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Boonsboro celebrates Fourth in Sunday's clearer weather

July 07, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

BOONSBORO - The holiday weekend went out with a bang Sunday night at Boonsboro's Independence Day Celebration at Shafer Park, which featured food, children's games, live music and a fireworks display.

After a soggy July 4 and 5, Boonsboro residents were glad for the opportunity to extend their celebrations into Sunday's clearer weather.

Boonsboro residents Kim and Cindy Davis set out a blanket and chairs in the park at about 5 p.m. to ensure a good spot. On Friday, the two tried to watch the Hagerstown fireworks display at Fairgrounds Park from a spot outside the park, but said the smoke and fog obscured their view.

"Hopefully tonight will be better," Kim said.

Sunday's Independence Day Celebration, Boonsboro's eighth, attracted faithful regulars and first-time participants alike.

Alicia Laurieti, 15, said this was her first Fourth of July since moving to Boonsboro from New Jersey and she was glad to see the town had a celebration similar to the ones she'd attended there.

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"It's good that they didn't have it on the Fourth of July because everyone has plans," said Laurieti, who attended a cookout July 4.

Participants in search of a bite to eat or a patriotic souvenir had numerous worthy causes among which to choose. Organizations such as the Boonsboro Athletic Boosters, Boonsboro High School Warrior Band, Sons of the American Legion, Cub Scout Pack 51, Boonsboro Bible Church and Mt. Nebo United Methodist Church each set up fundraising booths at the carnival.

Other organizations set up carnival-style games for children.

"It's pretty fun because there's lots of things to do, like pick-a-duck and the dunking booth, and some of the booths cost not that much," said Courtney Bockstanz, 9, of Hagerstown, who was volunteering at a booth run by Catholic Daughters of the Americas for Life. There, children paid 25 cents to pick a toy duck for a chance to win a prize such as a red, white and blue pinwheel.

With prices so low, the games were more about contributing to the celebration than raising money, said Laura Vaughn, a volunteer at Cub Scout Pack 20's dunking booth.

"It's more for the fun of it," Vaughn said. "If we recoup our money for (renting the dunking equipment), we're good."

Another popular attraction was a combat simulator game built into the back of a Maryland National Guard Humvee.

The National Guard was at the carnival partially for recruitment and partially just to join in the celebration, Staff Sgt. Amy Fasulo said.

"You're celebrating independence, and you wouldn't have that independence if it weren't for the military doing their part for freedom," Fasulo said.

Nearby, a group of volunteers raising money for a holiday card drive for local troops agreed.

"We're celebrating our country's heroes," said Patty Bolland, whose son, Glenn Bolland, is in Special Forces training. Photos of him with his unit, the 173rd Airborne, were displayed along with patriotic decorations for sale as a fundraiser at the South Washington County Military Support Group booth.

"I think our American military are really America's true heroes, and I think sometimes they are forgotten," said the group's leader, Lynn Jones.

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