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Kids’ Games & Bike Decorating Contest

Activities begin at 9:30 a.m., Catonsville High School (Valley Road Parking Lot). Please join us for these fun-filled activities.

Every Independence Day morning at 9:30 a.m., a group of fun-loving volunteers organize games and contests for the youngest residents of Catonsville at the Annual July 4th Kids’ Games. Children from 2 to 13 years of age compete in traditional games for prizes. Contest and games include:

  • Decorated Bike Contest — All bikes are automatically entered in the parade at 3 p.m.
  • Lollipop Scramble
  • Quarter Hunt
  • Ball on Spoon Race
  • Shoe Scramble
  • Leapfrog
  • Wheelbarrow and Sack Races
  • Water Balloon Toss
  • Bike Contest

Prizes for the winners!!

Boys’ and girls’ events to be divided among children in four age groups:

  • 2–3 years
  • 4–6 years
  • 7–9 years
  • 10–13 years.

Games begin at 9:30 a.m. at Catonsville High School — Corner of Rolling and Valley Roads. Rain or Shine!!


Bike Decorating Contest

Now that school is out, you are probably looking for a few projects to keep your kids busy in a creative way.  Why not spend the last week of June getting your children ready for the Catonsville July 4th bike decorating contest?

This annual Catonsville tradition encourages kids to decorate their bikes with a patriotic theme and bring it, ready for judging, to the Children’s Games Event on Monday morning July 4th beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Catonsville Men’s Civic Association, Catonsville Recreation and Parks, and the Association of Government Accountants.

Judges will award prizes for the best decorated bike in several categories.  The best part?  All the bikes will ride as a group in the 67th Annual Catonsville Parade at 3 p.m.  Local bike enthusiast, Rick Mitchell will organize the bikers and lead the kids down the 1.1 mile parade route.  Parents are welcome to ride along and help chaperone.

This is a great way to get your kids involved in the community and they will remember riding their bikes in their hometown parade for the rest of their lives.  Don’t forget, researching and planning for “the great patriotic bike idea” is part of the fun.  Google offers over 500,000 websites dedicated to decorating bikes for July 4th.  Keep in mind the parade’s theme “Rediscover Catonsville”.

What to expect at the Catonsville Bike Decorating Contest by Rick Mitchell

The Catonsville Decorated Bike Contest takes place at Catonsville High School on the lower baseball fields behind the school.   Beginning at 9:30 a.m., small clusters of kid’s decorated bikes, grouped by ages (2-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-13), begin to form and by judging time, there are between 10 to 20 bikes in each category.

The bikes are creatively decorated by the kids in the days before the contest with red, white and blue streamers, small flags, stuffed toys and other eye catching adornments.

Milling around the bikes are parents with their kids, going back and forth from the groups of decorated bikes to the kids games on the other side of the field. Later in the morning, Rick Mitchell, the Decorated Bike Contest Parade Organizer, arrives and talks to parents and kids about participating in the Catonsville parade at 3 p.m.

Between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., the judges from the Catonsville Men’s Civic Association confer as to who will win each class.  Judges are looking for creative ideas, patriotic theme and overall presentation. The judges are not necessarily looking for the best looking bike. They want to be sure it was created by a child and not a well-meaning adult, so make sure your kids do the actual work!   Every entry receives a red, white and blue ribbon with a gold medallion, which the kids proudly display around their neck.  A first place winner in each of the four categories is declared and the winners are presented trophies.

When the kid’s games and bike contest are over around 11:30 a.m., the kids wander back to their bikes. and agree to meet up in a couple hours to ride in the parade.  At 2:15 p.m., they gather again on Montrose Avenue to march in the annual parade which begins at 3 p.m.

They proudly peddle down the 1.1 mile parade route as Catonsville Kid’s Decorated Bikes. As the parade ends at Bloomsbury, there is a feeling of tremendous accomplishment and also a sadness realizing that we will have to wait a whole year before we can do it again.

Come join us for a whole lot of fun!!

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