Patuxent River Appreciation Days 2017 parade
Solomons, MD – Despite gray, threatening skies, the traditional parade in celebration of Patuxent River Appreciation Days (PRAD) was held on Solomons Island Sunday afternoon, Oct. 8. The promenade up Route 2 started at 2 p.m. Units included members of four Calvert County American Legion posts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, the Knights of Columbus, the Patuxent High School (PHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), the Calvert High School NJROTC, the North Point High School Air Force JROTC, the McDonough High School Army JROTC, the PHS Cheerleaders, Pon Poms Squad and Marching Band; the Southern Maryland Celtic Society, Solomons Dragon Boat Festival and Southern Maryland Community Resources Inc., Solomons Island Yacht Club, Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department, and Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Solomons. Additionally, both the local Republicans and Democrats had vehicles traveling in the parade. Several Republican candidates were among the marchers.

The group that organizes the PRAD Parade, the Boumi Shrine of Baltimore, had several members marching and riding “magic carpets” up the parade route. However, unlike in years past, this year there were no clowns in the parade. According to Associated Press (AP), last year some members of a Cumberland-based Shriner’s club’s clown unit backed out of a Mummers parade in Hagerstown. At the time there were reports of “creepy clowns” circulating statewide. A spokesman for the clowns stated in the AP story that they are not out to scare people, but instead want to make children smile and raise money for Shriner’s hospitals.

“Likely there just weren’t any available to make the trip,” Maynard Edwards of Boumi Shriners told  “We are sort of a ‘volunteer’ army and so not all of our units can make every parade. The units are like ‘clubs’ inside the shrine.  So the Magic carpets do their own thing, the band does its thing and the clowns do as well.  Rest assured, ‘IT’ hasn’t stopped our clowns.  It was more likely the hike to Solomon’s from Baltimore!“

Boumi” is Arabic for “owl” and the Baltimore Chapter of Shriner’s International was founded 133 years ago. “Have Fun, Help Kids,” is the mission of the Shriners.

The grand marshal for the 2017 parade was Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman.

Calvert Marine Museum hosts the PRAD activities, including free boat rides, crafts, nautical demonstrations and live entertainment. Musical entertainment for PRAD Sunday, Oct. 8 included Groove Span and Calvert Dance Band.

Contact Marty Madden at