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Families celebrate Fourth early

July 03, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

As children romped on playground equipment, community groups hawked pulled pork sandwiches and sno-cones. Ads for political candidates adorned some vehicles; red, white and blue bunting hung from others.

For Kristin Bowl, who recently moved to Boonsboro, small-town America is home.

"We moved up here from Lorton, Va., 2 1/2 years ago. We wanted a different type of lifestyle. We wanted this," Bowl, 34, said, throwing her hands open as she acknowledged people on chairs and blankets enjoying patriotic music Sunday before the start of Boonsboro's fireworks.

While they came for the fireworks, revelers at the pre-Independence Day celebration said they especially enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and neighbors. A patchwork of camping chairs and blankets covered the ground, and people set up picnics at tables around Shafer Memorial Park.

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For many, the vigil for darkness began in the early evening with dinner outside.

Dave Bond, 73, of Hagerstown, ate a sandwich as he sat with his family and watched the people pass.

"I came for the fireworks, but it's enjoyable to watch the people, and I guess as I'm watching them, they're watching me, saying, 'Look at that guy put the food away,'" Bond quipped.

Potato chips, chicken and all the fixings covered the picnic table where Tina Ecton, 42, of Mercersburg, Pa., and her clan camped out. Cousins threw a football, as one little girl begged her aunt to watch her scramble across the monkey bars.

Ecton said she and her family saw the fireworks Saturday at Antietam National Battlefield, and they planned to watch the show Tuesday at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.

With eight siblings in the area, Ecton said her family enjoys every excuse it can muster to get together.

"I love the fireworks, you can ask the kids. I'll drive all over for fireworks," Ecton said. "I guess for me, it's just knowing that the kids are with me."

As the mother of a 10-month-old, Bowl said she was not certain she and her husband, Patrick, would even be able to stay for fireworks. But, she said, that was all right with her.

"More so, more than anything else, we just love the music, and the families hanging out together," she said.

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