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Laytonsville Parade billed as ‘truly a community event’ –

by Terri Hogan

Senior Staff Writer

Rain may have canceled last year’s Laytonsville Community Parade, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of organizers, who are gearing up for this year’s event.

The parade will take place at 11:30 a.m. May 18 along Laytonsville Road (Route 108). It will begin at Brink/Sundown roads, travel past town hall, the school and the fire department, around the new roundabout, and end at Maple Knoll Drive.

“I am proud to say that we have never started late,” parade coordinator Charlie Kearse said. “The bell rings, the band strikes up and the participants start marching.”

Kearse said the parade has been a community tradition for about 20 years.

“It started as a part of the Laytonsville Elementary School spring festival, but it took on a life of its own,” he said. “It’s sponsored by the town and the Lions Club, but is supported by a large cast of businesses and other entities in town. It is truly a community event.”

Laytonsville Major Jim Ruspi said that is precisely what makes the parade so important.

“It brings lots of different facets of the town together, like the school, the Lions Club, scouts and businesses,” he said. “Everyone in town has the opportunity to participate and to enhance relationships within the town. We look forward to it every year.”

This year’s parade will feature the Gaithersburg High School band, the Batmobile, floats from several organizations, the T-Bird Club, antique cars and fire trucks.

Judges will award prizes to the best youth entry, the best adult entry and the best in show.

Kearse said organizers are encouraging spectators to wear silly hats this year.

During the parade, members of the Town Council and staff will hand out Laytonsville lapel pins to those they spot wearing silly, funny or crazy hats.

Kearse credits the many people who are involved­ – participants, judges, volunteers, and those who offer financial support.

“The parade comes together almost automatically,” he said. “It is really a joy.”

In case of rain, announcements about the parade will be posted on the town’s website at http://www.laytonsville.md.us.

For more information, contact Kearse at [email protected] or 301-926-2011.

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