John Carroll School graduate and Boston Conservatory dancer will also compete for title of Miss Maryland
The Bel Air Independence Day Committee, Inc., announces that Giovanna Ward is the new Miss Bel Air Independence Day 2023. Ward was chosen through an interview process from interested applicants, and succeeds Shyama Bhatt, Miss Bel Air 2022.
“The selection process this year was very hard because the candidates were all so wonderful,” said Michael Blum, chairperson of the Miss Bel Air Selection Committee. “We were very pleased to have local candidates from the greater Bel Air area, and we were amazed at the breadth and depth of commitment to our society and its betterment shown by them. Giovanna Ward, who graduated from the John Carroll School in Bel Air in 2021 and is a lifelong fan of our July 4 activities, will be a fabulous Miss Bel Air!”
In Giovanna Ward’s own words, “As a native of Harford County and an alum of The John Carroll School, I’m thrilled and pleased to be able to serve my community and represent Bel Air this year here on July 4th, and in the Miss Maryland Competition!”
The Selection Committee included Blum, former Miss Bel Airs Laura Patnaude and Chiamaka Ezeonyebuchi, and Board Members David Williams (President of the Bel Air Independence Day Committee), Don Stewart, Perry Thompson, Lisa Williams and Renée Cooper.
Giovanna Ward is currently a student at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, majoring in Contemporary Dance Performance. At John Carroll School, she graduated with Distinction in Fine Arts and with a 4.0+ average. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was President of the John Carroll Dramatic Association.
Giovanna’s social impact initiative is “Arts All Across”; she plans to work actively with the Maryland Arts Council, promoting access to arts education to all citizens, regardless of age or financial condition. Giovanna has volunteered in senior centers and with persons with Down syndrome as a dance instructor. After receiving her B.F.A. degree, Giovanna hopes to perform all over the world, perhaps as a member of the Radio City Rockettes, before opening her own dance studio back home, where she can share her passion for dance to youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Giovanna Ward, the 13th consecutive title holder and familiarly known as “Miss Bel Air,” will serve as official hostess and participant in one of the region’s largest 4th of July celebrations, taking place from dawn to night on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, in Bel Air, Maryland. Miss Bel Air will also help promote the event to the Town of Bel Air Commissioners, the Harford County Council, and the citizens of greater Bel Air and Harford County, Maryland. Events on Independence Day in Bel Air traditionally include the flag-raising at 6:45 am on July 4 in front of Bel Air High School, and the various family-friendly functions during the day, including the traditional competitive events such as the Water-Balloon Toss, Uncle Sam Says, and the Watermelon Eating Contest. Patriotic flag ceremonies are held in all the day’s locations, including Shamrock Park, Rockfield Park and Town Hall. Finally, Miss Bel Air 2023, as Honorary Grand Marshall, leads the parade down Main Street in Bel Air at 6 pm. Fireworks at about 9:30 pm conclude the day.
Miss Bel Air may also appear at or in official or charitable events throughout the calendar year, including the Bel Air Kite Festival, the Harford County Farm Fair, and the annual Town of Bel Air Christmas Parade. She competes for the title of Miss Maryland at the annual Miss Maryland Competition, held in late June.