Youth's idea becomes patriotic bike parade


HANCOCK -- It all began with an idea that Charlie Hudson saw in a children's magazine: A Fourth of July bike parade. 

Charlie is the son of Judy and Dennis Hudson, the owners of the C&O Bike Shop in Hancock.

In a small town with limited resources that has been trying to weather a bad economy, the "simple things are the best," and that proved correct on the Fourth of July. 

More than 20 children -- infants to 12 years old -- gathered in front of the bicycle shop in Hancock to decorate their bikes in red, white, and blue streamers, small American flags and flowers. 

This was strictly noncompetition décor -- just for fun, kid friendly and colorful.

Many of the children and parents wore red, white and blue; some came from Big Pool, and others just walked from their homes in town. 


The parade began at 9:30 a.m., led by Jerry France, a volunteer with the Western Maryland Rail Trail and a DNR official. 

France, riding an incumbent bike, set a slow and steady pace across the small bridge at the C&O Canal, down the towpath, across the old iron bridge at Church Street and back along the Rail Trail to the bike shop. 

In the rear rode Mayor Dan Murphy, and strolling behind was the baby carriage parade. 

Following the parade, the children and parents walked over to the Joseph Hancock Park to lay a wreath in memory of Hancock's founder. 

Several of the children read the inscription on the memorial stone aloud, noting that Joseph Hancock was a solider in the Revolutionary War. Hancock's founder was one of the "small ordinary" folks. In a world of monarchy and colonialism, he believed strongly in the promise of a democratic nation, based on principals of "liberty and justice for all." 

Finally, in true Fourth of July form, the children and parents adjourned to the shady rear garden of the bike shop to enjoy ice cream treats. 

What the town hopes will become an annual event had a great start, thanks to the idea of one young man, the support of his parents and participation from members of the Hancock Historical Society and local citizens. 

The Herald-Mail Articles