Bel Air 150
Town of Bel Air Celebrates 150th Anniversary
Hello, and welcome to our page on Bel Air’s upcoming 150th Anniversary. This community has grown considerably since the tiny hamlet of “Belle Aire” was designated as the Harford County seat in 1782.
The initial 42 lots, built around the county courthouse, jail and Sheriff’s residence, have grown to a town of more than 10,000 people and a thriving center of commerce, local and state government, healthcare, dining and cultural arts. Bel Air might have lost an “l” and two “e”s over the centuries, but it has gained so much more on its long journey to become the Heart of Harford County.
The key moment in Bel Air’s history is what we will be celebrating throughout 2024 – its incorporation as an independent municipality in April of 1874. Today, Bel Air is one of 157 municipalities in Maryland, holding “home rule” powers granted by the state constitution.
The 150th Anniversary committee, composed of Town staff and citizens, is planning lots of commemorative events for next year, such as the “Then and Now” celebration at the Bel Air Armory on April 27, 2024 from 12-4PM.
Applications to operate a booth at the event are available on this page. They must be submitted by November 1, 2023. A committee will review submissions and contact all applicants by November 15. Historical memorabilia can be displayed at booths, pending committee review. Contact our committee chair, Town Events Manager Julia Potler, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The committee has already selected a logo for the 150th, designed by John Carroll graduate Nate Dorrell. We encourage Town of Bel Air entities to display that logo wherever and whenever possible through 2024.
Nate is a 2023 graduate of The John Carroll School in Bel Air. His design was chosen from about 60 submitted by local high school students. Nate incorporated key aspects of Bel Air's history, such the train tracks at the bottom as an homage to the town being a key stop on the Ma & Pa Railroad, into the logo. The design also includes the numeral 1 in the "150" shaped like a castle turret in honor of the castle-like design of the Bel Air Armory.
Nate earned a $100 prize and met Town Administrator Edward Hopkins when he picked up the prize at the Armory on July 14, 2023.
Community encouraged to participate
Members of our community are welcome to host their own event to commemorate the 150th! Just send us the details so we can post them on our online calendar of 150th events. Submission forms are available on this page.
Finally, we want to hear from YOU, the community. Tell us your stories about Bel Air – we want to fill our page with recollections of the town’s history. Contact Media and Public Relations Specialist David Anderson at email@example.com for more information on submitting stories, as well as adding your 150th event to our calendar. Help us have a celebration this town will never forget!