glyndon L. Bailey
1986 Thomas J. O’Connell
1987 Thomas J. O’Connell
1988 George Abendschoen
1989 George Abendschoen
1990 Richard Walsh
1991 Richard Walsh
1992 Gene Fedeli
1993 George Abendschoen
1994 George Abendschoen
1995 Ed Cogswell
1996 Greg Morgan
1997 Steve Head
1998 Greg Morgan
1999 Mrs. Mary Sites
2000 Steve Head
2001 Craig Sigismondi
2002 Craig Sigismondi
2003 Craig Sigismondi
2004 Craig Sigismondi
2005 Craig Sigismondi
2006 Craig Sigismondi
2007 DyAnn Moreé
2008 DyAnn Moreé
2009 DyAnn Moreé
2010 Rose Edwards
2011 Rose Edwards
2012 Ed Cogswell